High School Sports

Belen Jesuit boys, Pine Crest girls once again on top at state cross country meet

The Belen Jesuit cross country team poses after winning the 2019 Class 3A FHSAA state cross country championship.
The Belen Jesuit cross country team poses after winning the 2019 Class 3A FHSAA state cross country championship.

The Belen Jesuit boys’ cross-country team is all alone perched on top.

The Wolverines, led by Diego Gomez, Adam Magoulas and Javier Vento, not only won their third consecutive Class 3A state title at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee on Saturday.

They became the winningest program in state history.

And as for the Pine Crest girls’ team, senior Tsion Yared led them to win their third Class 2A state championship in the last four years.

Tsion’s winning time of 17:43.98 allowed her to win a third consecutive individual title and fourth overall, tying four others for most individual titles in a career.

With Gomez (15:15.16), Magoulas (15:51.85) and Vento (15:57.36) finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively, Belen cruised to its 11th state championship, breaking the tie with Largo that had stood for 32 years.

They have won 10 state championships since 2006.

A total of seven runners finished in the top 30 for the Wolverines.

“We set the new mark,” said Belen coach Frankie Ruiz. “All the guys hit the board running and had a smooth landing though they ran a conservative race.”

Gomez, who finished 11th last year as sophomore at 16:16.96, cut over a minute off last years’ time. Vento, who was the defending state champ, had returned from a six-week absence from a stress fracture in his left foot.

All three of Belen’s top three runners return next year and only two runners in the top 10 will graduate.

“They all feed of off each other,” Ruiz said. “We got close to 50 guys on the roster and know they have the depth to compete and rely on each other.

“A winning culture and little things add up to be competitive and stay on top. As a coach I’ve been proud of every team collectively.”

The Pine Crest girls’ team placed three runners in the top four places to finish on top in Class 2A with 33 points.

Besides Yared first place, Emily Faulhaber was third (18:08.97) and Maya Beleznay (18:18.58) fourth.

“This means the means the world to me,” said Yared. “It’s been a goal for mine since my seventh grade. I had to dig deep to make it happen and I’m very happy with my performance. Going into the race with the experience gave me the confidence I needed. This course has been special to me.”

The depth and experience of the Panthers proved the dominance against Class 2A competition.

“They ran really well and focused,” said Pine Crest coach Paul Baur. “With five seniors on the team they were ready. Tsion would not be denied. I’m proud of her winning her fourth state title.”

Mater Academy senior Valerie Lastra was the Class 3A girls’ individual champion for the second consecutive year, finishing the race in 17:29.44. Lastra was a top-four individual finisher at state each of the past four years.

Michael Fiore, a junior from Fort Lauderdale High, improved from his 12th place finish last year also bettered his time from a year ago. He finished ninth this year at 15:55.08.

Ramson Everglades finished 16th out of 32 teams:Felipe de Cardenas 42nd place, 17:03.82 (personal best), Alex Dray 58th place, 17:15.15 (personal best), Tomas Esber 60th place, 17:17.70 (personal best), Justin Wong 18:47.87; Christian Gardner 19:21.85; Erik Medina 19:54.06; Santiago Duckenfield-Lopez 20:27.45.

BOYS

Class 4A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Steinbrenner 129; 7. Columbus 238; 15. Fort Lauderdale 398; 20. Doral Academy 561; 22. St. Thomas Aquinas 577; 24. Coral Gables 643; 28. Braddock 669; 31. Cypress Bay 758; 32. Ferguson 908.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Rheinhar Harrison (Nease) 15:24.57; 9. Michael Fiore (FTL) 15:55.08; 16. Colin Wilson (CG) 16:03.22; 29. Humberto Ramirez (FTL) 16:17.06; 31. Christian Ivonnet (COL) 16:18.15; 39. Adrian Bichara (COL) 16:23.12; 42. Sage Brands (STA) 16:23.92; 46. Aiden Breslin (FTL) 16:26.63.

