Isabella Babilonia had already cemented her legacy as the best female distance runner in the history of Viera High School.
Now, she will go down as one of the best Brevard County has ever seen.
The Viera senior finished fourth in the 5,000 meters at the Adidas Indoor Nationals in Virginia Beach over the weekend with a time of 17:23.90.
It’s the fastest indoor 5K time in Brevard County history and the fourth-fastest time ever run in the state among high school girls.
The top six finishers in each even are considered High School All-Americans, meaning Babilonia joins a select group of Brevard County distance runners that includes Kaitlyn Shiver of Satellite (2007); Kayla Hale of Holy Trinity (2008) and Amanda Beach from MCC (2017).
“To have the fastest indoor time in Brevard County is honestly shocking to me,” Babilonia wrote in a text message. “I haven’t really processed it yet, but I’m so happy to have done it my senior year.”
Babilonia, who set the school record at 18:02.64 during cross country season, had never even run an indoor event before showing up at the Adidas Nationals.
Still, she was hoping to get a fast time competing against some of the nation’s best.
“The race was very competitive, but I knew I had a chance to place in the top six,” she wrote. “I was hoping to run in the 17:30 range, so I was definitely happy about my time and place.”
A three-time district champion who finished sixth at the Class 4A state cross country meet as a senior, Babilonia became the first female runner at Viera High to get a Division I scholarship when she signed with UCF.
“She has worked extremely hard for this moment,” Viera High cross country coach Scott Baker wrote in an email.
“She had a great cross-country season, but she’s a much better runner now after months of intense training that included steep hill sprints, an aggressive strength training program, and power development.
“Most athletes can only dream of being a High School All-American, but after four years of hard work, she can say she is one. Her performance was absolutely incredible. She attacked the race and for two miles she had a chance to be a National Champion.
“Her fourth-place finish is something she can be proud of for the rest of her life. She had a plan that started months ago and everything she did in training prepared her for her opportunity. For four years, she has taken every opportunity that has been given to her and maximized it.
“This race summed up her high school career in that she set a goal, followed an extraordinarily difficult plan, and executed it. This is what she does because this is who she is.”