Belen Jesuit knocked off defending state boys 4A champion St. Thomas Aquinas Saturday at the UF Mountain Dew Cross Country Invitational at University of Florida’s Mark Bostick Golf Course.
Belen junior Joshua Collins topped a field of 315 runners to win the individual title in 15:44 for 3.1 miles. Collins was one of only two runners to go sub-16.
In the orange seeded boys’ race, Belen Jesuit finished with 115 points while St. Thomas Aquinas was runner-up with 139. Two of the state’s top cross country teams were the only teams to dip under 150 points.
The victory avenged the Wolverines’ loss to St. Thomas at last weekend’s Spanish River Invitational. It was the first time Belen Jesuit had lost to a South Florida team in recent years.
“We didn’t take that lightly, but with great respect and encouragement,” said Belen Jesuit head coach Frankie Ruiz, who missed the meet for the first time because he was finalizing details for Sunday’s Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon. Assistant coaches Victor Arrieta and Juan Rodriguez filled in for Ruiz.
The Wolverines other top finishers were: sophomore Lucas de la Hoz, 10th, 16:43; sophomore Sebastian Roa, 14th, 16:47; sophomore Henrique Souza, 44th, 17:26; and freshman Vicente Sanchez, 46th, 17:28.
“This past week our workouts for about four straight days were designed to build some much-needed toughness into them,” Ruiz said. “Truthfully, we were going into Saturday knowing they would be a bit sore but given our rather competitive weekly racing schedule we really don’t get too many weeks free enough to work hard for more than two days.”
St. Thomas’ top finisher was junior Nicholas Rischar, sixth in 16:33. Other top Raider finishers were: senior Pierce Statham, 22nd, 16:59; senior Antonio Martinez, 32nd, 17:12; senior Sean Breslin, 37th, 17:19; and senior Christian Vitagliano, 42nd, 17:22.
In the girls’ seeded orange race, Our Lady of Lourdes finished third with 186 points. Its top five runners were freshman Rebecca Bergnes, 17th, 20:13; freshman Alana Batista, 23rd, 20:31; senior Calyope Ortega, 41st, 21:04; junior Jeannie Estevez, 52nd, 21:22; and sophomore Isabelle Areces, 53rd, 21:24.
George Steinbrenner High School won with 65 points, the only team under 100. St. Thomas Aquinas was eighth with 341.
In the girls’ unseeded blue race, Westminster Academy finished runner-up with 124 points, the only Broward team in the 22-team field. The Lions top finisher was freshman Jasmine Hincapie, fourth in 21:32.
PINE CREST XC INVITATIONAL
Pine Crest swept the team titles at its own invitational Thursday at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.
The Panthers won the girls team title with 19 points. Pine Crest had six runners in the top seven. Cardinal Gibbons was second with 113 points. The field featured 168 runners.
Freshman Tsion Yared won the individual title in a season-best 18:11, the only runner to dip under 19 minutes for 3.1 miles. Eighth grader Jinah Mickens-Malik of Mater Academy was second in 19:10.
The Panther boys, with four runners in the top 10, won the team title with 35 points. Calvary Christian was second with 43 points.
Calvary Christian junior Danny Ferro won the boys individual race in 16:32. Senior William Shine of Archbishop McCarthy was second in 16:47 and senior Michael Kennedy of Pine Crest was third in 16:53.
JUNIOR ORANGE BOWL INVITATIONAL
Southridge freshman Rahyah Andressohn and junior Deshay Fernandes of Columbus won the overall titles Friday at Larry & Penny Thompson Park in Miami.
Fernandes won the boys invitational division in 16:35 for 3.1 miles to top a field of 112 runners. Junior Guillermo Rojas of Ferguson was second in 16:42 and junior Cavan Wilson of Coral Gables was third in 16:52.
Ferguson topped a field of 13 teams to win its first big meet of the season with 59 points. Columbus was runner-up with 75 points. Belen Jesuit was third with 97 points.
American junior Jamir Ferguson won the boys open race in 18:35. Junior Christopher Roye of South Dade was second in 18:39. Columbus won the team title with 81 points and Coral Shores was runner-up with 127 points.