Class 3A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Belen Jesuit 48; 22. Dillard 544; 31. American Heritage 868.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Ethan Geiger (Robinson) 15:26.35; 3. Diego Gomez (Belen) 15:51.16; 4. Adam Magoulas (Belen) 15:51.85; 5. Javier Vento (Belen) 15:57.36; 13. Nicolas Hidalgo (Belen) 16:20.99; 26. Matthew Bryan (Belen) 16:37.14; 27. Aiden Villasuso (Belen) 16:39.58; 30. Sebastian Castillo (Belen) 16:41.40.

Class 2A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Satellite 30; 15. Pine Crest 472; 17. Miami Sunset 501; 25. Mater Lakes 619.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Gabriel Montague (SAT) 15:31.84; 23. Andoni Mercado (MS) 16:46.69; 35. Gabriel Rodriguez (STB) 16:59.55

Class 1A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Seffner Christian 69; 19. Palmer Trinity 433; 28. Miami Country Day 723; 30. Doctors Charter 730; 31. Highlands Christian 747.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Austin Montini (Oak Hall) 15:33.63; 9. George Stark (PT) 16:23.31; 39. Joshua Shields (SFH) 17:31.90; 45. Payton Caja (HC) 17:40.57

GIRLS

Class 4A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Newsome 99; 3. Lourdes 196; 4. Braddock 206; 18. Coral Reef 485; 24. St. Thomas Aquinas 611; 30. Doral Academy 811; 31. Coral Park 821.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Alyssa Hendrix (Riverview) 17:19.40; 7. Krystal Rodriguez (CR) 18:15.20; 24. Penelope Sosa (CP) 19:15.50; 28. Johanna Diez (Lourdes) 19:21.90; 31. Jordan Ford (BRAD) 19:24.80; 35. Isabella Timirraos (Lourdes) 19:34.50; 36. J. Drago Alvarez (CR) 19:34.90; 44. Ana Rodriguez (Lourdes) 19:39.60; 49. Rebecca Bergnes (BRAD) 19:43.80; 50. Lisa Adjouadi (BRAD) 19:45.80.

Class 3A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Winter Springs 119; 3. Dillard 132; 21. Miami Northwestern 573; 28. Northeast 696; 31. Miami Southridge 833.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Valarie Lastra (MA) 17:29.44; 6. Christian Coleman (DILL) 18:24.95; 17. Ashley Fitzgerald (AH) 19:15.22; 22. Camille Langston (DILL) 19:27.00; 37. Samouya Nevers (DILL) 19:57.64; 44. Raquel Edwards (DILL) 20:02.94; 47. Kashi Roberts (DILL) 20:04.75.

Class 2A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Pine Crest 33; 4. St. Brendan 200; 5. Gulliver Prep 257; 11. Cardinal Gibbons 362; 16. Calvary Christian 419.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Tsion Yared (PC) 17:43.98; 3. Emily Faulhaber (PC) 18:08.97; 4. Maya Beleznay (PC) 18:18.58; 11. Mahdere Yared (PC) 18:45.08; 17. Natalie Varela (GP) 19:15.76; 19. Sierra Stocker (PC) 19:17.72; 41. Madison Gilman (CG) 20:00.72; 46. Isabella Del Busto (CAL) 20:05.19; 49. Kyra Gardner (GP) 20:06.98.

Class 1A

Team scores (Winner, plus locals)

1. Oak Hall 53; 8. Miami Country Day 311; 18. South Florida HEAT 520; 25. Divine Savior 630; 30. Palmer Trinity 782.

Individual results (Winner, plus top-50 locals)

1. Sinkenesh Parker (Circle Chr.) 18:32.50; 10. Cecily Anderton (SFH) 19:42.71; 21. Isabella Smilowitz (MCD) 20:01.96; 27. Paige Saville (SFH) 20:14.55; 36. Rachel Hodes (MCD) 20:30.56.

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