Four Hillsborough Country programs kicked off their cross country seasons at the inaugural New Tampa Preseason meet at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Aug. 28. King won the girls team title with 35 points, slipping past Wharton by seven and Freedom by 12. Freedom took first for the boys with 23, besting Wharton by nine.
King sophomore Micaela Torres ran nearly a minute faster than her closest competitor, finishing in 20 minutes, 43 seconds. Armwood senior Lindsay Shealy finished second overall in 21:35.
Sneha Sathish (22:10), Gabby Campbell (23:12) and Allie Adams (23:41) placed fourth, sixth and eighth for King.Rebecca Talent (28:25) locked up the team title for the Lions by finishing 30th.
Wharton was led by sophomore Marin James’ fifth-place finish in 23:06. April Olson took seventh (23:23), Alisha Deschenas placed 10th (23:55) and Mackenzie Willman finished 11th(24:19) for the Wildcats. Mariah Loya rounded out the scoring for the host squad, placing 14th in 25:07.
Freedom took the first three places in the boys race. Freshman Alejandro Michel finished first in 18:49, followed by Luke Haara (18:53) and Richard Lush (19:14). Raymond Urbaniak (19:42) and Christian Shaffer (19:54) rounded out the Patriots’scoring by finishing seventh and 10th. Wharton was led by junior Robby Fisher’s fourth-place finish in 19:15. Fellow Wildcats Angel Escobar (19:34) took fifth, Gavin James (19:34) placed sixth and Ryan Spence finished eighth (19:42). Jonny Sepulveda (19:54) rounded out the squad’s scoring, finishing ninth overall.
Several days without rain made for a dry course, but a heat index well above 100 degrees made low times hard to come by in the contest.
“All the teams today showed how competitive they are and how much they wanted to run well even with the heat index being so high,” said Anthony Triana, Wharton girls coach and event organizer. “