FHSAA 4A Region Recaps: Team State Titles Eyed by Many

After 16 districts narrowed down the competition pool for regional week, the final 16 teams have been decided for the FHSAA 4A Cross Country State Championship competition pool.

With the competition pool decided, here is what went down last week across the state for each region in class 4A ahead of the state meet on Saturday.

FHSAA 4A Region 1

Nease duo Rheinhardt Harrison and Anderson Ball packed a one-two punch at the 4A Region 1 meet with Harrison taking the individual win with a time of 15:46 and Ball in second with a time of 16:08. 

Ashton Deriso, Kiran Jaishankar, Ben Kirbo, and Jahari White were the next pack to come through the line all sub 16:48 to take third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place individually. 

Kirbo led the Chiles boys team to victory with 47 points over Creekside's strong pack running with 52 points. Nease and Bartram Trail were the last two remaining teams to make it out of this difficult region while Deriso and Jaishankar were the lone two individuals to punch their tickets to the state meet this weekend. 

After a district champion win at the District 1 meet, Lillian Holtery captured a regional title with a time of 19:11. Elizabeth Iliff came in second with a time of 19:14 and Jada Williams of Flagler Palm Coast cross the line for third with a time of 19:18. 

The Fleming Island girls were the top scoring team with 81 points while the Mandarin girls, with an extremely impressive 41 second 1-5 split, came in second with 90 points. Creekside and Niceville were the two remaining teams to qualify out 4A region 1. Williams, Naila Etique, Kelly Davis, and Olivia Niewald were the four individuals to earn state bids out of this region. 

FHSAA 4A Region 2

Olympia Senior Kai Komatsu added a region title to his running resume, winning the 4A Region 2 meet with a time of 16:23. 

Ilyas Semlali, Kevin Miranda, Samuel Austin, and Joel McConnell rounded out the top five with their strong sub 16:50 performances finishing second, third, fourth, and fifth. 

Komatsu's leadership paved the way for a regional team title for Olympia with 49 points with Kevin Miranda leading the Lake Mary boys to regional runner-up finish. West Orange and Hagerty HS were the final two teams to qualify out of the region with their third and fourth place finishes while Semlali, Austin, McConnell, and Caleb Melendez were the lone individuals to punch their ticket to the state meet this Saturday. 

The girls race featured a strong win from Winter Park senior Emma Noel with a time of 19:08. Megan Dolan of Boone and Ella Klyce of West Orange followed behind with their second place 19:26 and third place 19:37 runs. 

Noel led her Winter Park Wildcats to a team title over Timber Creek with a grand total of 70 points. Timber Creek, running without their typical no. 1 Amber Schulz finished second with 83 points. Dr. Phillips and Lake Mary were the two remaining teams to qualify for the state meet with Dolan, Klyce, Katie Ranck, and Mackenzie Hill capturing individual state bids with their top performances. 

FHSAA 4A Region 3

Wharton senior Jared Hammill continued his state series winning streak with a regional title with a time of 16:25. FSU commit and HB Plant senior Wynne Thomas took second with a close 16:28 to lead his team to a 42 point victory over Newsome's 61 points. 

Steinbrenner finished third overall with 75 points and a very impressive 31 second 1-5 split. Celebration rounded out the top team finishers for the 4A region 3 meet. Raekwon Hopkins, Julian Pomales, Seth Martinez, and Omario Windett were the lone four individuals to punch their tickets to the stacked 4A state meet this weekend. 

The girls race featured another HB Plant team win with Mary Ellen Eudaly coming in second with a time of 19:06 to round out the team with 47 points -- just three ahead of Newsome's strong 50. 

Newsome senior and University of Florida signee, Keleigh Scallon took home the individual regional title with the only sub 19-minute performance at Holloway Park with a time of 18:53. George Jenkins and Palm Harbor University HS were the last two state team qualifiers from this region with Jacquelyn Abanses, Brooke Reif, and Tabitha Suggs earning state bids for a very competitive state meet this season. 

FHSAA 4A Region 4

The boys race at the 4A Region 4 meet featured a very strong top 15 -- making a time sub-16:55 necessary in order to place. Venice senior Alberto Teijelo won the individual regional title with a time of 15:49 on the North Port course with Viera junior Michael Toppi coming in second with a 15:52. Orlando Cicilioni took third for Sarasota with a time of 16:04 and Christopher Columbus duo Christian and Nicholas Ivonnet took fourth and fifth with their 16:09 and 16:20 runs. 

The team title came down to a tie between two of the best teams in the state with Christopher Columbus taking the win over Viera with their sixth place runner Marcus Mata sealing the deal. These two teams will be fun to watch this weekend as they mix it up with some of the other best teams in class 4A. 

Sarasota HS and G. Holmes Braddock were the final two teams to qualify out of this region with their sub 17:40 team averages. Alberto Teijelo, Evan Meyer, Jaiden Martingano, and Martin Goodwin all earned state bids with their top individual performances. 

The girls race featured another dominating win from UCF signee Isabella Babilonia this season. Babilonia ran a time of 18:33 to win the individual regional title. The battle for second place was between two Miami Natives with Krystal Rodriguez capturing second place with a time of 18:50 and Penelope Sosa taking third with a close 18:51. 

Lakewood Ranch captured the regional title with with 50 points -- 9 points difference with runner-up Sarasota HS. Viera HS came in third with just one point more than Sarasota and Lourdes finished out the qualifying teams with their fourth place run. 

Rodriguez, Sosa, Annabella Cardona, and Lindsey Duffner all captured individual state qualifying spots and will line up at Apalachee Regional Park this weekend.