Holy Trinity boys win unprecedented 4th straight cross country title; girls repeat as well


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Holy Trinity's Andrew Cacciatore, shown here winning last week's Class 1A regional championship, finished second in the state meet Saturday. He also led the Tigers to their fourth consecutive state title.

VIERA VOICE

The Holy Trinity boys cross country team accomplished something Saturday that no other team from any sport in Brevard County has ever done.

Led by senior Andrew Cacciatore’s second-place finish, the Tigers won the Class 1A state championship for the fourth year in a row.

Holy Trinity’s girls also repeated as state champions, giving the program 16 total titles – eight for the boys and eight for the girls.

“That was a monkey off our back,” Holy Trinity coach Doug Butler said. “We’ve won three in a row with the girls and three in a row with the boys before, but no team in any sport in Brevard has done four.

“We wanted to be able to be the first team to get that. … It’s not easy. Every year you get a bigger bull’s-eye on your back when you win. People want to take you down. The boys worked hard and it paid off.”

Shelby Smith finished third in 18:40 to lead the Holy Trinity girls, who scored 61 points, far out-distancing second-place Oak Hall, which had 127.

Samantha Folio was 10th in 19:29 while Maleia Storum (19:45) finished 15th, Sydney Smith placed 19th in 19:51 and Brianna Basford was 25th in 20:01. Marie Groppel (20:10) came in 32nd and Chelsea Basford placed 34th in 20:12.

“We were hoping to run a little faster, but it was 36-37 degrees at race time. The girls let that get in their head a little bit, but despite the cold weather, they did really well.

“Briana Basford had a really great race. She was our No. 5 today and she ran really well. I was really proud of her.”

While the boys crushed the competition by more than 100 points, there was a little drama at the finish as Nicholas Gonzalez of The Geneva School passed Cacciatore for second place with roughly 200 yards to go before the Holy Trinity senior re-took the spot before the finish.

“I think that motivated me to kick a little bit harder,” Cacciatore said of the late-race pass. “He’s my friend. I didn’t want to let him beat me. I just wanted to get second.”

Cacciatore finished in 15:55. Trevor Kattenburg was fifth in 16:12, Michael Wilson came 13th in 16:38 and Egan Kattenburg placed 15th in 16:43. John Cacciatore (16:53) was 18th, Charles Dickinson (17:33) finished 37th and Bryce-Austin Wahy (17:40) was 46th.

In his four years running cross country at Holy Trinity, Andrew Cacciatore has known only one thing – winning state championships.

“That’s awesome, being able to lead the guys to such an amazing feat,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been working toward for the past six months – every day at 6 in the morning.

“We’ve been working hard to try to achieve this and to be able to finally get it is just an awesome feeling.”