FLYRA XC MS State Championship


Over 1,500 runners from Florida convened in Lakeland Friday and Saturday for the FLYRA Middle School State Cross Country Championships.  Nine Harriers competed with the top runners in the state during the elite 3k championship races and several Harriers participated in the open 3k and 2k races.  In the Girls 3k Championship race, Eliana Black finished in 7th place, the top 5th grader in the state with a PR of 11:13.73.


It was a marvelous finish to the xc season for the Hillsborough Harriers, who will spend the winter months training for Gasparilla races in February and the Spring track season.

Results (Place/Name/Time):
Girls Championship 3k
7 Eliana Black 11:13.73*
118 Nicole Oliveira 13:03.41

Boys Championship 3k
55 Chase Thurber 11:09.75*
65 Liam Ballard 11:13.89
70 Daniel Casey 11:16.37
115 Oscar Brown 11:33.00
135 Carson Caplinger 11:40.15
136 Jack Garcy 11:40.19*
167 Karsyn Darst 11:56.62

Girls Open 3k
8 Katelin Wilcox 12:39.36*
176 Alli Laffler 15:38.35
202 Carly Henry 16:34.71
239 Fay Brooks 18:04.02

Boys Open 3k
215 Elijah Landers 15:04.12

Girls Elementary 2k
12 Ainsley Aeschleman 9:18.68
39 Meaghan Ballard 10:58.50

Boys Elementary 2k
39 Colin Fargher 9:02.24
67 Brodie Christensen 9:42.32
84 Nadav Egosi 10:02.42
89 Paxton Hawkins 10:12.60
123 Gabriel Santos 11:57.80

* Top 25 Harriers XC Times

Oscar Brown and Eliana Black, both the top 5th graders in the state in the middle school cross country 3k championship races, will be representing the Harriers in Knoxville, Tennessee in December for the AAU National XC Championships.  Go Elli and Oscar!


Best in the Bay


Bay Area Middle School Champions

The Hillsborough Harriers Boys Team came in first place at the Bay Area Middle School Championship on Saturday.  In a field of over 200 runners, seven boys were awarded Top Twenty medals.

Boys Results: (Place/Name/Time)
8 Daniel Casey 11:33.0#
9 Oscar Brown 11:35.8*#
11 Liam Ballard 11:38.6#
13 Jack Garcy 11:45.6*#
15 Carson Caplinger 11:50.5#
18 Ricardo Gonzalez 11:53.8#
20 Brennan Fargher 11:56.8#
21 Karsyn Darst 11:57.9
26 Kameron Bass 12:15.4
28 Cooper Chesser 12:21.7
117 Elijah Landers 14:50.5
131 Brodie Christensen 15:11.7
144 Nadav Egosi 15:45.4
* Top 25 Harriers XC Times
# Qualified for State Championship


Eliana Black held on to the lead, winning the race in 11:57.4.  The Girls Team won 5th place overall, with two girls receiving Top Twenty medals. 

Girls Results: (Place/Name/Time)
1 Eliana Black 11:57.4#
4 Nicole Oliveira 12:33.4*#
41 Katelin Wilcox 14:21.1
64 Alli Laffler 15:41.9
82 Ainsley Aeschleman 16:42.1
95 Meaghan Ballard 17:37.5
96 Carly Henry 17:41.4
110 Fay Brooks 18:52.2
* Top 25 Harriers XC Times 
# Qualified for State Championship

Next week the Harriers will race at the FLYRA Nature Coast State Qualifier in Lecanto.

FLYRA State Championship

Anna Breede represented the Hillsborough Harriers at the FLYRA Middle School State Championship on May 12th at IMG Stadium in Bradenton.  She placed 6th overall in the Girls 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:25.10.



3rd-5th grade Harriers ran the 1500 meter and 800 meter events as part of the Elementary Showcase.  The younger Harriers won three Top 10 spots in the four events.


Results: (Place/Name/Time)

Middle School:
Girls 800 Meter Run
6 Anna Breede 2:25.10
Elementary School:
Girls 800 Meter Run
8 Eliana Black 2:39.94
25 Alli Laffler 3:09.11
29 Meaghan Ballard 3:19.68
33 McKinley Cassels 3:48.04
Boys 800 Meter Run
26 Karsyn Darst 2:49.90
37 Maddux Hawkins 3:02.19
41 Oscar Brown 3:06.98
44 Nicholas Andonov 3:26.24
45 Gabriel Santos 3:55.90
Girls 1500 Meter Run
7 Eliana Black 5:29.80
18 Alli Laffler 6:16.73
19 Meaghan Ballard 6:20.24
25 McKinley Cassels 7:46.51
Boys 1500 Meter Run
7 Karsyn Darst 5:31.76
15 Kameron Bass 5:46.24
17 Oscar Brown 5:50.86
22 Maddux Hawkins 6:05.43
25 Nicholas Andonov 6:59.14
27 Gabriel Santos 7:33.98

Harriers Busy in the Off-Season

The Harriers had an amazing finish in the 2017 xc season at the FLYRA State Championship at Holloway Park in Lakeland, October 27-28.  Special congratulations to Eliana Black and Colin Fargher, State Champs!



