Lecanto Boys’ Cross Country Team Competes at the Mountain Dew Invitational

Sophomore Thomas Vilardi keeps up with the pack at the Mountain Dew Invitational at the University of Florida. (Photo: Lopes)

The Lecanto High School Boys’ Cross Country team competed Saturday, September 24, 2011, at the University of Florida in the annual Mountain Dew Invitational. The cross country race took place at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course. With at least 70 cross country teams participating in the event, it was the largest meet for Lecanto this year.

In the Varsity boys’ 5,000 meter event, a total of 463 runners participated. Starting on time became a huge problem because the race had many false starts.

“By the time the boys’ varsity race started, it was 9:20 and the sun was in full force,” head coach Roselle Lattin said.

The boys were already faced with a hard battle, as they were missing their number one runner, senior Chris Fernandez. More problems started piling on the boys’ team as they lost their number two runner, who was elbowed in the throat and was unable to finish the race.

The LHS boys' cross country team continued to stay strong at the meet, despite several obstacles. Coach Lattin was proud of their effort. (Photo: Lopes)

“It was unfortunate that my number one couldn’t be there and my number two was injured, but I’m proud of my third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh runner for stepping it up,” said Lattin.

The Lecanto Varsity Boys placed 53rd out of 70 teams. Freshman Sam Alford placed 256, with a time of 19:53. Freshman Colin Spain placed 280, with a time of 20:16. Sophomore Thomas Vilardi placed 328, with a time of 21:02. Junior Connor Dupler placed 329, with a time of 21:03. And senior Kyle Murray placed 390, with a time of 22:19.

“Their times were good considering the course [had many] rolling hills and [they] finished close together,” Lattin said.