King Shines, Foley Leads Leopards to Title
BROOKSVILLE — Rayna King took home a runner-up medal Monday at McKethan Park with Hernando County’s fastest time, but it was the Citrus Lady Hurricanes who ran past the field to take home the Hernando-Citrus Invitational.
Jillian Felton claimed the individual title with a time of 19:43.82, 40 seconds ahead of Central’s King (20:24.32) and almost a minute ahead of third place Kaitie Van Cleef of Lecanto.
“I wasn’t sure if (King) went out too fast.” Bears head coach Elizabeth McGeehan said. “She was about 15 seconds quicker at the two mile. She was really excited to run today.”
King, who was disappointed in the cancellation of school and practice due to Hurricane Matthew, ran on her own during the cancellation.
“She worked out on her own.” McGeehan said. “Props to her for doing the extra stuff, she knew Jillian would win but she has closed the gap in between them, King knows she has to hang with her if she wants to advance out of the district.”
Hurricane Matthew may have delayed the meet, but Monday the Lady Hurricanes, paced by Felton were able to secure a first place team finish, beating Lecanto 55-62.
“I was really excited I wanted to break out of the twenties.” Felton said. “That was the goal, I felt good and I liked the course a lot. Running against the clock is something I’ve always struggled with but it happened today.”
Behind Felton were teammates Grace Tyler (5th), Nicole Ervin (13th), Olivia Rogers (19th) and Hillary Schmidt (20th).
“The goal was to come in to win.” Citrus head coach Roselle Lattin said. “Many of these teams are in our district. Nature Coast has a solid team, and that is someone we will have to think about a little more strategic for the district meet.”
Provoking that strategic way of thinking were the Lady Sharks from Nature Coast who finished third with a team score of 67 points.
Using a pack running mentality, the Sharks were able to place four runners in the top 10 positions.
“Anytime you have four runners place before other teams are having their third runner cross you have an opportunity to do well.” Sharks head coach Nikki Pierce said. “We have to keep training hard and prepare for the district meet next week.”
Leah Marville (20:56.49) was the first Lady Shark to cross the line taking home fifth place, followed by Emily Escamilla in seventh, Kiera Barbee in eighth, and Aliyah Dipalma who finished in tenth.
Lecanto finished a close second paced by a third-place individual finish from Van Cleef, who finished with a time of 20:45.01. Ellen Farnsworth finished sixth, followed by Anna Buettner (15th), Rebekah Paprzycki (18th), Julia Javier (24th), Sydney Roessler (28th) and Ishana Maharaj (34th).
For the boys, Trevor Foley paced the day and the eventual champion Leopards, behind a course record of 15:26.90, nearly 30 seconds quicker than Ben Martucci’s old 15:55.00 mark.
Hernando would place two runners in the top-10 and two more in the top-20 behind Foley, as teammates Ryan Bell and Ross Stalcup took fifth and sixth places respectively. Wesley Wilson (18:28.91)and Seth Wilson (18:40.32) would finish 16th and 18th allowing the Leopards to celebrate a victory before most of the other teams had a third runner cross the line.
Lecanto, Citrus and Crystal River would settle for second through fourth place behind the Leopards, but all three schools had multiple top-20 runners, with the Panthers and Hurricanes placing multiple runners in the top 10.
Jacob Hensley of Citrus placed second with a time of 16:07.56, almost a minute ahead of the Lecanto duo of Mackenzie Woods (16:52.71) and Sean Murray (16:57.72) who took third and fourth.
“You have to realize they are working as hard or harder than you,” Hensley said. “I’m putting in eight- to 10-mile days, a lot of hard speed work. I have to work on when you get to the end of the workouts pushing through it.”
Hensley, who is friends with Foley, admit the two push each other to compete harder.
“Foley paced me out for the first mile or so, and we went about five minutes for the first mile. I had to dig deep today and I felt it in my stomach going all out today,” Hensley said. “I had to push myself today and (Foley) is one who brings out the best in me.”
The Hurricanes saw five runners finish in the top-30, four coming in behind Hensley. Teammates Ada Jones (8th), David Miller (11th), Israel Diaz (15th) and James Vanlue who finished in 28th place, rounding out the Citrus squad.
“We had a lot of personal records today.” Hensley said. “We put in a lot of hard work and the course and weather were good today.”
