Astronaut Invitational Preview

Boys Virtual Meet Projections - Girls Virtual Meet Projections

A look at the top teams and individuals to watch for at the Astronaut Invitational held at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville on Saturday, September 10th. A total of 36 schools will be competing and will be on-site with race video and photo coverage.

The boys race should see a stellar battle up front with the likes of sub 16 minute runners Devin Makousky of Rockledge (15:30 PR), Cameron Raney of Viera (15:44), and Jonathan Leon of Hagerty. Makousky has gotten the better of Raney in their first two head-to-head matchups this season at Wickham Park and Cecil Field, so Raney will be looking to try and make the rivalry more even amongst two of the top contenders for the Space Coast Conference title this fall. 

Meanwhile, Jonathan Leon has stepped up in the loss of teammate Brayden Seymour (moved/transferred to California's Newbury Park squad) winning his first two races of the season at the Jim Ryun FCA Invitational and DeLand Invitational with times just over 16 minutes flat in both. He will be ready to roll with his first sub 16 minute of the season on Saturday. 

He is the top returnee from last year's race when he finished 4th on a muddy version of the course in a time of 16:33 and ahead of Raney (6th, 16:48) and Makousky (7th, 17:01). Both Leon and Raney have to be considered among a short list of state title contenders in 4A this fall as well.

A wildcard in the field to look out for is Ransom Everglades School junior David Serra. Serra ran one of the faster 800 meter times in the state last spring as a sophomore at 1:52 and opened up his cross country season last Friday with a decisive 16:16 win by a margin of 45 seconds at the King of the Hill Invitational in Miami. 

Last year's team winners and 4A state champions Viera will be back to try and win again at the Astronaut Invite. Despite having 4 of the 8 fastest entrants in the race with Raney, Aedan Rendek (16:01), Aidan Carroll (16:16), and Jack Girard (16:29) having all run sub 16:30 for 5K in the past, Viera is vulnerable in getting beaten by either another area school in Rockledge or Hagerty with a much more solidified answer in the #5 runner spot. 

Viera though was over 100 points ahead and 4 places ahead of Rockledge at Cecil Field, while Hagerty started their season with a runner-up finish at the Jim Ryun Invite followed by a team win at the DeLand Invitational. Rockledge has a nice 1-2 punch with Makousky and Space Coast High transfer Logan Chapman, while Leon has sub 1:50 half miler Miguel Pantojas backing him up as his #2 man at Hagerty. 

While lacking thru front runners, Winter Springs and Oviedo are both well packed squads who can position themselves well with the other top teams in the field if their back ends fail them.

Virtual Projections: Top 10 Boys Individuals

1Devin Makousky2023Rockledge HS15:30.00 1
2Cameron Raney2023Viera HS15:44.00 2
3Jonathan Leon2024Hagerty HS15:54.45 3
4Aedan Rendek2023Viera HS16:01.41 4
5Aidan CARROLL2023Viera HS16:16.00 5
6David Serra2024Ransom Everglades School16:16.19 6
7Sage Morrow2024Vero Beach HS16:25.60 7
8Jack Girard2025Viera HS16:29.00 8.5
8Logan Chapman2023Rockledge HS16:29.00 8.5
10Isaac Cerveny2024Cocoa Beach HS16:38.00 10

Virtual Projections: Top 5 Boys Teams

1Rockledge HS691+8.5+11+13+35.5 (63+72)1:56.0016:33.00
2Viera HS92.52+4+5+8.5+73 (81+86)2:39.0016:34.68
3Hagerty HS1113+12+31+32+33 (64+68)1:25.4516:54.01
4Winter Springs HS12314+16+17+28+48 (82+101)1:05.6817:05.74
5Oviedo HS16315+27+34+41+46 (55+61)59.4917:19.17

The girls race will feature the best two runners in all of Brevard County in last year's Cape Coast Conference champion in Astronaut High School's own Madison Carr along with Rockledge junior Malinda Underwood.

Carr had Underwood's number much of last cross country season and ended up being a state runner-up in 2A as a freshman last fall. Underwood really excelled during the track season to break 11 minutes for 3200 meters twice and 5 minutes for 1600 meters twice as well. 

In their season opening matchup at the Wickham Park Jamboree, Underwood (19:06) won by 23 seconds over Carr (19:29) before running an 18:26 season best at Cecil Field for fourth place.  She had an abnormal result of third place and 20:33 performance last week at the Harmony Invitational, which was won by Brooke Yates of Merritt Island in 19:25. Yates could be the spoiler here with much of the pre-race focused on Underwood and Carr.  

Carr has not really had a chance to run a fast time this weekend as after Wickham Park, she won easily in muddy conditions at the Flagler Palm Coast High hosted Spikes & Spurs Classic in 20:05 before taking Labor Day Weekend off from racing. Carr ran an 18:22 5K best last year in the state meet before finishing All-State in 2A for both the 1600 and 3200 on the track with top 8 finishes. 

Carr finished 3rd in last year's Astronaut Invitational, while Underwood finished 8th and Yates in 11th place. West Orange's Ella Klyce also is back in the meet after garnering a 5th place showing in the 2021 Astronaut Invitational. 

The girls team outcome is somewhat wide open. Viera is the fastest team on paper, but are looking back to bounce back from a disappointing showing at Cecil Field. One of their top returnees in Brooke Gerrits (19:13 5K PR) did not finish the race and drastically affected their team outcome, so she is looking for a bounce back race at Chain of Lakes Park to help lead her squad to a team title along with fellow senior Isabella Narvaez (19:28) and an impactful freshman in Celina Coryell (20:40), who was their top finisher at Cecil Field. Gerrits and Narvaez were top 15 finishers in last year's Astronaut Invitational. 

Lake Highland Prep, Winter Park, and Winter Springs all have top 5's capable of averaging in the 20 minute range to compete for the team title at the Astronaut Invitational. Lake Highland Prep might have the tightest pack among the top 4 contending squads and capable of keeping their top 5 spread under 90 seconds. Winter Park with Christina Feucht and Winter Springs with Simone Monaco have two front runners capable of finishing inside the top 10 for their teams with their sub 20 minute credentials. 

Virtual Projections: Top 10 Girls Individuals

1Malinda Underwood2024Rockledge HS18:11.68 1
2Madison Carr2025Astronaut HS18:22.20 2
3Brooke Gerrits2023Viera HS19:13.00 3
4Brooke Yates2024Merritt Island HS19:25.13 4
5Ella Klyce2024West Orange HS19:25.25 5
6Isabella Narvaez2023Viera HS19:28.00 6
7Grace Reed2023John Carroll HS19:36.607
8Simone Monaco2023Winter Springs HS19:39.40 8
9Christina Feucht2023Winter Park HS19:45.64 9
10Maya Cabal2024Oviedo HS19:49.19 10

Virtual Projections: Top 5 Girls Teams

1Viera HS923+6+24+27+32 (50+58)1:52.4420:14.55
2Lake Highland Prep HS10411+15+19+21+38 (48+62)1:23.2920:26.04
3Winter Park HS1209+13+26+28+44 (61+118)1:44.3320:33.15
4Winter Springs HS1348+16+17+46+47 (49+57)1:55.5720:36.04
5Oviedo HS18910+29+41+53+56 (59+66)2:00.7021:06.40

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