In this edition of the Florida Five, we see two new comers on the list after great runs at the Wingfoot Classic and the North Port Invitational.
1 – Ana Wallace (Chiles) – It appears that the Timberwolves took the weekend off in preparation for the Alligator Lake Invitational on 9/30. Ana keeps her spot at the top as she has not yet been beaten by a Florida competitor and has run the only sub 18 this year. In her last race she beat a very good Natalie Abernathy at the Buffalo Invitational by 29 seconds, 17:56 to 18:25. Previous Rank – 1
3 – Caitlin Collier (Bolles) – Collier keeps her spot at number 3 after taking last weekend off while her teammates ran, and won, the Elite Race at the Katie Caples Invitational in Jacksonville. The reigning 2A State champion might have the best range in the country with PRs of 2:30 in the 800 and 17:41 in the 5k. Previous Rank – 3
4 – Rafaella Gibbons (Winter Park) – Gibbons enters our top 5 rankings after a great run at the Wingfoot Classic in Cartersville, Georgia. Rafaella ran an 18:05 on an extremely tough course, placing second overall in the girls championship race. As a former 4A state champion, Gibbons has the experience, the ability, and the coaching to be at the top of this list by the time cross country season is over. Previous Rank – NR
5 – Alyssa Hendrix (Riverview) – This sophomore from Riverview is starting to make a name for herself after playing 2nd fiddle to former teammate, Bailey Hertenstein, in 2016. After placing 3rd in the 4A state meet last November, Hendrix has opened her season with wins at the East Hillsborough Invitational (20:14), the Jim Ryun Invitational (18:47) and the North Port Invitational (18:03). She beat Abernathy by 24 seconds, so should be ranked second according to runner’s math. Unfortunately, Hertenstein gets the nod as the defending state champion in both cross and on the track. Previous Rank – NR
Watch List: Claire Openshaw ; Natalie Varela; Mahdere Yared; Valerie Lastra; Lillian Holtery