Babilonia finishes sixth in final high school cross-country race
The Viera High cross-country program enjoyed the greatest day in program history this weekend at the Class 4A state championship meet at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
Viera’s boys finished second overall and junior Michael Toppi was fifth individually for the Hawks.
Senior Isabella Babilonia, meanwhile, closed out the most decorated career by any Viera High runner with a sixth-place finish as the Hawks finished ninth in the girls standings.
Toppi, who finished the 5,000-meter course in 15:56, led a Viera team that finished just five points behind Miami’s Christopher Columbus High School. The two teams tied at last week’s Regional meet.
Junior Robbie Naberhaus was 12th in 16:14. Sophomore Cameron Raney was 19th in 16:25. Another sophomore, Aeden Rendek, finished 29th in 16:41.
Josh Ingalls, a junior, came in 46th in 16:56. Also running for Viera was senior Louis Schiffer (17:43) and junior Riley Birrup (18:47).
With so many underclassmen set to come back, 2021 could very well be the year the Hawks win what would be the first cross-country state title in school history.
For Viera’s girls, the class 4A state meet marked the end of an era.
Babilonia, who won three district titles, a regional title and was named the MileSplit National Girls Performer of the Week earlier this season, finished off her high school career by running 18:54 for her best finish at the state meet.
The senior is committed to UCF, which would make her the first girl and the second runner in Viera History, to compete at the Division I level.
Alexa Baker, who will be a preferred walk-on at UCF next year, has also had quite a career for Viera. The senior finished the course in 20:51.
Other top finishers for the Hawks included sophomore Chelsea Paglia (20:58); junior Danielle Contreras (20:59); senior Allison Gerrits (21:18); senior Julia Svartstrom (22:01) and sophomore Isabella Narvaez (22:16).