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The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Cross-country gets first at Deland Invitational

Senior+runners+Gabriel+Abbate+and+Johnathan+Leon+start+the+Deland+Invitational+race.+On+Sept.+5%2C+the+boys+cross-country+team+took+first+at+the+meet.
photo by Holly Smyers
Senior runners Gabriel Abbate and Johnathan Leon start the Deland Invitational race. On Sept. 5, the boys cross-country team took first at the meet.

While most kids spent their summer on running across cruise ships or at the beach, the boys and girls cross-country teams spent their time running miles in the heat—training for their upcoming season.

On Sept. 5, the boys’ cross-country team took first place at the Deland Invitational, with a first-place finish by senior Jonathan Leon (15.50), outpacing the second-place runner by 27 seconds. The girls also had a good meet, placing fifth overall, with senior Alena Pezzoli finishing tenth (21:01).

For the boys, senior Gabriel Abbate (16:24), junior Jacob Leon (16:43) and senior Alex Madruga (16:55) finished third, fifth and seventh respectively. Out of the 20 schools at the meet, Hagerty had four runners in the top 10. 

“I’m proud that my time was a personal record by about 10 seconds,” Jacob Leon said.  “I think I could have maybe got fourth if I kicked a little bit.”

For the girls team, after Pezzoli, junior Katherine Smith (22:24) and senior Kailyn David (22:48) scored 30th and 34th place. 

Typically during races, JV and varsity run separately, however, due to absences, they both went at the same time, allowing the groups to pace with one another.

The times overall with both groups were on par with where we are for this point in the season. We were blessed with a little better weather, which always helps when it comes to race time. So, [I’m] super happy with the finishes on both sides.

— Jay Getty, athletic director.

The prep for the meet proved a challenge. Runners have to practice all summer, and push to get better time the few weeks leading up to the meet. Hurricane Idalia, however, made this much more difficult, as it took away vital practice time right before the meet. 

“I was just making sure that I could run because there was a lot of bad weather [due to] the hurricane that came. So, I just had to  find a time where I could run where I was safe,” Leon said.

 

Overall, both the boys and girls finished well, making a strong start to the season. The boys are expected to make it to states, hopefully getting in the top 10, while the girls are expected to make it to regionals, according to the goals of the coach and runners. 

“The times overall with both groups were on par with where we are for this point in the season. We were blessed with a little better weather, which always helps when it comes to race time. So, [I’m] super happy with the finishes on both sides,” athletic director Jay Getty said.

The next meet is the Astronaut Invitational, which takes place on Sept. 9.

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Holly Smyers
Holly Smyers, Staff Reporter
Holly is a sophomore at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading and ice skating.
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