While the Hurricanes finished third, it was the Panthers who claimed the runner-up trophy.
Lecanto had a pair of top-5 finishers in Woods and Murray, but it was the running of Greg Buettner (7th) and Harley Richmond (10th) who’s finish secured the trophy for the Panthers.
Crystal River claimed fourth place, as the Pirates had one top-10 and three top-25 finishers.
Steven Thompson (9th), Cody Thompson (20th), Zackery Richardson (22nd) and Tyler Richardson (24th) all placed in the top-25 for the Pirates.
As the calendar flips towards the district meet, Lattin had words for her boys and girls team to put their season in perspective.
“We’ve had challenging courses all year. You have to keep the kids motivated,” Lattin said. “It’s nice to come out to a course like this where the weather and course are conducive to personal bests. It is a great confidence boost heading into districts.”
Hernando-Citrus Invitational Recap:
1. Citrus 55, 2. Lecanto 62, 3. Nature Coast 67, 4. Seven Rivers Christian 98, 5. Crystal River 125, 6. Central 137, 7. Hernando 166, No Team Scores – Springstead, Weeki Wachee
NATURE COAST (67) – 5. Leah Marville 20:56.49, 7. Emily Escamilla 21:20.22, 8. Kiera Barbee 21:25.07, 10. Aliyah Dipalma 21:37.25, 54. Kaitlyn Pierce 26:58.32, 58. Anna Phillips 27:29.67.
CENTRAL (137) – 2. Rayna King 20:24.32, 25. Isabella Mohr 23:09.17, 39. Laura Trozzo 24:59.40, 50. Gabby Trozzo 26:08.98, 75. Omer Nouran 31:00.54.
HERNANDO (166) – 16. Megan McDowell 22:21.63, 59. Catherine Cornell 27:34.53, 61. Cecelia Swain 28:08.73, 64. Halie Tilley 28:31.97, 71. Sarah Babione 29:17.42.
SPRINGSTEAD (No Team Score) – 12. Isabel Somavilla 21:47.10, 29. Toni Pandolfo 23:46.87, 46. Charlize Soares 25:46.15, 62. Madison Dileo 28:10.99,
WEEKI WACHEE (No Team Score) – 23. Lauren Stoker 23:07.76, 32. Caitlin Lewandowski 24:02.66, 52. Taylor Carbone 26:37.64.
1. Hernando 46, 2. Lecanto 51, 3. Citrus 64, 4. Crystal River 101, 5. Nature Coast 112, 6. Springstead 152, 7. Weeki Wachee 154, 8. Seven Rivers Christian 186, No Team Score – Central
HERNANDO (46) – 1. Trevor Foley 15:26.90, 5. Ryan Bell 17:35.99, 6. Ross Stalcup 17:37.15, 16. Wesley Wilson 18:28.91, 18. Seth Wilson 18:40.32, 50. Caleb Adams 21:44.83.
NATURE COAST (112) – 16. Gabriel Guillen 18:17.30, 19. Matthew Ralsky 18:43.46, 21. Leonard Iacopelli 18:52.20, 23. Zachary Gates 19:19.79, 35. Ian Escamilla 20:22.49, 36. Harrison Ryczek 20:23.07.
SPRINGSTEAD (152) – 17. William Osborn 18:39.32, 25. Ricardo Estrada 19:28..13, 31. William Marquis 19:43.63, 39. Joseph Ostroski 20:33.77, 50. Brandan Hopkins 21:01.03, 41. Noah Williamson 21:01.92, 53. Juan Canon-Garzon 22:02.15, 54. Ryan Cole 22:13.35, 64. Jerry Lee 23:13.60, 65. Noah Berlinger 23:13.82, 69. Liam O’Reilly 23:49.00, 74. John Parker 24:51.85, 79. Shivam Patel 25:L46.73.
WEEKI WACHEE (154) – 12 Anand Raghunandan 18:13.09, 13. Brandon Boggs 18:13.39, 30. Zack Parsons 19:43.02, 56. Jonathan Helm 22:24.26, 70. Isaiah Lawrence 23:55.03, 78. Josh Szewzek 25:33.16, 80. Eduardo Castro 25:50.27, 81. Austin Cloutier 26:10.62, 82. Alex Helm 26:47.63, 83. Jonathan Gramazio 26:48.82.
CENTRAL (No Team Score) – 47. Patrick Beyens 21:34.98.