The Belen Jesuit boys have been consistently ranked among the top 5 teams in the nation and proved that on Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals finishing fourth among the best teams in the country. Their finish is easily the best team finish ever by any Florida squad in the meet's history and just missed a top 3 podium finish.
Only Utah teams Herriman and American Fork as well as Southlake Carroll from Texas finished ahead of Belen Jesuit with their team score of 187 points. Ninth grader Marcelo Mantecon (23rd, 15:37) and Joshua Ruiz (32nd, 15:42) amongst the top 10 team point scorers in the field.
Rounding out their top five scoring included Joseph Ruiz (82nd, 16:10), Justin Ruiz (101st, 16:22), and Tiago Socarras (125th, 16:32).
Diego Magarino (174th, 17:14) and Evan Torres (176th, 17:14) were the final two finishers for the Belen Jesuit boys as the team's sixth and seventh runners.
While Belen Jesuit graduates 3 key runners from their varsity lineup including two of the Ruiz brothers and Torres, they will still return a talented core to pursue another national berth in 2024 with varsity experience led by Mantecon as well as unheard of depth amongst their "B" squad from this fall already running well into the 16 minute range for 5K as well as an outstanding middle school feeder program of talent.