While defending state boys champion and No. 1 state-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas has been in the spotlight this season, the girls’ team has been flying under the radar.READ MORE: Coast Guard Offloads Over 7,500 Pounds Of Cocaine Worth $143.5 Million At Port Everglades
That is until Thursday at the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) Cross Country Championships at Markham Park.
The Raiders, in the midst of a rebuilding season, won the girls’ team title with 40 points, a 13-point margin of victory over Cardinal Gibbons (53). Douglas was third with 86 points. Only three teams were able to break 100 points. The field featured 25 conference teams
St. Thomas junior Bridget Alex outkicked Monarch junior Nicole McConnell to win her first race of the season in 20:21.
The Raiders, ranked 18th in the state, had five runners in the Top 16. Joining Alex in the winners’ circle were sophomore Sophia Savaglio, third, 20:29; junior Alexis Rosa, seventh, 21:07; senior Patricia Burgos, 13th, 21:39; and freshman Megan Mclaughlin, 16th, 21:57. The team average was 21:07.
It was the Raiders’ seventh consecutive BCAA title and eighth overall in the program’s history.
“They are coming along,” said St. Thomas coach Trish Butler, now in her 11th season. “They haven’t had too many opportunities to race. This was a good confidence-booster going into districts. It was fun watching them celebrate the fact we won. Maybe we can take that confidence forward to districts and regions where we will run against Our Lady of Lourdes.”
It was a sweep for the Raiders with the boys’ team easily winning its 11th straight BCAA title.
The Raiders had five runners in the Top nine and six in the Top 10 to finish with 22 points, the only team under 100. The team average was 16:54, slowest of the season.
Coral Springs was second with 111 and Coral Glades was third with 143 points.
Junior Nicholas Rischar won his first major individual title in 16:33. Other St. Thomas finishers were: senior Pierce Statham, second, 16:39; senior Antonio Martinez, fourth, 16:57; senior Christian Vitagliano, seventh, 17:07; senior Sean Breslin, eighth, 17:14; and sophomore Colin Breslin, tenth, 17:24.
“We didn’t look like the big powerhouse we should have going into the 4A post-season,” Butler said. “It was super exciting for Nick to win his first conference championship. We still have some things to work on over the next three weeks. We continued the winning tradition at BCAA and that’s what’s important.”READ MORE: Grandmother Fatally Shot By Publix Gunman Timothy Wall 'May Have Helped Prevent An Even Worse Tragedy'
Braddock, one of Dade’s most improved boys cross country teams, won the GMAC team title Friday at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
Braddock, coached by Alex Shaw, who built a successful program at Miami Sunset for nine years, is now doing the same at Braddock in only his second year.
The Bulldogs won one of the program’s biggest meets with 69 points. Ferguson was second with 85 and Coral Gables third with 108.
Braddock had five runners in the Top 23. They were: junior Eliseo Torres, fourth, 17:05; senior Anthony Perez, seventh, 17:42; sophomore Joenathan Stallings, 16th, 18:10; freshman Javier Trashorras, 19th, 18:18; and senior Kevin Navarro, 23rd, 18:28. The team average was 17:56.
Junior Guillermo Rojas of Ferguson won the boys individual title in 16:47 for 3.1 miles.
Ferguson, with five runners in the Top 13, won the girls team title with 33 points. Miami Northwestern, with five runners in the Top 18, was second with 63 points and Palmetto was third with 112.
Ferguson’s top runners were: senior Jazmyn Martinez, third, 20:07; freshman Lisa Adjouadi, fourth, 20:35; senior Kaylee Alfaro, fifth, 20:53; senior Gabriela Crespi, 8th, 21:15; and freshman Bianca Banato, 13th, 22:06. The team average was 20:59.
Freshman Rahyah Andressohn of Southridge won the girls individual title in 19:28 ahead of freshman Jordan Shapiro of Palmetto in 20:05.
Track powerhouse Miami Northwestern continued to build its girls cross country program with its second major meet victory of the season. The Lady Bulls won the 18-team 305 Classic at Larry & Penny Thompson Park with 63 points ahead of Mater Academy (79) and Key West (88). The Lady Bulls runners all finished in the Top 20. They were: sophomore Nina Burgos, sixth, 21:11; junior Ayoola Gbolade, ninth, 21:37; senior Zaria Jackson, 15th, 23:05; junior Antravia Snow, 16th, 23:24; senior De’Andreah Young, 17th, 23:25; and freshman Lakeria Gathers, 18th, 23:33.
Key West won the boys’ team title with 73 points ahead of Marathon (77) and Coral Gables (82). Coral Gables junior Cavan Wilson won the individual boys title in 16:59.
District 12-4A: at Quiet Waters Park, Wednesday, 3 p.m.
District 13-4A: at Heritage Park, Monday, 5 p.m.
District 14-4A: at Markham Park, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
District 15-4A: at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
District 16-4A: at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, Thursday, 4 p.m.
District 15-3A: at Mills Pond, Thursday, noon.
District 16-3A: at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, Thursday, 2 p.m.
District 15-2A: at Mills Pond Park, Thursday, 4 p.m.
District 16-2A: at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, Thursday, 10 a.m.
District 14-1A: at Mills Pond Park, Thursday, 2 p.m.
District 15-1A: at Greynolds Park, Wednesday, 2:20 p.m.
District 16-1A: at Coral Reef Park, Monday, 4:15 p.m.