Fastest 20 Boys To Watch At FSU Pre-State Invitational

WATCH LIVE: FSU Pre-State Invitational

The FSU Pre-State Invitational will have virtually all of the top runners and teams in the state of Florida with a few exceptions, while bringing in some quality and select out-of-state competitors as well. Take a look below at top 20 fastest entrants entered in the elite boys. All under 15:50 with their season best 5K runs.


Will Patrick Koon break Sukhi Khosla's 14:59 meet and course record at FSU Pre-State?

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Top 20 Ranked Runners In Elite Boys Race Based On Season Best 5K Times

1. Patrick Koon (Leon) 14:43

2. Marcelo Parra (TMI-Episcopal - TX) 14:54

3. Emerson Miller (Buchholz) 14:57

4. Franco Parra (TMI-Episcopal (TX)) 15:10

4. Braxton Legg (Cambridge Christian) 15:14

5. Caden Montini (Oak Hall School) 15:21

6. Graham Myers (Fleming Island) 15:27

7. Joshua Ruiz (Belen Jesuit) 15:28

8. Alex Pena (Sunlake) 15:30

9. Wyatt Townsend (Chiles) 15:37

10. Joseph Ruiz (Belen Jesuit) 15:32

11. Jonathan Leon (Hagerty) 15:37

12. Andrew Mahorner (Satellite) 15:40

13. Mason Kawaja (Buchholz) 15:42

14. Cameron Raney (Viera) 15:44

15. Cruz Hesling (Westchester - NC) 15:45

16. Gabe Russell (North Hardin - KY) 15:47

17. David Serra (Ransom Everglades) 15:46

18. Evan Crane (North Port) 15:47

19. Tanner Simonds (Creekside) 15:47

20. Marcelo Mantecon (Belen Jesuit) 15:48

Replay of last year's elite boys race at FSU Pre-State Invitational

Local Tallahassee star Patrick Koon of Leon will be the favorite as the defending meet champion and reigning 3A state champion. Koon won last year's race as a sophomore pulling away from a group of talented seniors including 4A state runner-up Michael Toppi, 1A state champion Matthew Stratton, and 2A state champion Nick Carpenter in a winning time of 15:09.

A national finals qualifier last year for the Eastbay Nationals (formerly Foot Locker now Champs), Koon has gone undefeated so far this season including major wins at the Cecil Field Summer Classic as well as running his 14:43 5K cross country best to win the Southern Showcase in Huntsville, Alabama last month. Koon ran a 14:40 5K best on the track last summer for All-American honors at New Balance Nationals.

Top competition for Koon could include a pair of brothers traveling all the way from San Antonio, Texas in Marcelo Parra and Franco Parra, who have ran 5K best times hovering around 15 minutes and like Koon have broken 9 minutes for the 3200 meter run.

Other out of state entrants to add further depth to the field with sub 15:50 season bests include Cruz Hesling from North Carolina and Gabe Russell from Kentucky. 

The Parra brothers and rest of field might provide just enough push to make Koon go after the meet and course record held by another former Leon High School great in Sukhi Khosla at 14:59 from the 2013 FSU Pre-State Invitational. Koon was only 10 seconds off the time in last year's race and certainly a much stronger runner than then. 

In state competition or at least expected high finishers in the field including last year's 3A state runner-up to Koon in fellow junior Joshua Ruiz FL of Belen Jesuit, sub 15 minute performer Emerson Miller of Buchholz, Devin Makousky of Rockledge, Alex Pena of Sunlake, Graham Myers of Fleming Island, Wyatt Townsend of Chiles, and Jonathan Leon of Hagerty currently all ranked among the top 10 in the state of Florida.

Ruiz is the second highest returnee from last year's FSU Pre-State Invitational when he placed 8th in the elite race as a 10th grader after taking over as his top ranked Belen Jesuit squad's front runner when Adam Magoulas was missing due to injury. Ruiz, winner of the Florida Horse Park Invitational earlier this season, has a season best of 15:28 from a 20th place showing in the national class field at the Southern Showcase, but looking to close the gap on his 3A competitor Koon, who finished over 40 seconds ahead of him in Huntsville. Only 14 seconds separated them last time that they raced at Apalachee Regional Park in the 2021 FHSAA 3A state race. 

