Viera boys win regional cross-country championship, girls also qualify for state meet

The Viera boys and girls cross country teams are heading back to the state meet after a strong performance at the Class 4A regionals. The boys dusted the field, winning the regional championship by 80 points as senior Michael Toppi won the individual title. The girls fished fifth an are also heading to Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.

Talk about dominating a race.

The Viera High boys cross-country team placed three runners in the top four and five in the top 17 as the Hawks blew away the competition at the Class 4A, Region 3 championship meet at Austin Tindall Park in Kissimmee.

The victory puts the Viera boys into next week’s state championship meet at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee where they will have a chance to not only win the first title in program history, but also erase the memory of last season, when they finished second by just five points.

They’re not the only Hawks that will be racing for a state title, either.

That’s because the Viera girls finished fifth in their regional race on a cold, wet and windy morning and will also be making the trip north on Friday.

Senior Michael Toppi added to what has already been a phenomenal senior season by winning the individual regional championship with a time of 15:01.7.

Cameron Raney also had a big day for the Hawks. Not only did the junior finish third, but he set a new personal record by finishing in 15:44.85.

Senior Robbie Naberhaus had his best time of the season (15:57.61) and finished fourth.

Junior Aeden Rendek crossed the line in 16:21.96 for an eighth-place finish that gave the Hawks four runners in top 10.

Freshman Jack Girard placed 17th in 16:52:0. Other Viera runners included senior Joshua Ingalls (16:58.91) and senior Riley Burrup (17:42.67).

As a team the Hawks scored 29 points, easily outdistancing No. 2 Spanish River, which had 109. Melbourne finished third with 140.

Timber Creek won the girls team championship with 76 points while Viera came in with 139.

Junior Brooke Gerrits finished seventh overall with a time of 19:41.29 for the Hawks.

Junior Isabella Narvaez was 15th in 20:00.68. Other runners who scord points for Viera included junior Chelsea Paglia (21:10.29); senior Danielle Contreras (21:37.81) and freshman Maddie Helms, who once again set a new PR with a time of 21:37.99.

Viera also got a new PR from junior Isabella Schiffer (21:54.27) while junior Trinity Trett came across in 22:32.07.

“We had one goal this week and that was to make it out of the region,” Viera cross-country coach Samantha Gerrits wrote in an email.

“Both teams did just that. We've been looking forward to the state meet since June. I'm thrilled to have all of them make it and I can't wait to see them perform one last time.”