Belen, Coral Reef, Diaz shine in Invitational Race of Champions

National cross-country power Belen extended its reign in the Invitational Race of Champions while Miami Sunset’s Nick Diaz continued his torrid winning streak in Titusville on Saturday.

Diaz, coming off back-to- back victories at the Dade County Youth Fair Championships and Spanish River Invitational, staked his claim as the No. 1 boys’ runner in Florida by clocking a personal-best time of 15:15.

Diaz’s time moves him into the No. 2 spot in the state ahead of the 15:17 set by Brandon Marquez, Diaz’s biggest challenge to the Class 4A state title, and behind only Tallahassee Leon’s Suhki Khoslas’ 15:08. Coral Reef’s Kurt Convey finished fourth (15:24) and Belen’s Ryan Rodriguez (15:29) and Fabian Tomas (15:44) went 5-7 to help the Wolverines, ranked No. 20 in the Saucony Elite 50 team boys’ rankings, claim its fourth consecutive title.

Coral Reef, behind a 16-17 finish from Veronica Barreiro and Carla Rodriguez, won the Girls’ Invitational with 157 points.

Miami Ferguson’s Katrina Santiago placed 17th in the Girls Race of Champions for Dade’s top girls’. Invitational — Winner and Dade top 25 finishers: Girls’ Race of Champions– 1. Karen Xiang (Nease) 17:52, 2. 17. K. Santiago (FER) 18:50. 20. K. MacNeal (CB) 18:54. Girls’ Invitational – 1. Claire Castillo (TV) 19:03, 16. Barreiro (CR) 19:59, 17. C. Rodriguez (CR) 20:01. Girls’ Large School – 1. Abigail Grant (SIC) 19:28, 19. E. Sanchez (FER) 21:25. Girls Unseeded “B” – 1. Andrea Vargas (PR) 19:50, 11. Snell (CG) 20:50, 17. Morgan (CG) 21:32, 20. Vigarino (CG) 21:36, 21. Opalinski (CG) 21:38, 23. N. Clark (CG) 21:46. Boys’ Race of Champions – 1. Nick Diaz (SUN) 15:15, 4. Convey (CR) 15:24, 5. R. Rodriguez (Belen) 15:29, 7. Tomas (Belen) 15:44,15. Berryhill (CR) 15:55,19. Greenup (Sunset) 16, 23. A. Isaac (Belen) 16:06,27. Boys Invitational – 1. Steven Cross (MI) 15:51, G. Correa (Ransom) 16:10, 14. Saiki (Ferg) 16:39,Boys Unseeded “B” - 1. Peter Grootens (Pace) 16:58, 3. Freire (COL) 17:22, 14. D. Wolfe (Pace) 18:02, 18. B. Williams (CM) 18:04, 20. A. Gonzalez (Columbus) 18:14, 23. Ager (WC) 18:22.

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