Cross country places first at Trinity Prep Invitational

Sophomore Gabe Abbate runs in a 5k race. The boys varsity cross country team was victorious at the Trinity Prep Invitational.

photo by Ava West

Sophomore Gabe Abbate runs in a 5k race. The boys varsity cross country team was victorious at the Trinity Prep Invitational.

The boys varsity cross country team competed at the Trinity Prep Invitational on Aug. 28, taking first place with a dominant performance by the top three runners: junior Brayden Seymour (17:01), sophomore Jonathan Leon (17:30), and sophomore Gabriel Abbate (17:51).

“I felt pretty good to come away with the team win and to set a good standard for the rest of the season,” said Seymour, who placed first in the 22 school meet.

In the first couple minutes of the 5k run, Seymour and Leon broke out to the front of the pack. Right behind them, Abbate, came in fifth.

Despite the victory, Seymour was not satisfied. “I met one of my goals which was to win the race, whereas the other was to PR which I did not meet,” said Seymour.

Coach Jay Getty led the team to the victory this weekend. “Our only goal was to get a solid run in to get the year started,” Getty said, “and with the top three finishing in the top five, that was a benefit. Our fourth and fifth ran well, but will need to close the gap in future races.” 

The team came into the race prepared and focused.

“Overall our team performed well today and it was really just good to get a race under our belts,” said Abbate.

As the first meet of the season, a lot of preparation was needed. “Preparing for the meet starts at the beginning of the week, from getting enough sleep, to letting your body recover, and drinking lots of water to make sure you are hydrated to run on a hot and sunny day,” said Seymour.

As for the course, the conditions were sub-par. The course was a 5k run which consisted of straight away, turns and circles. Unlike most courses, it was two laps. Also, the course turned out to be muddy in the morning due to the rain the night before.

“My mindset going into the race was to get out there and place well, the course was in very bad condition making it feel impossible to run a good time,” said Leon.

Staying focused on the race and not the pain is important for almost all runners and they tend to use different techniques to focus.

“To keep my mind off the pain, I sing songs with my hands in sign language,” Seymour said.

Overall, the team went in with high expectations and good preparation, and ended up coming out on top, with a strong start to their season. 

Their next meet will be Sept. 4 at the Deland Invitational with the first race starting at 7 a.m. Tickets are available for purchase at