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Florida Track & Field and Cross Country News

FLR 17: Friday Small School/Large School Race Previews Billy Simpson Sep 29, 2016

All eyes are going to be on the championship races at the flrunners invitational, but this huge meet will also be providing some excellent competition in both the small school and large school races. We have some fast individuals ready to take to the course, as well as some team races that could come down to the wire. 

FLR17: Girls Invitational Race Preview: Lemon Bay's Welch 20th In 2015 ROC, Favorite Saturday Morning Todd Grasley Sep 29, 2016

Last year's girls invitational race produced one of the ten best times of the whole weekend by Natalie Varela. These athletes and teams are hungry after just missing the cut off for the Race of Champions. Lemon Bay's Maddison Welch was 20th in last year's Race of Champions and comes in as one of the favorites to win on Saturday in this division. We take a look at the top individuals and teams in the field.

FLR17: Boys Invitational Race Preview - Queue Smith, Quintana At Front Of The Pack Todd Grasley Sep 29, 2016

The Race of Champions is the top event at Invitational 17, but don't count out the invitational events which will split both the male and female genders of the ROC and showcase some of the top talent in the state of Florida duking it out. Last year's race saw four athletes run under 17 minutes with UNC commit Luke Peterson of Shorecrest Prep winning in 16:26.00. We preview all the team and individual action.

FLR 17: Middle School Preview: Youngsters Tackle Tough 2 Mile Chain Of Lakes Course Donald Bly Sep 29, 2016

This Saturday will feature the 16th running of the middle school division at the FLR Invitational.  For those of us who grew up in the twentieth century, "middle school distance running" meant watching the better part of your PE class walk 600 yards as part of the Presidential Physical Fitness test. The kids in this race are not those kids.  They are fast - not just fast for middle schoolers, but fast for adults.  The top finishers would all be varsity-level high school runners, and some would even be in the mix in a state championship. We've come a long way, baby.

Spotlight Q&A: Rockledge Sophomore Troy Smith Billy Simpson Sep 29, 2016

Flrunners had a chance to catch up with Troy Smith, a sophomore from Rockledge who has had an impressive season thus far. He came in second at the Wickham Jamboree in a school record time of 16:09.00 and has won his last two races. Smith talks about his 2016 season and preparing for the Invitational this weekend after finishing third last year in the boys invitational race.

South Florida's Fast Five From Week 5: Yared, Collins Capture Top Honors Eddie Romero Sep 29, 2016

Pine Crest freshman Tsion Yared picked up her second win of the season in a new SB time of 18:18.11 at the Pine Crest Cross Country Invitational, a meet she's either won or been runner-up in the past FOUR years. On the boy's side Belen Jesuit junior Joshua Collins was once again on fire. Collins ran arguably his best race of the year at the UF Mt. Dew Invitational to win his 5th of seven meets in a new PR of 15:44.76 Our South Florida correspondent Eddie Romero picked the five best performances from the week in a feature we call South Florida's Fast Five. 

FLR 17 Girls ROC Preview: 10 Of Top 15 In State Go Head To Head Todd Grasley Sep 28, 2016

If there is one particular race I am looking forward to the most at this year's Invitational 17 it's the girls Race of Champions. The field includes ten of the top fifteen girls in the state, plus two of the top teams in 2014 and 2015 4A state champions Winter Park, and Pine Crest the 2A runner-up the past four years. We take a look at both the individual and team battles.

FLR 17 Boys ROC Preview: Can Belen Return To Podium, Overthrow Defending Champs Trinity Prep & GA's Woodstock? Todd Grasley Sep 28, 2016

The Invitational boys Race of Champions will feature sixteen of the top teams and individuals in the state of Florida with 2A power Trinity Prep and 3A power Belen Jesuit leading the way along with Woodstock who makes the trek down from Georgia. On the individual front, only three runners in the field have broken sixteen minutes in Caleb Pottorff, Joshua Collins, and Mason Jones. We take a look at what fans can expect to see on both the team and individual fronts come Saturday morning.

