The FLYRA Middle School State Track and Field Championships are just around the corner, and all eyes are on the highly competitive 3k event. This year’s lineup boasts some of the most talented middle school distance runners in Florida history, with Marcelo Mantecon leading the pack as the number one 8th grader in the nation.

Mantecon has already established himself as the most accomplished middle school distance athlete in Florida history, with an impressive 2022 season that saw him win the 3k in a time of 9:25. He recently clocked an astonishing 9:14 at the 3A Region 4 track meet, which converts to an 8:36 for the 3k. With this kind of performance, Mantecon is poised to make a significant impact at the FLYRA Middle School State Championships.

His teammate, Armando Cruz, isn’t far behind. Cruz was crowned the 2022 FLYRA Private School Cross Country State Champion after winning the 3k in 9:37. Coming off a recent 9:46 finish, Cruz is expected to be hot on Mantecon’s heels, making the race even more thrilling to watch.

Aside from Mantecon and Cruz, the top eight seeded runners are also a force to be reckoned with. The list includes Skylar Manatt, Sean Cunningham, Luke Ross, Aiden Germain, Tyson Manley, and Rick Schultz. These young athletes have consistently proven their abilities on the track and are sure to put up a strong fight at the state championships.

As the meet approaches, anticipation is building around Mantecon’s potential to break records and further solidify his status as the top middle school distance runner. His performance will undoubtedly inspire his fellow competitors, including Cruz, to push themselves to new heights.

The FLYRA Middle School State Track and Field Championships promise to be an unforgettable event, with the 3k race taking center stage. Fans and spectators can expect a fierce battle between these talented athletes as they vie for the title and strive to make their mark on Florida’s middle school distance running history.