She makes it look so easy!
Gliding by with a long, determined stride from gun to tape, Kathryn Fluehr looked every bit the Foot Locker national championship contender she was last year.
Picking her way through the mob at the start and quickly separating from any would-be challengers with such apparent ease and comfort that you'd think she was out for a recovery run.
Leaving scorched earth in her tracks, she cruised to a new course record of 17:18 at the North Port Invitational.
There's nothing you can do but sit back, shake your head, and watch greatness soar by. "Dang! That girl can fly!"
Even twin sister and fellow Foot Locker National finalist, Erika Fluehr, was no company today.
Erika took a more cautious approach to the day's race strategy, pacing herself early and tucking in behind Lakewood Ranch's top two runners, Olivia Ortiz and Kristin Zarzella. That is before she too opened up and finished with a second place 18:02 that was almost a minute better than the Lakewood Ranch sophomores she followed during the first part of the race.
Zarzella and Novak, for their part, paced the young Ranch crew (junior Devin McDermott being their oldest member) to an incredible showing. The Mustangs finished 3-4-5-6-8 for 23 points and times of 18:59-19:01-19:37-19:39-20:22, which (if you're keeping score) gave them a team average of 19:31. That is just off the top team average we've seen on the year, a 19:27 that Estero showed last week at UF... making for an exciting bit of hype leading up to their showdown at the flrunners.com Invitational next weekend!
The Fluehr sister's Community School of Naples made a strong attempt to take home the runner-up trophy, leading Sarasota Riverview 34-37 through four runners. But the Sarah Miller (20:16) lead Riverview was able to pick off second place with a great four-pack (7-9-19-11, 22 second split) and a new PR by freshman Nikki Crowder in 22:31.
One thing left to wonder... how would Kathryn Fluehr have done in the boys race?
Speaking of which, Sarasota came out swinging for that boys varsity race. Andrew Mendoza lead the way with a 16:50 victory. Alex Lewis, from cross-town rival Sarasota Riverview, interupted their pack with his second place 16:58... but then it was back to Sarasota with David Hinds, Courtland Bernard, and Nick Johnson putting together a nice show of pack power between 17:12 and 17:17. Julian Gomez sealed the victory for Sarasota with his 18th place 18:00 finish, which gave them a cool 31 points and a 17:19 team average.
Lemon Bay and Riverview finished second and third with 79 and 139 points a piece.