The Hillsborough Harriers made a strong impact at the Elementary races on Friday and the Middle School races on Saturday at Holloway Park in Lakeland for the FLYRA State Meet.
Boys MS 3k Championship
Girls MS 3k Championship
Boys Open 3k
Girls Open 3k
Notable finishes in the Championship races included Ellie Pleune (11:19, 4th overall), Jacquelyn Abanses (11:22, 5th overall) and Zach Harrigan (10:14, PR, 4th overall). The runners overcame some difficult course conditions including temperatures reaching into the 80’s and the addition of sand to the course trails.
“They put a lot of sand on the course,” observed Pleune.
“It was tough…they definitely added sand,” Harrigan remarked.
The Harriers were not eligible for a team award.
“At the State Meet, only school teams (that is, teams that are made up of runners who all attend the same school, regardless of whether or not the school officially sponsors the team) are eligible for the team title,” former Harriers Coach Don Bly explained.
Saturday marked the end of the 2016 cross country season, although some Harriers will continue into post-season AAU cross country, with a qualifier race November 12th and National Championships in Tallahassee December 3rd. Stay tuned.
The Hillsborough Harriers Boys’ Team won 1st place at the 3rd Annual Nature Coast MS State XC Qualifier in Lecanto on Saturday. With a tie of 32 points between the Harriers and Tavares Middle School, the championship was decided by the place of each team’s 6th runner. Harrier Bryce Krueger beat Tavares’ 6th runner by 3 seconds to break the tie. Zach Harrigan and Ethan Bhatt of the Harriers won first and second place with new PR’s of 10:27 and 10:30 in the 3k race, respectively. Both boys agreed that the colder weather contributed to their success.
“I felt like I had more energy,” said Bhatt about going into the woods after the one mile mark.
When asked about his racing strategy, Harrigan replied, “I was sticking behind the leader (and then) I took off with 400 meters to go to the finish.”
Harriers Will Connery and Daniel Casey also secured top 10 finishes with new PR’s.
The girls’ team was second place overall, trailing by a mere 12 points and a team average time only seven seconds off the leaders. Harriers Jacquelyn Abanses and Ellie Pleune were 2nd and 3rd place overall with new PR’s of 10:56 and 11:03. Teammates Moriah Friedman and Lindie Mayer earned top 10 spots and new PR’s as well.
The Junior Harriers prevailed in the Elementary 2k race, with 6 boys and 4 girls earning top 10 spots. Elementary Mixed 2k Results
This weekend, the Harriers will be racing in the FLYRA Middle School State Championship at Holloway Park in Lakeland to close out the season. The Elementary 2k is on Friday, October 28th and the Middle School 3k is on Saturday, October 29th.
The Harriers welcomed wet weather on Saturday as they hosted the Bay Area Middle School Cross Country Championships at Carrollwood Village Millennium Park in Tampa. After the cancellation of the Disney meet the week prior due to Hurricane Matthew, the runners were poised and ready to fight for the title of Best in the Bay Area. Spectators lined the course in ponchos while shouting for the athletes from under their umbrellas. Even though the runners had to contend with thick, wet grass and puddles, the rain boosted their energy with 23 Harriers earning new personal records.
“It felt good…it was cool and a nice temperature,” said girls’ race winner, Jacquelyn Abanses who completed the 3k in 11:08.
The girls’ team placed 2nd while competing against multiple teams from across six counties.
The boys’ team won first place to become the 2016 Bay Area Champs with Harrier Zach Harrigan (10:30, new PR) leading the pack. A few of the boys mentioned the cold and wet weather contributing to their fast times.
“I PR’d 57 seconds!” said 6th grader Aaron Cherry excitedly.
“I beat my (3k) track PR!” added teammate Oscar Brown.
Results can be found here.
There are two more meets left this season with Nature Coast on October 22nd and the State Championship meet on October 29th.
Coach Brian Caplinger exclaimed, “We are right on target for a great peak at State!”
The Junior Harriers dominated the elementary K-3 one-mile race winning 5 spots in the top 10 including first place overall winner Brock Glover in 6:56!
Harriers won 2nd and 3rd place overall (pictured with first place winner and Olympic silver medalist, Leo Manzano) at Florida’s largest xc meet, FLRunners.com Invitational 17 in Titusville today. The girls’ team won 3rd overall with an average 13:30 in the 2-mile event.
The boys’ team boasted two top 10 finishes and a 4th overall team effort with an average of 12:23 in the 2-mile.
Results are here.
Next week, the Hillsborough Harriers will compete at Disney.