2017 Buffalo Invitational Boys Preview
With the state still recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, many of this weekend’s scheduled cross country races have been canceled or postponed. Luckily, The Villages have decided to run their home meet as planned and have attracted some of the best teams and individuals in the state of Florida.
Vanguard: The Knights have shown they are one of the elite teams in Florida this year after placing 2nd to Bolles at the Spikes and Spurs and 3rd to Bolles and Satellite at Bale -N- Trail. The guys from Ocala have the top #4 runner in the state by time, but are in desperate need of help at #5. On paper, by times, they are the top ranked team in 3A. They will need a lot of help from their 5-7 if they hope to stay that way through November.
Chiles: Chiles returned 5 of their top 7 runners from last year’s 3A Runner-Up team. Lead by a strong 1-2 punch in Michael Phillips and Matthew Newland and the addition of transfer Clayburn Milford, the team will see what they have as they face their first true test this weekend. After winning both meets they have run this season, it is hard to say if their times are indicative of their fitness. On paper they are the 2nd best team going into the Buffalo Invitational, but they have yet to be tested.
Lake Highland Prep: Lake Highland Prep should be in the top 3 as the other team in the hunt. LHP doesn’t have the strength up front, but benefits from tight pack of 5 whose spread has been under 45 seconds both times they have raced this season. LHP has a deep group of guys, having 13 runners who have broken 19:00 for 5k. They will need to develop a front runner if they hope to be competitive in 2A this November with the likes of Bolles, Trinity Prep, and Satellite.
Others to watch out for: Sunlake HS
Joey Fitzpatrick (Vanguard) – Joey opened the season with a win at the Spikes and Spurs Classic in a PR time of 15:31.He followed that up by finishing 3rd at the very soggy Bale- N- Trail with a time of 15:39. On Saturday we will see how Joey stacks up against last year’s 3A State Champion, Michael Phillips.
Matthew Newland (Chiles) – Part of a very strong 1-2 punch for Chiles, Newland placed 6th at the 3A state meet last year and is the number 4 returning runner in 3a this year. Newland has placed 2nd in both meets he has run this year with times of 16:52 and 16:19. Newland should be able to squeak out a fast time on Saturday as he will have Diego Lavieri-Sosa on his heels.
Others to watch for: Justin Greene, Diego Lavieri-Sosa, Robert Nowak, Raul Reyna