Standing all of 4-6 and 60 pounds with an oversized Pine Crest jersey hanging off her shoulders, sixth-grader Tsion Yared appeared as if she snuck into the Pine Crest Invitational varsity race on Thursday.
When the race at Mills Pond Park was over, Yared finished second behind teammate and reigning state champion Julia Montgomery as the Panthers continue to loom as a state title threat in Class 2A to Jacksonville Bolles.
Montgomery cruised to a wire-to-wire victory in 19:42, Yared clocked 19:55 and Katherine Jovanovic finished third in 20:21 to give the F.A.C.A. Class 2A No. 2-ranked Panthers the girls’ team title with 20 points.
“It’s amazing having Julia as state champion and Katherine on our team,” Yared said. “They are my role models and motivate me to run faster. It would mean a lot if we could beat Bolles for the state title this season.”
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Along with Montgomery, the rise of Jovanovic and Yared to Top 10 runners in Class 2A gives Pine Crest the firepower to counter the No. 1 ranked Bolles’ Big 3 of Mackenzie Wilson, Ally Hadja and Rachel Shapiro.
Meanwhile, Pine Crest sophomore Ryan Welch took advantage of the absence of John Decker, the Panthers’ No. 1 boys’ runner, to earn his first invitational title in 17:42. Ryan got a challenge from Boca Christian’s Charles Otto with a half mile left but sealed the victory with a sprint to the finish line.
“I’m pretty psyched, this is my first varsity win,’’ said Welch, who showed great sportsmanship by hi-fiving opponents and teammates alike as they exited the chute. “What’s great about our team is that we don’t have one person that sticks out more than anybody else. When we run together, we’re good.”
Welch, freshman Michael Kennedy (18:25), Troy Gonzalez and Joseph Cabral went 1-5-7-10 to give the F.A.C.A No. 11 ranked Panthers boys team the team title.
Pine Crest Invitational – Boys’ individual results: Top 10: 1. Ryan Welch (PC) 17:42, 2. Otto (BRC) 17:44, 3. G. Rodriguez (MA) 18:12, 4. Chanti (KGC) 18:23, 5. Kennedy (PC) 18:25, 6. Baxtar (Mon) 18:32, 7. T. Gonzalez (PC) 18:34, 8. Hindle (BRC) 18:40, 9. A. Chanti (KGC) 18:48, 10. Cabral (PC) 18:52.
•St. Thomas d. Nova 25-1, 25-6, 25-16:
Courtney White 9 kills, block, ace. Lauren Grwzyna 5 kills, block. STA 8-1.
•Coral Springs Charter d. Somerset Academy 25-11, 25-18, 25-12:
Priscilla Haase 11 aces, 25 assists. Alexa Downie 3 aces, 8 assists, 3 kills. Hanna Seldomridge 10 kills. Sarah Seldomridge block. Morgan Haynes 4 digs. CSC 4-4.
•Northeast d. Stranahan 25-3, 25-4, 25-9:
Gentile Rose 3 aces, 17 points, 4 assists. Bethan Jones 7 aces, 23 points. Shelby Berns 7 kills, 3 assists. NOR 2-6.
•Palm Beach State d. Broward College 25-10, 25-12, 25-18:
Halee Davis 7 kills. Michelle Brito 8 digs. Janessa Demecillo 8 digs. Wren Kerce 8 digs.
•North Broward 167, Pope John Paul 185 (at Osprey Point par 36):
Shiao (NB) 36, Weisman (NB) 41, Schilling (PJP) 41, Cipolla (PJP) 44, Bench (NB) 44, Ratty (NB) 46, Depace (PJP) 48, Pabisz (PJP) 52.
•St. Thomas Aquinas 172, Pine Crest 183:
Arianna Garcia (STA) 40, Sam Haubenstern (PC) 40, Julia Matzat (STA) 41, Mellissa Trucks (STA) 43, Caitlen Koppenhaven (PC) 43, Catherine Lott (PC) 45, Maddison Riordan (STA) 48. STA 6-1. PC 1-2.
American Heritage at Chami.-Madonna, 4
Archbishop McCarthy at Boynton Beach, 7
Glades Central at Blanche Ely, 7
Cardinal Gibbons at Boyd Anderson, 7
Dillard at Coconut Creek, 7
Coral Glades at Coral Springs, 7
Westminster Academy at Coral Shores, 7
Coral Springs Charter at Benjamin, 7
Barrington Chr. vs. Coral Springs Chr. (Mullins), 7
Cypress Bay at Flanagan, 7
Deerfield Beach at Douglas, 7
Western at Everglades, 7
Northeast vs. Fort Lauderdale (Dillard), 7:30
Hallandale at Pines Charter, 7:30
Keys Gate at Highlands Christian, 7
Miramar at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
Piper vs. Monarch (Deerfield Beach), 7
Nova vs. Plantation (PAL), 7
Saint Andrews at Pompano Beach, 7
Somerset Aca. vs. University School (Nova), 7
Taravella at South Plantation, 7
Stranahan at Suncoast, 7
West Broward at Wellington, 7
Boyd Anderson at Blanche Ely, 4:30
Cypress Bay at Cooper City, 4:30
Hallandale at Dillard, 4:30
Western at Piper, 4:30