Elite Performances at Tri-County Championships

Michael Fiore captured by Jarell Griffin

By Denise Spann, Florida MileSplit Correspondent 

Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade schools concluded their season at the Tri-County Championships on Saturday.

The 5K course familiar to those who compete at the annual Spanish River Invitational, produced some elite times and served as a moment of closure for seniors impacted by the pandemic.

"It's always about the kids," meet director and Spanish River coach, Dough Horn told Florida MileSplit. "It's been a very challenging season. I wish these kids had the chance to compete at the FHSAA championship series. This was the best alternative we could provideā€¦"

Michael Fiore sets new course record

The University of Florida commit had the top performance of the Tri-County Championships. Leading from the gun, Fiore ran to a new personal best of 15:22.27 to set the Spanish River course record.

Prior to the Tri-County opt out, the Fort Lauderdale High School senior was in contention for the FHSAA 4A state title - he was the third fastest returner from 2019. And this most recent effort could've had him at the top of the podium. Rheinhardt Harrison of Nease HS was this year's champion in 15:26.9.

However, the 4A Tri-County title does bring Fiore into the state's top ten, rising to FL No. 9.

Following Fiore was his teammate, Humberto Ramirez in his first sub-16 effort of 15:58.34 and Alexandre Chevalier of Coral Gables in 16:00.12.

Even with strong performances from Fiore and Ramirez, Fort Lauderdale placed second to Spanish River, who scored 47 points.

Pia Beaulieu finishes undefeated season

Similarly to Fiore, Beaulieu was in a league of her own on this course.

The Boca Raton senior ran the second fastest girl's time in course history with 17:32.75. After setting the course record (17:12.86) in November - which remains in the US top 25 - Beaulieu was the No. 1 4A contender.

Saturday's performance could've secured her the 4A state championship over Timber Creek's Amber Schulz.

With her 4A Tri-County win, Beaulieu completes an undefeated cross country season, dropping over a minute since her debut in September.

Cypress Bay's Summer Steere earned second place with 19:00.36 and Jupiter's Sydney Buck followed in 19:54.70. Buck's third-place finish led Jupiter to the team title over Spanish River with 66 points.

Tight race decides boys 1A-3A titles

The boys' 1A-3A was a close race for the individual and team title.

In a fight to the finish, Miami Sunset's Dennis Moreno won in a new best of 16:53.28. Following close behind, with the kick of the meet, was Johnathan Petit-Frere of Boyd Anderson who missed the title by less than five-tenths (16:53.74).

Dillard middle schooler Joshua Gammage rounded out the top three in 17:15.08 to begin the race for the team title. The Panthers and Miami Sunset had seven of the top-10 athletes in the competition. But, it was Dillard that was able to clinch the team title with 31 points (3rd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 16th) to Sunset's 38 (1st, 5th, 6th, 11th and 24th).

Dillard girls complete Tri-County program sweep

The 1-2 effort from freshman, Christiana Coleman and senior, Kashi Roberts led the Panthers to the 1A-3A team title. Their teammates, Ja'liah Gammage and Raquel Edwards finished in the top five and Amanda Edwards took 13th place.

Coleman, Dillard's frontrunner this season, ran 20:07.62 in what she details as a tough race for her physically.

Dillard's girls were also top contenders heading into this year's 3A championship, placing third in 2019.