Viera girls were good last year, capable of being better in ‘18


Last year's Viera High girls cross country team was historically good. This year's team has a chance to be even better.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Viera High girls cross country team

On a team full of record breakers, the Viera High girls cross country team is built for success … this year, and beyond.

“The girls are really good and they’re capable of being even better,” Hawks coach Scott Baker said. “Right now, we’re ranked No. 1 in our region and I think it’s a very realistic goal, to win regionals.”

Last year’s team featured the five fastest freshmen in school history.

That trend has continued this season as sophomore Isabella Babilonia recently broke the school record with a time of 19:30 and No. 2 runner Moriah Ross ran a 19:58 to make her the fastest junior in program history.

Other top runners include sophomores Abigail Baker, Brooke Siviter, Elena Fentress and Alayana Thurner along with freshman Danielle Contreras.

The Hawks, who won the first district title in school history last year, are ranked No. 8 in the state after being No. 19 a year ago.

Babilonia said she learned a lot from her freshman season.

“I still didn’t know what I was doing in terms of running,” she said. “I didn’t know about splits. I didn’t know about the importance of holding pace from Mile 1 to Mile 2. But now I know. That can really affect your time.”

After winning the district and regional titles last season, Babilonia would finish 72nd at the state meet, which said taught her that the big race is a “different animal.”

“There are plenty of girls that run superfast at states,” Babilonia said. “That was definitely an eye opener for me to see where I’m at. Hopefully, I can do better this year.”

Baker said Babilonia has all the makings of a Division I runner.

“The thing I like about Isabella is that she’s never satisfied,” Baker said. “That’s the ingredient I’ve seen in every single successful athlete I’ve ever coached. They always want more. And I think that’s going to be the reason why she ends up succeeding where others don’t.

“A lot of people, they get content at the level they’re at. It’s a comfort zone that they have. She never seems to be comfortable where she is. She always wants more. That’s what it takes if you want to be a Division I athlete in any sport.”