One year removed from last year’s St. Thomas Aquinas sweep of the BCAA Cross-Country Championships, there’s a change at the top.
Fort Lauderdale junior Michael Fiore and Cypress Bay junior Summer Steere won the boys’ and girls’ individual races, respectively.
But it was Fiore and his teammates that made the biggest impact for the Flying L’s team at Markham Park on Thursday.
Fiore’s winning time of 16:08.42 was followed by teammates Humberto Ramirez (16:44.26) and Aiden Breslin (16:45.90). Fort Lauderdale had the top three times as the Flying L’s finished on top with 52 points.
St. Thomas was second with 59 points and Dillard third with 62 points. It was the first time in school history Fort Lauderdale was the overall boys’ team champion.
“This has been in the back of Michaels mind all year,” Fort Lauderdale coach Joshua Fulton said. “Our kids were committed to winning this and make a statement.”
Fiore, who finished second in the meet last year, was focused on the team results rather than his individual accomplishment.
“I just wanted to win,” Fiore said. “Last year I got left around the two-mile mark, but not this year. I’m feeling better and better with every race. This win was for the school.”
Steere, who finished last year’s race in 10th place at 21:18.73 cut a little over a minute in winning Thursday event at 20:14.25. It was her best time of the 2019 cross-country season.
Winning the BCAA meet came as bit of surprise.
“I stayed behind the pack and kept telling myself I could do this,” Steere said. “I knew if I kept going and had that final last kick, I would have everything I need and would win.
“I’m a bit surprised on my finish. I started to sprint because some of the other girls slowed.”
Steere has been running cross-country since her freshman year because her dad competed in the sport along with some of her friends.
“I figured I would give it a try,” Steere said. “I still have a long way to go to the top. I know if I work hard, I can be one of the best.”
The Dillard girls won the team title, even without their top runner in Chritiana Coleman, who was out with the flu.”
Semouya Nevers (20:39.98) finished third to lead the Panthers to the championships with 35 points. Cardinal Gibbons was second 60 points, while St. Thomas Aquinas finished third with 69 points.
Boys Team Scores (Top 5)
1. Fort Lauderdale 52; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 59; 3. Dillard 62; 4. Douglas 143; 5. Cypress Bay 152.
Individual results (Top 15)
1. Michael Fiore (FTL) 16:08.42; 2. Humberto Ramirez (FTL) 16:44.26; 3. Aiden Breslin (FTL) 16:45.90; 4. Sage Brands (STA) 17:18.82; 5. Lucas Nolasco (CB) 17:25.14; 6. Jaleel Gelin (STA) 17:32.89; 7. Sebastian Sanchez (STA) 17:34.76; 8. Kevin Johnson (DILL) 17:38.24; 9. Joushua Gammage (DILL) 17:42.25; 10. Jorge Zapata (MSD) 17:42.60.
Girls Team Scores (Top 5)
1. Dillard 35; 2. 2. Cardinal Gibbons 60; 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 69; 4. Coral Springs 175; 5. Northeast 176.
Individual results (Top 15)
1. Summer Steere (CB) 20:14.25; 2. Samantha Kavanagh (NE) 20:22.95; 3. Semouya Nevers (DILL) 20:39.98; 4. Madison Gilman (CG) 20:46.69; 5. Haley McCloskey (STA) 20:50.63; 6. Dominque Spann (DILL) 20:55.45; 7. Camille Langston (DILL) 21:00.49; 8. Emily Opalinsky (CG) 21:16.84; 9. Eriesia Coney (DILL) 21:26.57; 10. Isabella Hanna (MON) 21:31.91.