The 3A classification will be well represented with some of the top competitors in the field including Rockledge's Devin Makousky and Fleming Island's Graham Myers. If Koon is going to be untouchable and unbeatable this season, at least some drama could be building in who will be the state runner-up in 3A between last year's second place finisher Ruiz and the rising stock of runners such as Makousky and Myers. Makousky has won a total of 6 races this season including this past Monday at the Cape Coast Conference Championships, while Myers dipped under 15:30 for the first time two weeks ago at the Wingfoot Classic in Georgia. 

Buchholz senior Emerson Miller comes into the FSU Pre-State race rolling with a lot of momentum and steam after winning the Katie Caples Invitational two weeks ago in Jacksonville in convincing fashion with a 15:33 performance then breaking 15 minutes this past weekend in Georgia at the Alexander Asics Invitational with a 14:57 runner-up finish. Miller, the current top ranked and front runner in the 4A classification, will also get tested and match up against some of the best runners in his classification including Alex Pena of Sunlake, Wyatt Townsend of Chiles, Jonathan Leon of Hagerty, Cameron Raney of Viera, and Evan Crane of North Port.

Pena had a big win a few weeks ago at the Spanish River Invitational in a 15:30 personal best and ran well at last year's FSU Pre-State Invitational with a 12th place finish of 15:40.

Townsend was a runner-up to Miller but by 22 seconds two weekends ago at the Katie Caples Invite (15:57) before also going out of state to drop a fast new 5K PR of 15:37 at the Jesse Owens Classic in Alabama last Saturday.

Raney has been super consistent with his races performances with 4 of his 5 races this season being in the 15:40-15:50's range.

Leon is the lone runner in the group yet to race against Emerson Miller this season and ran a 15:37 PR in his last race at the Hagerty Invitational. 

Crane has had a breakthrough season and the North Port senior caught many by surprise when he won on his home course at the North Port Invitational over a strong field of runners in a 15:47 personal best. 

Amongst the top runners in the 1A classification in the field look to Braxton Legg of Cambridge Christian and Caden Montini of Oak Hall facing off for the first time in a state meet preview on the same course that they will battle with other top runners in 1A come November in Tallahassee. Both Legg and Montini both have super fast outlier PR times on fast courses this season, but also shown in other major races with Legg's 15:43 performance at Cecil Field and Montini breaking 16 minutes for 3rd place at Katie Caples Invitational that their performances are no fluke. Both have incredible wheels too with 800 and 1600 meter times that will rank them among the state's best come track season. 

Another intriguing runner to watch in the race will be Belen Jesuit eighth grader Marcelo Mantecon, who ran the fastest 5K time ever by any eighth grade runner  in Florida history with his 15:48 performance at the Southern Showcase several weeks back. Let's see if Mantecon can run well under 16 minutes again on Saturday morning at Apalachee Regional Park. 

The race within the race for 2A boys is missing several of key state contenders including last year's state runner-up Aidan Ryan, who will be racing instead in New York City this weekend with his Bolles teammates at Manhattan Invitational, as well as other notable runners in Colton Lawson of The King's Academy and Riley Novack of Montverde Academy not entered.

That leaves David Serra of Ransom Everglades and the Berkeley Prep duo of Kirin Karver and Liam Jordan as the top 2A runners in the elite boys field at FSU Pre-State Invite. The first-time cross country runner David Serra has made a quick impression in the sport with several sub 16 minute performances including challenging Makousky for the win at the Astronaut Invitational. Karver is one of the top returnees from last year's FSU Pre-State Invite when he placed 13th with a time of 15:40.  The former FLYRA middle school state champion Jordan ran his 15:51 PR at the North Port Invitational last month