Fear The Freshmen: Four Girls Who Can Contend For ROC Crown Todd Grasley Sep 28, 2016

The main event at Invitational 17 will be both the boys and girls Race of Champions.  The girl's race will feature ten of the top 15 ranked girls in the state of Florida including #1 Amanda Beach and #2 Bailey Hertenstein. Beach, a senior at Melbourne Central Catholic, and the state leader will be tested up front by defending 4A state champion and meet champion Hertenstein, as well as 2015 4A state champion Rafaella Gibbons of Winter Park who is making her Invitational debut. However don't count out four South Florida freshmen who are out to shake up the field. Meet Ali Del Re, Tsion Yared, Valerie Lastra, and Natalie Varela.

VOTE: Girls Performance Of The Week - Yared Picks Up Another Victory, Wins Pine Crest CC Invitational Todd Grasley Sep 28, 2016

Pine Crest freshman Tsion Yared will face a tough test in Saturday's Invitational 17 Race of Champions, but she has proved she is back to her 2014 state champion form early on this year. Yared won her second race of the season, the Pine Crest Cross Country Invitational, in a season best time of 18:11.18. Did she do enough to win your vote? You decide. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

Florida Virtual State Meet Projections By Classifications Todd Grasley Sep 27, 2016

The state meet is less than two months away and it is never to start looking at who is projected to be the favorites in Tallahassee. Below you can find links to the virtual meet rankings for all classifications in the state of Florida based on current season best performances in the MileSplit database as of September 27th. Customize and adjust the virtual meets as you see fit! Invitational Girls A-T Rankings: Brasovan's 16:41.42 By Far The Best Todd Grasley Sep 27, 2016

The Invitational meet record has stood for the last ten years by Wellington's Ashley Brasovan who steamrolled the competition at FLR 7 on the fields of Ed Radice Park in Tampa. Brasovan's time of 16:41.42 is the fastest by nearly 20 seconds. 24 runners have broke 18 minutes in meet history, while the 25th best of all-time is 2015 meet champion Bailey Hertenstein who won in 18:02.40, and is coming off a 17 minute performance this past weekend. We look at the fastest 500 girls in Invitational history. Invitational Boys A-T Rankings: Clark, Pickering 1-2 In One Of Best Races In Meet History Todd Grasley Sep 27, 2016

Jimmy Clark and Ryan Pickering's epic battle in 2010 produced the top two times ever in meet history, 14:53.29 and 14:55.48, one year after Matt Mizereck and Armando DelValle went 14:56.21 and 14:56.84. That quartet are the only athletes to ever break 15 minutes while 29 have gone under 15:30 in the past 17 years. We take a look at the top 500 all-time best boys times at the Invitational. 

FLR 17: Comparing The ROC Favorites: Hertenstein Vs. Beach, Collins Vs. Pottorff Todd Grasley Sep 27, 2016

Everyone loves a good head to head match up and we will see plenty of those at Invitational 17 especially in the race of champions including  FL#1 Amanda Beach Vs. FL#2 Bailey Hertenstein and FL#2 Joshua Collins Vs. FL#3 Caleb Pottorff. We take a look at how they've fared in previous match ups on the track and on the cross country as well as strictly by times using our compare athletes feature to see who has the best shot at pulling out the victory this weekend.

Titusville Senior Mason Jones Has Eyes Set On Top Five Finish At FLR17 Todd Grasley Sep 27, 2016

Titusville senior Mason Jones is one of the top entrants in the boys Race of Champions at this weekend's Invitational 17. Jones finished second at the recent UF Mt. Dew Invitational and placed in the top two in each of his races this season. We caught up with the Terrier who will be making the short trip to Chain of Lakes Park, about  this weekend's race.

Who's In: flrunners Invitational 17 Elite Divisions Announced! Todd Grasley Sep 26, 2016 Invitational 17 is going to be off the chain with sweet aqua blue meet t-shirts, an athlete recovery area, BBQ food truck, DJ, and special guest 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano! The competition will not only be some of the best and biggest in the state of Florida, but the southeast as well with over 300 teams and more than 3,000 athletes. Here are this year's teams entered in Saturday's Elite Divisions, the Race Of Champions and Invitational races.