Fifteen years ago Jason Byrne started the flrunners.com Invitational. The first meet held in 2000 at Polk State College in Winter Haven consisted of a girls and boys Varsity A and Varsity B race, and less than two dozen teams. Since then numerous, collegiate standouts, and even Olympians first got their big break at this meet and the participation has grown times ten. Flrunners.com Invitational 15 will feature over 300 teams and 4,500 athletes. The meet has definitely come along way. We wanted to take a trip down memory lane and revisit highlights over the last 15 years.
FLR 3 (2002) - 2012 Olympian Sam Vazquez brings up the rear of a potent pack including Jeff Masterson, Ryder Leary, Steven Hassen, Ryan Deak, and Coleman Hoover. Vazquez finished fourth in 15:47. Deak outkicked Leary to the line in 15:23 each.
FLR 5 (2004) - Jenny Barringer (Oviedo) and Nicole Schappert (PJP) run neck and neck, full-contact style for the entire race from .5 miles on with 100m to go it is an all out sprint... Barringer wins by .36.
FLR 6 (2005) - Tiny frosh Ashley Brasovan defeats much larger senior Kelly Parrish 17:07 to 17:13 in FLR VI in 2005, the first major race held at Little Everglades Ranch.
FLR6 (2005) - On a blazing hot day at Little Everglades, Justin Harbor runs a gutsy race and collapses of exhaustiion over the finish line for his second ROC Victory.
FLR 7 (2006)- Episcopal put top five between 18:36 and 19:12 to win the team title in dramatic fashion. Earned national ranking after 18:49 average.
FLR 9 (2008) - Ashley Brasovan blasts a course record 16:46 and wins her third ROC championship.
FLR 10 (2009) - Matt Mizereck out-kicks Armando del Valle of Columbus in a crazyfinish and course record. Mizereck in 14:56.51 and Del Valle with a 14:56.84. Mizereck finished 10th at Foot Locker Nationals that year.
FLR 12 (2011) - With top college coaches looking on Jimmy Clark and Ryan Pickering battle down to the wire with Clark coming in at 14:53.29 and Pickering at 14:55.48.