Gibbons Shines In High School Debut, Leads Wildcats To Team Trophy At Astronaut Invite

On-Site Coverage

Mud puddles, humidity, no problem. Just a typical Saturday morning in the Sunshine State. The conditions weren't ideal at the Astronaut Invitational, but that didn't stop the over three dozen team from kicking off the 2014 cross country season with a bang. University senior Autumn Bartlett took the race out and set the pace for the first mile, with a group of about six girls going through the mile mark at 5:50. Holy Trinity junior Shelby Smith the winner at last week's Wickham Park Jamboree and Winter Park freshman Rafaella Gibbons battled it out to the finish line. Coach Doug Butler told Smith to make her move with 600 meters to go, but she wasn't able to hold off the 2013 middle school state champion. The first race of her high school career and the first win of many to come. In a talented field, she definitely let the rest of the competition and the state know she is coming to play this season. Sophomore teammate Elizabeth Jenkins was third with Emily Chapman and Autumn Bartlett rounding out the top five. Julie Wollrath, who took a ten month lay off from running was 7th for her new team, the Melbourne Bulldogs.

Coach McWilliam's squad placed three in the top ten and all five runners in the top 26 spots to win with 51 points over 1A favorite Holy Trinity who tallied 68 points.

Steven Cross of Merritt Island tallied his second win in two weeks by winning the boy's race in 15:47.90. The most excitement came behind him in the quest for second. Three runners Garrett Camps, Andrew Cacciatore, and Trevor Kattenberg came around the final turn side by side, but it was Camps of Melbourne who came out victorious after finishing behind those guys last week at the Wickham Park Jamboree. All three broke sixteen minutes. 2013 1A Cross Country Finals champion Franco Martins was fifth in 16:21.00 

Lyman's trio of Jordan Armstrong, Joshua Jacques, and freshman Bryce Bell guided the Greyhounds to a team title that may have surprised some people, upending 1A favorites Holy Trinity by four points, and 4A contender Winter Park.

Race Videos/Interviews By Todd Grasley

Interview: Andrew Cacciatore/Trevor Kattenberg - 3rd/4th Place Interview: Garrett Camps - Runner-Up Interview: Steven Cross - Boys Winner Interview: Basford/Kattenberg - Girls JV Champion/Runner-Up
Interview: Julie Wollrath- 7th Place Interview: Autumn Bartlett - 5th (tie) Interview: Emily Chapman - 3rd Place Interview: Shelby Smith - Runner-Up
Interview: Rafaella Gibbons/ Elizabeth Jenkins - Champion/3rd Pl Interview: Coach McWilliams - Winter Park - Girls Team Champions Interview: Lyman Trio - Boys Team Champs Boys JV Race
Girls JV Race Boys Varsity Race Girls Varsity Race

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights