With teams traveling from all over the state, the FSU Invite might prove to be one of the most competitive races in the state this year. Many of the top teams are scheduled to compete, so were are going to do a quick look at what we can expect.
Boys Team Race
1) Belen Jesuit
Belen is registered, and if they compete we believe they are the team to beat. As last year’s private school champions at FLYRA, they return a stable of runners who were part of the scoring team. The only reason I say “if they compete” is they have been known to run their middle school team in the sub-elite high school races.
2) Ocala Distance Project
The Ocala Distance Project has been on a tear this season with a runner-up finishes at both the Florida Horse Park Invite and the Katie Caples Invitational. They also have a team win at the Lecanto Invitational. They have a strong top 3, in Collin Moore, Alex Lammens and Jacob Rogers, but will be searching for depth as they go into the postseason.
3) Hillsborough Harriers
The Harriers were the 4th place team at the Florida Horse Park Invite. They went on to win the St. Leo Abbey Invitational. Their strength as a team is their 5-second gap between runners 1 and 5.
Teams to Watch
Red Sea Running Club , ERYRC
Girls Team Race
1)Red Sea Running Club
These girls are in the driver’s seat by virtue of a strong #1 in Cheyenne Thomas. They have been dominant all season with multiple team wins. The only two teams to beat them this season were No Excuses and the Ocala Distance Project. This should not be the case as the races get bigger, as they will essentially be scoring only 4 runners if Thomas is able to get that coveted 1 pt.
2) Red Hills Running Club
It is a little more difficult to say where these girls belong as they look to be a Tallahassee all-star team. They do have Sikes as their top runner and a bunch of other girls that have gone sub 12:30 so far this season.
3) Ocala Distance Project
This is a young team full of 5th and 6th graders. They are led by 6th grader Lyla Hallick who ran an impressive 11:53 at the Katie Caples Invitational. They put their top 5 runners in the top 22 places at that race and were only bested by the FLYRA state favorites, No Excuses.