Viera cross country teams heading to Class 4A state meet

Holy Trinity girls also qualify in Class 1A


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Viera High's Michael Toppi ran 16:12 at the Class 4A, Region 3 race over the weekend. Toppi's sixth-place finish helped the Hawks finish third overall and advance to the state meet. The Viera and Holy Trinity girls teams also qualified for the state meet.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera High boys and girls cross country teams are heading to the state meet.

Sophomore Michael Toppi finished sixth to lead a boys team that not only finished third overall in the Class 4A, Region 3 race in Boca Raton, but also broke their school record for the average time of their top five runners.

Viera’s girls, meanwhile, finished eighth in the team standings with junior Isabella Babilonia coming in fourth.

The state meet is scheduled for Saturday at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. The 4A girls race is at 7:55 a.m., while the boys are set to start at 8:45.

Toppi, who was hoping to run a 16:15 at last week’s district meet (he ran 16:32), got that and more in his regional 5K race at South County Regional Park.

The sophomore ran a 16:12, knocking 20 seconds off his district time and helping the Hawks finish within 16 points of second-place Dr. Phillips.

Senior Coby Karl finished 18th for Viera in 16:42. Sophomore Robbie Naberhaus was 24th in 16:49 and right behind him was freshman Cameron Raney, who timed in at 16:51.

Senior Bryan Baker was Viera’s fifth-highest finisher, completing the course in 17:27.

Other top finishers for the Hawks were junior Louis Schiffer (17:58) and sophomore Joshua Ingalls (18:21).

The average time for Viera’s top five finishers was 16:42, which knocked seven seconds off their previous school-record low average.

On the girls side, Babilonia -- who returned to action last month after recovering from an injury -- finished in 19:23 to lead the Hawks, who got several key performances on their way to qualifying for the stat meet.

Freshman Chelsea Paglia (21:00) and junior Julia Svartstrom (21:03) came in 42nd and 43rd.

Sophomore Danielle Contreras was Viera’s fourth runner across the line, coming in at 21:25. Junior Elena Fentress (21:31) closed out the scoring for Viera.

Other key runners for the Hawks included a pair of freshmen – Gabriela Shenbaum (22:12) and Isabella Narvaez (22:22).

It was the first full race back for Narvaez, Viera’s No. 2 runner, who was injured in the Cape Coast Conference meet.

Holy Trinity girls advance in Class 1A

A young Holy Trinity girls team continued to have an impressive season, finishing fifth in the Class 1A, Region 2 race at Holloway Park in Lakeland.

Eighth-grader Ivy Knight finished 19th with a time of 20:48 while eighth-grader Braelyn Wahy came in two spots later in 20:52.

Seventh-grader Ava Knight was 26th in 21:10. Senior Charlotte Varnes crossed the line 32nd in 21:49 and seventh-grader Natalie Morris was Holy Trinity’s fifth runner with a time of 22:10.

Other key runners for the Tigers were eighth-grader Sophia Weiner (22:30) and seventh-grader Valentina Velarde (23:02).

Season ends for Holy Trinity boys

Junior Matt Allen was the top finisher for the Holy Trinity boys, finishing 75th in 20:22.

Sophomore Will Bell was next in 21:06 while freshman Cassidy Werder posted a time of 21:15. Seventh-grader Zackery Gunderson crossed the line in 21:44 and sophomore Jack Riggs came in at 21:45.

Up next for the Tigers were two seventh graders – Finley Werder (22:13) and Thomas McHenry (23:50).