This year's Crusader Gallop 5k was once again held at Sydney Dover Trails. Always known as a tough course this year was no different. This year there were even more challenges to the course. There have been wild boar tear up a good bit of the starting field so runners had to maneuver through a narrow start. Runners this year had to navigate up a 150 meter long hill, once at the start and again just before the 2 mile mark. The back part of the course a 1k loop proved most difficult. After heavy rains most of the day Friday there were many parts of that section under water or just down right muddy. The course is hill, sandy in parts and uneven.
This year's race brought runners from Cardinal Mooney, Calvary Christian, Sarasota Riverview, Newsome, Seffner Christian, and King. It was a two man battle on the boys side between Matthew Berman of Sarasota Riverview and Noah Perkins of Seffner Christian. Perkins took the lead about 600m into the race and was pushed by Berman the entire way. They came through the mile in 5:23 and 5:25 respectively. They remained close through the 2nd mile, with Perkins finally pulling away late in the 2nd mile, winning in 17:38. Berman finished in 17:47. Both runners posted solid times considering course condition and difficulty. On the girls side it was also two girls well out in front of the others. Hannah Brookover from Calvary Christian edged out Michaela Torres from King in the last 20 meters or so to win 20:11 to 20:12.
Dover Trails will play host to the annual Seffner Christian Invitational on September 27, which will attract top teams from the area including Plant, Newsome, Sarasota Riverview, Steinbrenner, Robinson, King, and Wiregrass Ranch among others.