Dark Horse: Mount Dora Christian
Potential Standout Freshmen:
There is no doubt that the racing climate in the FHSAA 1A boys division is about to change dramatically. With Gabriel Curtis, Jackson Pruim, and Ted Twyman the lone three graduates of last year's top 10, things are about to get very interesting for the small school boys this season.
Last year we saw Jonathan Pitchford of Marathon HS have a breakout sophomore state race, placing second overall in a huge personal record of 15:58. Pitchford finished seventh in the 3200m at the state meet earlier this year and on paper will be your top returner from the 1A state race last year. Coming from south Florida, we expect to see Pitchford peak at the right time with better weather towards the end of the season.
Junious "Jay" Brown will be one to watch this season. We spoke with him after his 1600m/800m double state win at the track state championships earlier this year and he said his main goal this year was to focus on cross country and focus on his endurance this summer.
Brown surprised himself winning both track state titles and with the right training, competition, and peaking at the right time Brown could see another state title in his future. He finished third overall last year in a time of 16:03 and is one of the lone competitors in class 1A that knows the Apalachee Regional Park course like the back of his hand.
South Florida HEAT's Joseph Anderton will be another one to look out for this season. Just like Pitchford, Anderton will battle the south Florida weather early this racing season. Anderton has the endurance and proved so at the track state finals this year racing in all three distance events -- most notably finishing sixth in the 1600m in a time of 4:27 and eighth in the 3200m in a time of 9:43.66.
With Mount Dora Christian graduating the majority of their key athletes this past year, they come into this season as the dark horse pick to win the state title. No telling what this team has under their sleeve after a strong summer of training.
Lead by Austin Montini, Oak Hall, will be your favorite to win the state title come November. Montini finished sixth last year at the state meet in a time of 16:14. He took that sixth place motivation to his track season where he completed a strong distance triple -- placing third in the 3200m, fourth in the 1600m, and second in the 800m. After his track season and with the team on his back, Montini will be one to watch compete for the individual state title as well.
Seffner Christian, Pensacola Christian, and Maclay are three schools to watch for this season based off 2018 returning times.