McNatt Focuses Efforts on FLCC, LRHS Surprises at FLR20

The girls race of champions was a race full of surprises at the 20th Invitational.

IMG Academy freshman, Carly McNatt, continued her dominating season with a 17:19.76 course record breaking performance to win the individual title. 

McNatt has set her focuses on breaking the 17 minute barrier this season and on the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships later this November. The FHSAA independent athlete is set to compete at a few local races this October in preparation for her national run this fall. 

Fort Myers breakout star, Stephy Ormsby, joined McNatt as the only other athlete to break the 18 minute barrier on the Holloway Park course this weekend with her new shiny PR of 17:54.10. Ormsby broke the 18 last week at North Port, but she showed that she will be making a run for the state title come November with her efforts this past weekend. 

Valerie Lastra (18:05), Caroline Wells (18:18), and Kambry Smith (18:29) were the next three finishers to cross the line sub 18:30. 

For the first time in Invitational history, two out of state teams took the first two team places. Brookwood (GA) and Mill Creek (GA) took first and second with 191 and 203 points respectively.

It was Lakewood Ranch HS that surprised the field with their third place finish with fearless, Jessica Neal, leading the way. Neal led the field for the first mile at North Port last week without hesitation and she approached the race of champions the same way. The sophomore raced her way to a top 10 finish in a time of 19:08 with her teammate, Aurora Melzer, coming in at 29th in a time of 20:00. 

The Sunlake ladies came in fourth led by Liina Winborn, with a 20:43 team average. Sunlake has proven week after week to be a top contending 3A team. Winborn was under the weather this weekend, but with her in tip top shape come November Sunlake is looking to be a threat for the podium.