Andressohn, one of Dade’s top runners, easily won the girls invitational in 19:28, nearly 20 seconds ahead of Ransom Everglades senior Beatriz Ruan in 19:46.
Ransom Everglades won the girls invitational team title with 48 points followed by Ferguson with 52 and Northwestern with 81.
Southridge freshman Ayjah Silemon won the girls open race in 22:32. Eighth grader Marjury Rodriguez of Mater Academy was second in 22:56. Ferguson won the open girls team title with 41 points, just one point ahead of Our Lady of Lourdes.
NORTHWEST COMMUNITY CLASSIC
Coral Springs boys and Douglas girls won the team titles in the annual meet that features only teams from Northwest Broward. The boys won with 31 points, a 60-point margin over Douglas. Taravella’s Michel Normil won the individual title in 17:03. Brandon Flagler of Monarch was runner-up in 17:07.
Douglas girls won with 21 points and Coral Springs was runner-up with 59. Emilia Thom of Douglas won the girls race in 21:29 ahead of teammate Halie Murphy in 22:12.
Defending boys’ champion Columbus won the rain-abbreviated Youth Fair Invitational at the Country Club of Miami. Bad weather forced tournament officials to shorten the competition from 18 to 9 holes.
Columbus won with 151, five strokes ahead of Palmetto. Belen Jesuit was third with 157.
It was back-to-back tournament wins for Columbus after winning the Ida Baker Invitational last week.
Palmetto senior Jordan Laklak earned individual medalist honors with 34. Cole Castro of South Dade was second at 36 after winning a scorecard tiebreaker over Chris Nido of Gulliver Prep and Sharif Amastha of Columbus.
In addition to Amastha’s 36, other Columbus scores were Jake Moscoso, 37; Roberto Nieves, 38; Robby de Paz, 40; and Joel Garcia-Lee, 41.
In the girls’ competition the following day, Ransom Everglades won its’ fourth team title in five years with a team total of 169, winning by two strokes ahead of Doral Academy. Phoebe Beber-Frankel was Ransom’s top finisher placing fifth at 37.
Tanya Eathakotti of Carrollton won the girls medalist honors for the first time with a 3-under-par 67 for 18 holes. Weather again played havoc with the tournament which used only the first nine holes scores. Eathakotti shot 34 on the front nine, one less than Alexa Rivas of Palmetto.
Ferguson captured the Dr. Phillips Tournament with a 25-22, 26-24 victory over favorite Dr. Phillips. Alex Gonzalez had 10 kills, 9 digs and 3 aces. Kasandra Lopez had 6 digs and 5 kills. Melanie Cuervo had 16 assists and 4 aces. In the semifinal, Ferguson knocked off Holy Trinity, 26-24, 19-25, 15-12 behind Michelle Cuervo’s 17 kills and 5 digs. In other early games, Ferguson defeated Florida Christian, 25-20, 25-20 and Trinity Prep, 25-20, 25-20.
Calvary Christian won the gold title in the eighth annual Chaminade-Madonna Cares Volleyball Invitational. Calvary Christian defeated Chaminade-Madonna, 25-20, 25-22. Bishop Verot won the consolation match with a 25-22, 25-22 victory over Oviedo.
Cypress Bay took the silver with a 25-19, 19-25, 15-6 win over Barron Collier. Palmer Trinity won the consolation.
Westminster Academy won the bronze division with a 25-19, 25-22 win over Ransom-Everglades and Miami Country Day took the copper division with an 18-25, 25-18, 15-13 victory over Western.
Pine Crest defeated defending state champion and longtime rival Cardinal Gibbons, 25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 25-17 in 5A district play. Shari Stenglein had 11 kills, 9 digs, 2 aces and 1 block. Ariana Altieri had 11 kills, 10 digs and 2 aces. Nikki Restrepo had 14 kills, 16 assists, 4 digs, 2 points, 1 block and 1 ace. Alex Cortes had 6 digs, 8 points, 2 aces and 1 assist. Allison Galinat had 5 digs, 7 points, 1 ace and 1 kill.