Newcomers lead cross-country into season

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Jaime Gutierrez – Mustangs Ahead

Sports(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The Mustangs cross country teams began their season last Saturday at the Jim Ryun Invitational Holloway Park in Lakeland.

The meet has a reputation of being one of the most difficult tracks to run.

Junior cross-country runner Gavin Laielli said, “This was one of the hardest courses I have ever raced; there were many sand dunes, hills, and with the extreme heat you really had to be at your best to run this course.”

The Mustangs raced in the heat and humidity and on top of that the course was 100 meters longer than intended.

For the girls sophomore Jessica Neal led the Mustangs, finishing second overall in the girls’ varsity race, with a time of 19:37.50. The Mustangs finished third in team scoring; their score was 122.

For the boys, junior Jaime Gutierrez led the boys, placing 56th in the varsity race with a time of 19:25.80.

Both leaders are from out of state got their first taste of Florida racing.

The results of both varsity teams are as follows:

Girls –

  1. Jessica Neal 19:37.50
  2. Aurora Melzer 20:32.10
  3. Emma Paliotta 21:53.80
  4. Sydney Granack 22:48.70
  5. Tamlyn Leatt 23:31.10.

Boys –

  1. Jaime Gutierrez 19:25.80
  2. Tanner Toler 19:39.40
  3. Clay Brown 20:59.70
  4. Timothy Bellaire 23:08.40
  5. Cooper Ross 23:19.90.

Cross country’s next meet is the Canes Classic scheduled for 7:30 a.m on Labor Day, Sept. 2 at G.T Bray Park in Bradenton.

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