Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
TALLAHASSEE | Belen Jesuit continued its winning tradition in cross country, racking up its sixth consecutive state championship – something never done before – on the way to its record-breaking 14th title.
Belen won Nov. 5, 2022, the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A State Cross Country Championships, held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, with a combined score of 34. The second-place team, Fort Myers, finished with a combined score of 125.
In cross country, the team receiving the lowest score wins. The first five runners from each team to cross the finish line receive the points that correspond to their place: one point for first, two points for second, etc.
Belen junior Joshua Ruiz came in second place with a time of 15 minutes 37 seconds in the 5,000-meter run. Sophomore Joseph Socarras (15:51) and eighth-grader Marcelo Mantecon (15:52) came in fifth and sixth, respectively, followed by junior Joseph Ruiz (16:05) in 11th place, senior Alec Torricella (16:12) in 12th, and junior Lucas Garcia (16:17) in 14th.
Belen’s coach is Frankie Ruiz (no relation to Joshua).
St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, which competes alongside Belen in Boys Class 3A, garnered a seventh place overall with a score of 274. Senior Anthony Herrera placed 10th, finishing the race in 15:59.
In Boys’ Class 4A, Christopher Columbus High School in Miami placed second statewide, with a score of 143 and a 17th-place finisher in Alejandro Romagosa, a junior who ran the race in 16:05.
Following a school-best second-place finish last year, the girls from St. Brendan High School in Miami placed third overall in their Class 2A division, scoring 164 points. Senior Emma Hencock came in fourth place in the 5,000-meter run.
Cardinal Gibbons’ girls, in the same division, wound up in 14th place overall. Senior Emily Baldwin was their top finisher, in 49th place with a time of 20:01.
In Girls’ Class 3A, St. Thomas Aquinas came in fifth overall with a score of 227. Sophomore Grace Finneran garnered an individual fourth place, finishing the race in 18:18.
Right behind her in fifth place, finishing at 18:20, was Our Lady of Lourdes Academy’s Olivia Fraga. The Miami high school came in seventh overall with a score of 270.