Frankie Ruiz, head cross country coach at Belen Jesuit Prep School in Miami, has led his team since 2002 and had pushed his team into the top ten in the national cross country team standings. Although Ruiz has made such tremendous contributions to the success of the Belen Jesuit Prep cross country program, his contributions to the sport of running have gone much further.
Alex Payne fo St. Thomas Aquinas and Anderson Charles of John I. Leonard win individual honors and help their respective squads to the team championship.
A breeze filled the air on a chilly morning at West Orange High School, the site of the 4A District 3 championships.
Saturday morning at West Orange High School, following the end of the 4A District 3 meet, the boys and girls runners of district 4 stepped up to the challenging course of West Orange that consists of many twists and turns around the forest that surrounds the school.
A warm evening at West Orange High School set the stage for the Metro Conference West Championships on Wednesday. To start the meet off, a combined JV race was held that features both boys and girls. In first for the boys was Olympia’s Kevin Knox with a time of 17:47.81. To demonstrate the amazing depth of Olympia’s team, the top 8 finishers for the JV boys’ race were all from Olympia High School and they all went under 20 minutes, the only 8 in this race to do so. Leading for the girls was Mason Kite from Olympia with her winning time of 22:48.85.
On a windy afternoon at Winter Park High School, the Metro area freshmen and sophomore runners took to the Showalter Field course battling the other competitors and the grueling chills from the wind. Both of the races would include fewer runners than a typical meet so entries were unlimited and only the top four from each school would score points for the team with the five, six, and seven runners taking points away from other teams.
It was a hot afternoon in Lake Mary, Florida where four local cross country teams came out to give the Lake Mary Prep School course a try. The food stand and music set up the environment for a fun day that would consist of three races.
Northside Christian senior Katelyn Greenleaf is one of the top runners in 1A. Last year Greenleaf finished 9th at the state meet and is looking to improve on that finish in 2011. See how her season is going so far, what it's like running with younger sister Gabby, and much more in this Cross Country Q&A.
In Holiday, Florida, located in Pasco County and about 45 minutes northwest of the Tampa Bay area, Anclote High School Senior Argishti Gazari runs past the competition on his journey toward states. He began running during his sophomore year and has been committed to becoming better and faster each and every day. Now being one of the top 2A runners in Florida, Gazari has set a goal in mind, and it is to take home the state championship this November.
Early on Saturday morning, local teams came out to the Oviedo campus of Seminole State College for the Hagerty Invitational that was described as “one you will tell your kids about,” by the race starter. Rain and wind filled the air as umbrellas were flipping and spectators ran for cover. The ground was wet for a slippery three lap course. Despite massive amounts of rainfall and darkness of the sky, the meet got started off with the girls’ elite race.
The ground was soft and wet on Saturday morning for a two and a half lap tour of Central Winds Park in Winter Springs, Florida. Plenty of spectators came out to support the athletes throughout their run. Teams had tents set up in the center of the park waiting for the races to begin.
Wednesday afternoon seemed like a wonderful day for running three laps around the Trinity Prep course, until the sky opened up and unleashed tremendous amounts of rain onto the course. Through patience and great work, Trinity Prep waited out the rain storm and got the meet under way.
On Saturday morning Trinity Prep High School hosted their annual Trinity Prep Cross Country Invitational. After a rainy Friday night, the course was a damp and mushy three laps around a lake, baseball field, and tennis court, with a 100 meter finish on the school’s track. Going into the race, Olympia looked to be a favorite to win the team title for girls while Trinity Prep appeared to be the top boys’ team.
There are two types of athletes, ones that are good at a single sport, and ones that excel in any athletic challenge you put in front of them. Olympia freshman Emily Headley is the latter. Beginning in elementary school, Emily held a passion for sports greater than any other passion in her life. At age 7, Emily began placing in golf tournaments and by age 8 she was excelling in the game of tennis, but one sport stood above the rest.
The 31st annual Mike Gibson Summertime Run began at Lake Mary High School Saturday morning with a community race. A warm morning with dew covered grass provided a soft surface for the runners to begin on. The course was an expedition starting on Lake Mary’s football field for the first quarter mile, then two laps around a park that included trees, lakes, tennis courts, and even a roller hockey rink. Anticipation for the races arose as the girls lined up across the start line and waited for the gun to sound.