St. Cloud, Harmony win OBC cross country titles

The 2019 cross country season is winding down as the Orange Belt Conference Championships was held on Oct. 21, and the district championships were contested later in the week at various sites around the area.

In the boys OBC championships, Zach Cloud outdistanced teammate John-Anthony Hernandez to win the individual championship; while the Bulldogs 1-2 finish was barely enough to give St. Cloud a narrow 40-41 win over Tohopekaliga High School for the team championships.

Celebration (78), Harmony (99), Osceola (128), Poinciana (156) and Gateway (186) placed finished third through seventh in the boys meet.

Joining Cloud and Hernandez on the All-OBC team where Tohopekaliga’s Jerdary Ayala (16:53) and Adolfo Castro (17:10), who finished third and fourth, followed by Poinciana’s Omar Windett (17:19), Celebration’s Jared Falchook (17:21), Harmony’s Stephen Romer (17:22) and St. Cloud’s Frank Cordovez (17:25).

In all, St. Cloud and Toho runners claimed 14 of the top 25 spots in the race. The finishes of the top five runners in the 5K race make up the team score.  

The girls race was a runaway for Harmony. Alaine Rivera (19:19)  beat teammate Brooke Mullins (19:25) to lead Harmony; but teammates Brynn Magner (20:25) and Claire Darin (21:20) were right behind as Harmony captured the top four spots and added an eighth place finish from Madison Burkhalter (23:13) to end up with 18 points – just three positions from a perfect team score of 15.

All five Harmony runners earned All-Conference honors where they were joined on the All OBC team by Celebration’s Gabriella Macedo (fifth, 21:26) and Olivia Fabbiani (seventh, 22:02) and St. Cloud’s Gabriella Lugo-Pardo (sixth, 21:27).

Celebration was second in girls race with 56; St. Cloud was third at 64.

Following the OBC Championships, teams and individuals competed in district competition, where Zach Cloud captured the Class 4A, District 5 individual championship in a time of 15:54 at Viera High School. Teammate Hernandez was second in the race (16:12), while Tohopekaliga’s Ayala (16:29) and Vazquez (16:46) placed 6th and 7th in the event respectively.

Windermere (63) won the Class 4A, District 5 Championship; while St. Cloud (104) and Tohopekaliga (128) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

By virtue of a second place finish at the Class 3A, District 4 meet at Lake Region High School, Harmony (53) will advance to regional competition. The Longhorns received second, third and fifth place individual finishes from Mullins (19:31), Rivera (19:49) and Magner (20:13), but fell just short of Winter Springs (34) for the team title.

Behind a 25th place finish from Lugo (21:11), the St. Cloud girls finished ninth in the Class 4A, District 5 meet at Viera.

At the Class 4A, District 3 meet at Al Lopez Park in Tampa, Celebration finished in seventh place and Osceola was 14th as Plant High School (28) dominated that competition. Top finishers were Celebration’s Macedo (12th-20:29) and Fabbiani (32nd-22:04).

At Boys Class 4A, District 3 meet also at Lopez Park, the Storm finished in third place with a team score of 152; while Osceola was 15th at 375. George Steinbrenner High won the district title. Celebration’s Falchook (16:47) and Poinciana’s Windett (16:49) were the top county finishers in the race – taking 13th and 14th overall.

The Regionals will be contested from Oct. 30-Nov. 2; while the state championships will be at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee on Nov. 9.