Yared Opens Season With Course Record

Tsion Yared opened up her season this past Friday at the STU Invitational at the Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

The Pine Crest junior broke the course record, running a US #7 time of 18:01.61. The race day conditions make this feat even more impressive. With the typical South Florida humidity and a temperature in the high 80 degrees, this performance shows Yared's strength going into the season.

Read: United States High School Girls 5k Rankings

The Larry and Penny Thompson Park venue is far from a fast course.

"Since 2002, when the FHSAA converted high school cross country races from 3 miles to a 5k, only the best of the best have been able to perform well there. In the past 15 years, only 13 boys have been able to break the 16:00 mark and only 12 girls have broken the 19:00 mark," according to Ryan Raposo.

Read: Lastra Sets Course Record 18:17 At Larry & Penny Thompson Park

On her first time on the course, Yared became the 13th girl to break 19 minutes. Yared, along with her teammates, Emily Faulhaber, Amanda Schwartz, and Cassie Lawlor, Pine Crest cruised to the overall team win.

The former Larry and Penny Thompson Park record holder, Valerie Lastra, opened up her season as well with another sub 19 minute performance, running 18:54 to be one of five girls to break the 19 minute barrier this weekend.

Michael Fiore, a sophomore out of Fort Lauderdale HS, captured the win on the boys side. Fiore ran a time of 16:52 and was followed closely by Thomas Rodriguez and Tommy Cardenas who were both sub 17 minutes.

With five athletes in the top 20, Christopher Columbus HS took home the team win with a team average of 17:42.

The South Florida weather and difficult terrain at the Larry and Penny Thompson Park, shows the depth that these teams have this early in the season.