Twofold Triumph in Gasparilla Distance Classic for Ellie Pleune

Every year, Tampa’s premier distance running event, the Gasparilla Distance Classic, falls on a February weekend.  For competitive middle school runners, it is after cross country season, but before the official start of track season.  Harrier Ellie Pleune used her time between seasons to train for the elite Gasparilla racing event, putting in mileage of up to 30 miles per week (Times, 2017).  Her efforts paid off, making her the youngest to win in the race’s 40 year history.  Pleune competed in two of the weekend’s four events, winning the overall female title in both the 5k and the 8k (Times, 2017).


Ellie Pleune (right) poses with runner-up and former Harrier teammate, Lydia Friedman (center) and 4th place runner Alexandra Perri (left) after the 5k.

The Hillsborough Harriers had 20 current members running in either the 5k or 8k during Gasparilla weekend and a multitude of former Harriers, parents, siblings and coaches.

5k Results from Saturday, February 25, 2017:

11-14 yrs (male):

  • Carson Caplinger 21:05, 11th
  • Ryan Campbell 21:22, 12th

15-19 yrs & 11-14(female):

  • Ellie Pleune 18:14, 1st
  • Jacquelyn Abanses, 19:44, 6th
  • Tabitha Suggs 24:29, 8th

10&under (male):

  • Zach Glover 21:17, 3rd
  • Brennan Fargher 21:20, 4th
  • Brock Glover 21:53, 8th
  • Cooper Chesser 22:51, 10th
  • Joaquin Abanses 23:03, 12th
  • Liam Maloney 25:05, 19th
  • Colin Maloney 27:07, 23rd

10&under (female):

  • Meaghan Ballard 24:21, 2nd

8k Results from Sunday, February 26, 2017:

11-14 yrs (male):

  • Zach Harrigan 31:23, 2nd
  • Will Connery 33:53, 3rd
  • Wyatt Bedke 35:32, 6th
  • Carson Caplinger 35:56, 7th


  • Ellie Pleune 31:13, 1st
  • Anna Breede 42:33, 4th

10&under (male):

  • Oscar Brown 33:27, 1st
  • Kameron Bass 39:44, 4th

10&under (female):

  • Madelyn Pleune 44:11, 2nd


The start of the 8k race, which had over 5,400 participants.


Oscar Brown and Zach Harrigan pose at the start of the 8k. Oscar (9) won the 10 & under title with the fastest time for that age category since the distance was added.

It runs in the family:  Anna Breede poses with her dad after the 8k.  Carson Caplinger poses with his dad, Harriers Coach Brian, after the 8k.