Results (place/name/time):

Boy 3k Championship:
39 Jacob Braun 10:58.66
67 Daniel Casey 11:14.63
86 Carson Caplinger 11:26.62
170 Chase Thurber 12:08.05

Girls 3k Championship:
14 Anna Breede 11:41.63
225 Ryann McLeod 14:22.36

Boys 3k Open:
34 Cody Smith 12:08.17
71 Tyler Summers 12:38.65
141 Rahul Karpur 13:34.88
173 Liam Ballard 13:58.55
197 Michael Garcia 14:21.66

Girls 3k Open:
12 Rona Marzban 13:02.88
32 Rebekah Miller 13:34.45

Boys Grade 3-5 2k:
5 Zachary Glover 7:41.98
6 Karsyn Darst 7:46.02
11 Brock Glover 8:03.72
24 Cooper Chesser 8:32.70
34 Oscar Brown 8:46.99

Girls Grade 3-5 2k:
1 Eliana Black 8:03.60 *State Champion
13 Meaghan Ballard 9:20.32
24 Alli Laffler 9:49.83
64 McKinley Cassels 12:07.82

Boys Grade K-2 1k:
1 Colin Fargher 4:10.60 *State Champion
10 Alec Brown 4:52.40

Eliana Black represented the Harriers at the AAU National Championship in Charlotte, NC on December 2nd and placed 5th overall in the 9-year old girls division.  Way to go, Eliana!



The Harriers didn’t take much time off after cross country season, as many of them won top awards in local races such as the Wiregrass Wobble, Clearwater Turkey Trot, Flapjack 5k, Girls on the Run 5k, Ragnar Alafia, Best Damn Race, and Gasparilla.


Now the Harriers are ready for Track 2018!

Nature Coast Champs Again!

For the fourth year in a row, the Harriers boys’ team won the FLYRA Nature Coast State Qualifier, with an impressive team score of 28.


Boys' 3000m Results:
3 Jacob Braun 10:35.29
4 Daniel Casey 10:49.12
7 Carson Caplinger 11:04.05
13 Zachary Glover 11:29.65
14 Karsyn Darst 11:30.52
16 Brennan Fargher 11:31.05
21 Oscar Brown 11:37.19
24 Tyler Summers 12:13.07
25 Arun Senthilkumaran 12:20.23
35 Rahul Karpur 12:36.12
57 Michael Garcia 13:44.90
65 Chase Thurber 14:07.92

Girls' 3000m Results:
6 Anna Breede 11:55.49
9 Eliana Black 12:11.62
12 Rona Marzban 12:28.77
26 Rebekah Miller 13:38.64


The boys’ elementary team also earned the title of Nature Coast Champions and the girls’ elementary team was runner-up.

Boys' 2000m Results:
2 Brock Glover 7:58.00
5 Kameron Bass 8:17.69
7 Colin Fargher 9:32.97 
9 Nicholas Andonov 9:41.26 
11 Logan Bell 10:08.07
15 Gabriel Santos 10:54.73
16 Alec Brown 10:57.44

Girls' 2000m Results:
4 Meaghan Ballard 9:04.50
6 Alli Laffler 9:41.21 
10 Arylyn Brunton 10:23.77 
15 McKinley Cassels 11:27.37 


On Friday and Saturday, the Harriers will be competing in the FLYRA Cross Country State Championships! Invitational 18

Five Hillsborough Harriers qualified for the State Championship at the Invitational 18 on Saturday, September 30th in Lakeland.  The boys’ team won 3rd place out of 26 teams and the girls’ team won 6th out of 24 teams.

Boys’ Results:
4 Jacob Braun 10:45.93 SQ
21 Daniel Casey 11:31.12 SQ
25 Carson Caplinger 11:48.36 SQ
34 Zachary Glover 12:03.42
43 Oscar Brown 12:13.08
49 Cody Smith 12:24.83
50 Tyler Summers 12:25.68
51 Arun Senthilkumaran 12:27.49
53 Brock Glover 12:29.54
57 Karsyn Darst 12:34.35
59 Brennan Fargher 12:35.80
66 Chase Thurber 12:44.18
83 Kameron Bass 13:11.04
94 Cooper Chesser 13:23.51
105 Rahul Karpur 13:34.87
116 Ricardo Gonzalez 13:56.09
132 Liam Maloney 14:08.22
190 Michael Garcia 15:41.97

Girls’ Results:

13 Anna Breede 12:38.66 SQ
21 Eliana Black 12:54.13 SQ
29 Rona Marzban 13:14.34
63 Rebekah Miller 14:26.23
68 Meaghan Ballard 14:33.10
69 Ryann McLeod 14:33.63
90 Alli Laffler 15:29.16
186 McKinley Cassels 19:31.29

The Harriers will be competing in the Disney Cross Country Classic on Friday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  Go Harriers!


FLYRA State Championship


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

3rd-5th 2k

K-2nd 1k

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.

Faster Times in Falling Temperatures


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.

Boys’ Results



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.

Girls’ Results

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.

PR’s in the Pouring Rain


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!