‘Energized’ Babilonia sets new PR as Hawks take Class 3A, District 13 title

Baker, Ross finish second and third to give Viera a 1-2-3 finish


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Viera High sophomore Isabella Babilonia set a new PR of 19:08, beating her previous best of 19:22, while winning her second straight Class 3A, District 13 championship Saturday on her home 5K course. Viera runners finished 1-2-3 to win the team title as well.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Isabella Babilonia had a feeling this year’s Class 3A, District 13 cross country championship race might be special from the moment she woke up Saturday morning.

“Today felt different. I felt more energized,” the Viera High sophomore said. “I felt like, OK, I’m not as nervous as the rest of my races that I’ve been in. I’m going to go out and do the splits coach told me to, and that’s what I did.”

In doing so, Babilonia finished in a personal best time of 19:08, to win the individual championship for the second straight year.

Viera, which swept the top three spots, placed six runners in the top 10 and easily won its second straight district title.

Sophomore Abigail Baker finished second (20:13) for the Hawks, followed by junior Moriah Ross (20:29) and sophomore Brooke Siviter, who was sixth in 21:21.

Alexa Baker, who had missed most of the season with an injury, was seventh in 21:26 after returning to the team two weeks ago. The sophomore could play a vital role in the team’s push toward the state meet.

So, too, could sophomore Elena Fentress, who finished ninth in 21:40.

Another sophomore, Kaitlyn Thurner, came in 18th with a time of 23:19, shaving off a minute from her previous PR. Freshman Danielle Contreras was 28th in 24:55 and sophomore Brenda Lee was 38th in 26:19.

The Hawks dominated the event, with Babilonia finishing more than a full minute ahead of the field.

“There’s not a lot of people that can run PRs by themselves,” Viera coach Scott Baker said. “It was pretty special to see her run exactly the way she would have run if there were 100 people around her. That was nice to see.”

The Hawks will move on to the Class 3A, Region 4 meet next week at South Fork High School.

While the top six teams will advance to the state finals, the Hawks – ranked No. 1 in the region – are hoping to bring home what would be the first regional championship in program history.

Given the way she and her teammates ran on Saturday, Babilonia’s confidence will be high going into next week.

“I hope we can get a chance to win regionals,” she said. “We’ve known for a while that it’s possible. We all just need to get our heads in the game.

“Today was a really big confidence booster for all of us.”

Note: Team and individual photos have been posted on Twitter @CKotala..