flrunners.com Invitational 12 Preview

Pre-Meet Information

Storied History

We are extremely proud of the rich history this meet has built this century. Since the innagural meet at the millenium, the unforgettable races have been etched into the minds of cross country lovers in Florida. Its past winners read like a who's who of Florida greats of the past decade plus.

The meet has always served as a midseason peak and test against fire. This is the weekend athletes and teams are all wanting to show up and see what they're made of. Legends are created here that will always be remembered. Make your own legacy this year!


2000 - College sophomore Jason Byrne decides... why not? Let's put on a meet and gather the best in the state? The state responds and most of the top teams come for the small but elite innagural race (440ish athletes, no JV race). Jill Gerber of Cypress Lake dominates the field with a 17:33 win for three miles. Then we got the treat of seeing friends Matt Cianciulli of Flagler Palm Coast and Winter Park's Mike Swope (furture Foot Locker National qualifier) battle it out for the entire race at PCC in Winter Haven, stunning everyone with Cianciulli winning narrowly in 14:31 to 14:34 for three miles.

2001 - Glory years of Our Lady of Lourdes. They dropped the hammer on the field, but Kara Scanlin (two-time Foot Locker National qualifier from Episcopal) fought off Lourdes' Jenny Gomez and Elly Kabboord of Cocoa Beach 17:41 to 17:49 to 17:58 (three miles). In the boys race, Steven Hassen of Ocala Vanguard fought off a pack that just would not die... 14:41 over Ryan Deak of Maclay (14:42), Rolf Steier  of Berkely Prep (14:43), Sean Burris of Rockledge (14:57), and Lee Yaracs of Ridgeview (15:05)... among others.

2002 - State converted to the 5K race and we got a show! Perhaps the most legendary race ever... Ryan Deak of Maclay unleashes the biggest kick you'll ever see from a short guy and makes up a seemingly unsurmountable deficit in the final 400 meters. He leans past Ryder Leary of Bishop kenny to win by .44 second (15:23.43 to 15:23.78)... Steven Hassen of Vanguard hung on for 3rd in 15:31. Elly Kabboord of Cocoa Beach dominates with a 18:36 win over a field including strong out of state competition. 

2003 - Future world champion, Olympian, NCAA champ, and American record holder Jennifer Barringer of Oviedo wins her first flrunners.com title with a dominant 17:23.47 at Ed Radice Complex!  Then Eddie Arguello of Belen Jesuit surprises the field with an unexpected win with a sparkling 15:18 victory over Bryan Sharkey of Gulliver (15:20), Alex Miletich of Chiles (15:27), Coleman Hoover of Winter Park (15:34) in what was at that time one of the strongest boys fields ever assembled in Florida. Eddie won this race for his dad, who embraced him and smiled ear-to-ear afterwards... it was one of the last races his father would see him race before he lost his battle with cancer later that year.

2004 - The best ladies battle in the history of the meet! Coming back from surgery over the summer, Jenny Barringer of Oviedo opened her season at FLR. She and Nicole Schappert of Pope John Paul II proved that cross country is a contact sport. They battled and I mean battled the entire race... shoulder-to-shoulder. Coming down the final stretch bumping, straining, elbowing, and clawing to the finish line. Barringer gave won last surge at the line to win in 3/10 of a second in 17:54.81. The boys race saw another great battle of Florida legends... Justin Harbor of Flagler Palm Coast won his first flrunners title in 15:36.74 over Jeremy Criscione of Interlachen (15:38), Coleman Hoover of Winter Park (15:45), and Bryan Sharkey of Gulliver Prep (15:47). Barringer finished third at Foot Locker Nationals that year.

2005 - The race moved to Little Everglades Ranch, and we saw a new star born. Rumors of a freshman from down south that was "something else" surfaced, but most expected it was Kelly Parrish of Ocala Vanguard's time to reign after Barringer's graduation. The two girls ran together for 2.5 miles before Brasovan started to get some distance up the final hill to the finish: 17:07 to 17:13. It was Brasovan's first title of many to come. They beat a loaded field including big names like: Emilie Amaro, Bona Jones, Jackie Areson, and Kayla Hale. In the boys race, defending champ Justin Habor battled intense heat to clock a great time of 15:26 as he collapsed over the finish line in exhaustion.... 100% pure effort. On the team front this year we saw five NXN-ranked boys teams going at it to try to earn their spot... at the time it was only based on rankings with no regional qualifiers. Holy Trinity edged out the in-state and out-of-state competition to assert itself as Florida's #1 team, finishing second to Warwick Valley NY.

2006 - The age of Ashley Brasovan had begun. The meet was back at Ed Radice Complex. The Wellington sophomore just laid it down and left everyone completely in her dust. She set a meet and course record that still stands with a 16:41 stunner. Kayla Hale was second in a big PR as well with a time of 17:15.... the two are currently teamates at Duke.  Justin Harbor graduated, leaving former Flagler Palm Coast teammate Anthony Morales to continue to the FPC tradition. Morales came from behind to beat a talented field including Kyle Cooke, Robert Satlsman, Guillermo Echarte, and Joseph Franklin with a 15:28. That was the fourth time in seven years of the meet that a boy from FPC won. It is also (so far) the last. Episcopal's girls had probably the greatest team in their long dynasty this year. The nationally-ranked team scored just 52 points with five in the top 15.

