Question: What do the 2 most dominant high school boys programs of the last 10 years have in common?
Answer: Extremely successful middle school feeder programs.
If you look at the high school teams at both Belen Jesuit and Bolles, you’ll see that the majority of their varsity teams have experience running FLYRA back in the elementary and middle school years. As high schoolers, both programs have won multiple state titles and each has been nationally ranked.
In tomorrow’s race, we will see the young Wolverines and Bulldogs fight to make history of their own. Belen will be going for 4 in a row, while Bolles will be looking to overthrow the current kings.
The Favorites: Belen Jesuit
Belen Jesuit currently has a 3-year win streak and will be going for title number 4. They will be without 8th grade sensation and defending champion, Marcelo Mantecon, as he ran in the high school region this week and will be looking to help the older Wolverines bring home a championship at ARP. Don’t worry for Belen as they have a slew of guys hungry for the title. The runner-up from last year, Armondo Cruz , has run 10:03 this season and appears to be a favorite to take home the individual honors. The boys from Miami have 5 guys who have run under 10:40 this year. The only other team in the state that I believe could compete with them are the Red Hills Running Club from Tallahassee.
Top Contendors: Bolles
One thing I have learned from years of running and coaching, is you don’t count out the underdog. The boys from Jacksonville have 5 guys who have run 11:10 or faster. With a few PRs, they are in the conversation with their rivals to the south. They are led by 10:39 guy, Aidan Chandler.
Palmer Trinity and Episcopal are both hard to accurately place as both have runners who compete for both the middle and high school teams. The top boy for Palmer Trinity, Camilo Herrerra, has run 18:01 for 5k this season. The top boy for Episcopal, Rick Schulz, has run 17:49. With times like these, it is easy to believe they are faster than their 3k PRs might predict.