St. Thomas XC Girls and Boys Head To State
November 10, 2012St. Thomas Aquinas High School
St. Thomas girls, boys cross country teams sweep regional, head to state
Raiders girls in good spot to win first state title
1:20 p.m. EST, November 10, 2012
BOCA RATON – The elusive state title that the St. Thomas Aquinas girls cross country program has been chasing for several years might be within grasp this year.
The Raiders, led by freshman Alexa Cruz, certainly showed they will be a team to reckon with at next weekend's state championships in Tallahassee by running away with the girls team title Saturday at the Class 4A-Region 3 meet at South County Regional Park.
Aquinas placed its top five girls among the top seven finishers, tallying 21 points, only six short of a perfect score. Runner-up Spanish River had 82 points.
"Ever since we walked away with nothing at state last year, we've been focused on winning the state title," Aquinas coach Trish Butler said, referring to the Raiders' third-place finish at the 2011 state meet. "They've been coming off some great workouts. We've been ranked No. 1 all season (by Flrunners.com), but it's how we do next week that counts. But this by far is the best girls team we've had."
Cruz said that she "just wanted to PR" Saturday. She attained that goal and more, winning the girls 5K race in 18 minutes, 9.24 seconds, more than 18 seconds ahead of teammate Christina Kalis, who was second in 18:27.29.
"It's a good encouragement booster for state," said Cruz, still flashing a big smile several minutes after breaking the tape at the finish line.
St. Thomas Aquinas made it a Raiders sweep by also capturing the boys team title with 55 points, 39 points better than runner-up John I. Leonard. Aquinas placed its top five runners among the top 19 scorers, led by Matthew Baglieri, who finished fifth in 16:16.63.
"The boys are killing last year's times," Butler said.
Coral Glades junior Anthony Deleva used a strong final kick to overtake Sal Medrano of John I. Leonard and win the boys race in 15:48.77. Medrano, who led until Deleva passed him on the final hill about 700 yards from the finish, was runner-up in 15:53.25.
"I really wanted to win this race," a jubilant Deleva said after shattering his personal record by 27 seconds. "The whole race I was trailing [Medrano] by about two seconds until I got to the hill. I was waiting for the right time. This definitely is my biggest win."
The top six teams and top 15 individuals qualified for the Class 4A state meet next Saturday at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
Cypress Bay (fourth) and Douglas (sixth by one point) will join St. Thomas Aquinas as the Broward girls team representatives at the state championships. Douglas (fourth) and Coral Springs (sixth) also earned a trip to state along with the Aquinas boys.
REGION 3-4A MEET
At South County Regional Park, West Boca Raton
Team scores (top 10): 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 21; 2. Spanish River 82; 3. Park Vista 93; 4. Cypress Bay 126; 5. Dwyer 152; 6. Douglas 176; 7. Palm Beach Central 177; 8. Boca Raton 192; 9. Jupiter 221; 10. Coral Springs 232.
Individual (top 15): 1. Alexa Cruz (STA) 18:09.24; 2. Christina Kalis (STA) 18:27.29; 3. Ellyn Snider (SR) 18:36.28; 4. Katherine MacNeal (CB) 18:38.37; 5. Megan Schloss (STA) 18:47.23; 6. Marina Braynon-Moore 18:54.82; 7. Brianna Rischar (STA) 18:57.23; 8. Catherine Vianale (SR) 19:25.10; 9. Jade Fungquee (MON) 19:31.04; 10. Lauren Castillo (PBC) 19:48.31; 11. Kaley Doyle (PV) 19:48.78; 12. Olivia Nicholson (BR) 19:52.96; 13. Amber Pearce (JUP) 19:54.16; 14. Lily Kloepfer (STA) 19:58.05; 15. Stephanie Musinsky (SR) 19:59.79.
Team scores (top 10): 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 55; 2. John I. Leonard 94; 3. Park Vista 109; 4. Douglas 118; 5. Spanish River 150; 6. Coral Springs 191; 7. Boca Raton 213; 8. Boyd Anderson 246; 9. Flanagan 251; 10. Cooper City 252.
Individual (top 15): 1. Anthony Deleva (CG) 15:48.77; 2. Sal Medrano (JIL) 15:53.25; 3. Caleb Rader (SR) 16:08.26; 4. Charlie Bengston (JIL) 16:14.01; 5. Matthew Butler (STA) 16:16.63; 6. Francisco Baglieri (MON) 16:22.23; 7. William Fay (ATL) 16:23.82; 8. Nassor Whitehead (CC) 16:25.36; 9. Joel Lacy (SPLAN) 16:25.65; 10. Tyler Bell (CS) 16:26.25; 11. Blake Kanarek (SEMR) 16:27.34; 12. Antony Cruz (STA) 16:28.10; 13. Tim Smale (PBC) 16:30.16; 14. Avonte Boykins (FLAN) 16:31.62; 15. Alex Haugen (STA) 16:32.78.