Last season we saw Belen Jesuit go one and two to score 35 points and win the state title. This season both the state champion and state runner-up return for their junior and sophomore seasons.
Javier Vento and Adam Magoulas will continue to lead the Belen boys as they return to Tallahassee to defend their title as the 3A team favorites.
When it comes to the individual state title, Vento and Magoulas will have some serious competition. Seniors Anderson Denton and Ethan Gieger will have something to say come November. With sub 9:15 3200m PR's Denton and Gieger come into this cross country season with notable track speed and state medals to their names. It will be interesting to see how their track speeds translates to the cross country course.
Keep an eye out for Thomas Weiler of South Fork and Lewis Benitez-Chaparro of Ocala Vanguard this season. Weiler finished fourth in the 3200m at the state meet in the weather fiasco that caused multiple delays and tested athletes mentally and physically. He will have the strength to be one of the top athletes this season. Likewise, Benitez-Chaparro rocked the middle distance scene this year while maintaining key endurance. With a 4:17 one mile PR and 9:52.91 3200m strength, the Ocala senior could be an under the radar athlete to place top ten come November.
Leon HS, lead by Jackson Yarbrough, and Choctawhatchee HS, led by Darius Johnson, will be teams to watch for another podium spot.
In the 2019 cross country season we will see the rankings change and shift across all classifications -- anything can happen. There are only a few more days till the 2019 cross country season starts, it's go time.