Bright and early Saturday morning as the bells ring out, dozens of female runners line up at the starting line awaiting the start of the Tri-County Cross Country Championship. Loads of by-watchers are littered throughout the stands and behind the fences, hoping to catch a glimpse of the take-off. Then the bang rings out, and they’re off. IMG, Lakewood Ranch and Charlotte High School, breeze by their fellow 186 runners taking the run by storm.
Nearby, the boys cross country team warms up with shorter, more relaxed runs around the parking lot and the track, while North Port’s very own settles on running around the school.
Among North Port girls cross country team, top finishers included Brenda Smith and Grace Thomas.
35 minutes later, the boys repeat the same routine, nearly to the tee.
Evan Crain, a sophomore, is the second North Port High runner to finish, only behind Joseph Smith, a varsity track and cross country runner who finishes 13th. Crain, although breaking his personal record by 14 seconds this meet, and improving his overall time by a minute, he believes that the season could have been much better, had corona not happened. “[Corona] made us worse because there was not enough time to condition and some people couldn’t make it to practice.” He comments. Despite that, there were 7 new PRs for boys such as Joseph Smith, Nico Rodriguez, Jeremiah Valverde, and Justin Ramirez.
The boys also placed 3rd overall for the Tri-County championship, and 2nd in County.
Later after the meet, several schools in the county celebrated Senior Day, where many were showered with gifts and posters. This year our seniors included:
Overall, there was many celebrations with lots of dancing (and rapping) from Nicard Labossiere, photos with trophies and lots of smiles.
Both the boys and girls cross country teams will participate in Districts on October 31st.