St. Thomas girls run away with eighth BCAA title
SUNRISE — St. Thomas Aquinas’ girls cross country team had never swept the top five places in the BCAA meet until Thursday afternoon.
Even in rebuild mode, the Raiders were led by senior Valentina House, who clocked a 19:52.92 time on the sloppy 5K course at Markham Park to help Aquinas win its eighth consecutive BCAA championship.
“I knew it was going to be between me and Bridget [Alex],” said House, who suffered from an iron deficiency during the cross country season last year and rebounded to run an 11:39 time during the 3,200-meter in track season. “I don’t win a lot, so this is great.”
Alex, also a senior and the defending champion, was second with a 20:04.41 time. Junior Nicohl Santos Torres (20:55.16), freshman Ashley Williams (21:00.58) and senior Alexis Rosa (21:00.63) rounded out the top five for the Raiders.
Cardinal Gibbons senior Gillian Gulley (21:11.27) was sixth and sophomore Madison Gilman (21:18.78) was eighth to help the Chiefs finish in second with 67 points. Coral Springs was third and Hallandale was fourth.
The St. Thomas Aquinas boys team won for the 12th consecutive time as it scored 33 points to finish ahead of runnerup Coral Springs (107). The two-time defending Class 4A state champion was led by runner-up Nicholas Rischar, a senior, who won the BCAA meet last year and was third at the Class 4A state meet.
Monarch senior Brandon Flagler won the boys title as he edged Rischar at the line with a 16:29.30 time. Rischar was second (16:29.40). “This is really big for me,” Flowers said. “I also had to run past a semi-tractor trailer truck on the course and we had to go around a broken tree to win.”
St. Thomas sophomore Aiden Breslin (16:37.90) was third, while senior Jamir Ferguson (16:54.30) was fifth for the Raiders and Coral Springs’ junior Isaac Louigene (16:53.70) was fourth.
Douglas (134), Coral Glades (135) and West Broward (139) rounded out the top five.