2007 - Emilie Amaro of Cypress Bay, the two-time Foot Locker Nationals qualifier, finally had her time to shine. Local and state rival Brasovan was elsewhere and Emlie took full advantage. She won at the new Chain of Lakes Park course in 17:34... almost 50 seconds in front of second place Dominique Lockhart from Maryland. Bryan Suarez of Okeechobee surprised favorite Guillermo Echarte of Belen Jesuit with a big kick down the final 200 to win in 15:46 to 15:53. Episcopal's girls fought off invading, nationally-ranked Elanor Roosevelt MD 105-113.

2008 - Ashley Brasovan was back for her senior year! And the defending national champion did what we would expect. She set a course record 16:46 at Chain of Lakes Park. That was a full MINUTE better than fellow Foot Locker National qualifiers Brittany Koziara (17:46) and Kayla Hale (17:47). Freshman Nicole Carpio was fourth in 17:50... waiting in the wings in sixth was sophomore Kathryn Fluehr (18:13). In the boys race, Derek Wehunt laid down a 15:25 that was at the time a course record over Armando del Valle of Columbus (15:33), Mark Parrish of Chamberlain (15:38), freshman Elliot Clemente of Belen (15:40), and Erick Montoya of Estero 15:43.

2009 - Seven girls go under 18 minutes... twins Kathryn and Erika Fluehr of Community School of Naples go 1-2 in 17:00.73 and 17:24.36. Eventual Foot Locker nationals qualifier Shelby Hayes of Winter Park (17:31), Stephanie Schappert of Pope John Paul (17:50), Liana Epstein from Lake Braddock VA (17:51), Nicole Carpio of Ransom Everglades (17:55), and Stephanie Schappert of Fernandina Beach (17:56) are the others. The boys don't let the girls have all the fun. A three-way battle of Matt Mizereck of Leon, NXN individual qualifier Armando del Valle of Columbus, and Erick Montoya of Estero eventually turns into a two-way battle down the finish straight. In the second greatest flrunners.com guys finish ever current Gator #1 runner Mizereck pulls it out by .33 over Del Valle ... both smashing into the 14s with 14:56 and change. Montoya third in 15:06. Six guys go under the previous course record... four under the previous meet record. Twenty-four under 15 minutes. Mizereck went on to finish 10th at nationals.

2010 - Answering last year's call, 20 guys go under 16 minutes. Future Foot Locker Nationals qualifiers Jimmy Clark of Creekside and Ryan Pickering of Leonard both take out the one year old meet/course record with Clark winning 14:53 to 14:55. Max del Monte is third in 15:03 and Elliot Clemente is fourth in 15:09. In the girls race Kathryn Fluehr of Community School of Naples made it two in a row... just over her 2010 time with a 17:14. Bridget Blake of Dr. Phillips splits up the twins this year though beating out Erika by less than a second in 17:45 and change. Just behind in this great battle was Nicole Carpio of Gulliver (17:46), Kacy Smith of Estero (17:47), Shelby Davidson of Cocoa Beach (17:47), and Stephanie Schappert of Pope John Paul in 18:08. Clark and Pickering both finished in the top ten at Foot Locker Nationals in December that season.

Quick Facts

  • The first year of the meet we had 440 athletes... second 900... third 1,600... by year six we had over 5,000. We have since capped the race and maintain about 4,400 athletes each year since.
  • Despite some great out of state competition coming in, no non-Floridian has ever won an individual flrunners.com Invitational title.
  • No out-of-state girls team has ever won an flrunners.com championship... two boys teams from other states have (Warwick Valley NY and Georgetown TX).
  • The team with the lowest boys team average in meet history did not win... Columbus had a 15:52 average in 2009, but finished second to Dr. Phillips and their 15:56 average.
  • In 11 years of the meet... only seven girls have won the race of champions (Brasovan x3, Barringer x2, Fluehr x2). Ten boys have won... Justin Harbor is the only repeat boys champ.
  • Episcopal's girls won three ROC championships in a row. No other team (boys or girls) has ever defended their title.... can Belen Jesuit and/or Lakewood Ranch do it this year?
  • Boys Course and Meet Record:  Jimmy Clark (Creekside) 14:53.29 in 2010.
  • Girls Course Record: Ashley Brasovan (Wellington) 16:46.66 in 2008.... Girls Meet Record: Ashely Brasovan 16:41.42 in 2006. Ashely won every ROC she ever competed in. She did not run it her junior year, when she won the national championship or she undoubtedly would have held a four-peat.
  • TWENTY-THREE separate Foot Locker National qualifying athletes have participated in this meet in 11 years of history:  Mike Swope, Kara Scanlin (x2), Ryan Deak (x3), Steven Hassen, Jennifer Barringer (x2), Kelly Parrish (x2), Andy Billadeau, Justin Harbor (x2), Bona Jones, Emilie Amaro (x2), Kayla Hale (x3), Ashley Brasovan (x2), Brittany Koziara, Shelby Hayes, Kathryn Fluehr (x2), Erika Fluehr (x2), Brian Atkinson*, Colin Barker, Matt Mizereck, Shelby Davidson, Jimmy Clark, Ryan Pickering, Elliot Clemente. They have qualified for a total of 35 national meets collectively.


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