Land O’Lakes Gators cross-country coach Kris Keppel is legendary in Pasco County and well-known far beyond. His 20 years of coaching cross-country, 17 at Land O’Lakes High have entrenched him in the local community and in the hearts and minds of cross- country runners everywhere.
The story line coming in was the Estero Wildcat girls sending shockwaves through the cross-country community. After dominant performances at the Flrunners.com Invitational in Titusville a week ago and at the North Port Invitational a week before that, the Estero girls were not just favored to win, they were favored to sweep the top four spots or at least take four of the top five spots.
With conference championships a week away and district tournaments just a week after that, the 2013 Gator Invitational will give many Florida athletes their last big test before running races that count. The margin for error and window for experimentation is closing quickly. Teams and coaches will have their last chance to tweek lineups and tie up loose ends before the races become do-or-die.