Wiregrass puts up a valiant effort in the “Run With the Bulls” Invitational Meet

This past weekend the Cross Country team hosted their first home meet.

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Alexis Santana

The beginning of the girls race in the "Run With the Bulls" Invitational.

Wiregrass Ranch competed in the “Run With The Bulls” Invitational cross country meet with many other schools from all over Tampa this past Saturday at the Ranch. This is the cross country team’s fourth meet and they have consistently improved in the rankings with each event. At this meet, the boys placed 4th overall and the girls placed 5th.

Going into the meet, Girl’s Coach Jessica Diepholz knew what she was looking for from her team.

Runners in the “Run With the Bulls” Invitational are coming around to the baseball field and practice field at the Ranch.

“On Saturday, we hope to gain a lot of things, not just the normal time improvements from the [athletes], but we are hoping to gain experience,” Coach Diepholz affirmed.

From the beginning of the day, the runners knew that they would be in for a long day due to the high temperature and humidity, at around 88 degrees that morning. However, the high temperature did not seem to deter the athletes from performing their best.

As the girls got the meet started, parents and fans came to support their local runners and school. The girls race took about 40 minutes, but Alicia Ruiz, from George Jenkins High School, came in first place with an impressive time of 19:22. As a team, the Lady Bulls finished the race in fifth place while the Osceola Warriors came in at first place.

Directly after the end of the girls race, the boys race went underway. Brady Zimmerman, from George Jenkins High School, won the race with a time of 17:14. There were two Wiregrass Bulls who finished within the top 20 of the vast amount of male runners; Sebastien Hernandez, junior, finished the race at seventh place and Alex Medina, senior, finished the race at 12th place. Both runners said they finished slower than they had wished, but were glad that they represented the Bulls.

Sebastien Rodriguez finishes in 7th place in the male category of the race

“What I want to work on is pacing my second mile because my first and last miles are on pace, but the second mile ends up behind pace,” Medina explained after the meet.

Both Wiregrass teams plan to continue working hard and hope to see faster paces in future meets.

“More constant improvements and new PRs is our goal moving forward,” Coach Diepholtz explained.

The Bulls next big meet is the Flrunners.com Invitational on September 29th in Hollywood Park, Lakeland.