The Marco Island Charter Middle School teams raced in heavy competitions in two meets against county school teams.
Both teams are in action on Saturday at Manatee Middle School for the South Collier Athletic Conference Championships. Races begin at 8:15 a.m.
On Monday, in a six-team meet, the girls team was hoping to get a good idea of how they are improving and trying to get a feel for the upcoming conference championships.
The boys were missing four of the top eight runners on the team so it was not a day to figure team ability, but rather individual endurance.
The girls ran as well as they have all season and ended up tied for the top spot with Gulfview. In cross country when teams tie, the race is decided by the sixth runner. In this case Gulfview had the sixth runner closest to the top and was declared the winner.
Two good things stood out for the girls. They defeated Manatee who had beaten the girls last week and the tie with Gulfview was a vast improvement over the 20-point loss they incurred at the Eagle Invitational. The girls are progressing at the right time.
The girls placed four runners in the top 10. Rosie Poling once again paced the field, winning by more than 400 meters. Other top 10 runners for the ladies were Madison Bonfitto, fourth, Emma Fernandez, seventh and Julia Cartright in eighth.
The boys had a tough day with so many top runners missing. Manatee has a strong team and none of the schools could keep up with them. Manatee had a perfect score, with runners in first through fifth place. Kole Bartos had a top 10 finish with his fantastic run, grabbing eighth place.
On Saturday the teams traveled to Seacrest for the Stingray Invitational. It was a nice morning with less humidity than usual. The girls raced first and Rosie Poling shot to the lead from the beginning and was never challenged. The rest of the girls had a challenge in front of them as First Baptist and LaBelle had several runners in the top 10.
The Lady Eagles stepped up and got the job done with Emma Fernandez (4th), Julia Cartright (9th), Maddie Bonfitto (10th), and Adriana Marroquin (11th) rounding out the top five for the locals.
MICMS ended up with a 15-point margin over First Baptist Academy. It was a great workout for the team as they continue to prepare for the conference championship races in two weeks.
The boys team finished second and gave a good showing against a very tough LaBelle team. Josh Wagner was the first Eagle across the line with a fourth place finish. Kole Bartos was in about 30th place halfway through the race, but finished with a fast second mile to capture 11th. Kyle Bartos and Cody Demalavez came across in 14th and 15th places.
Newcomers Jacob Schneller and Andrew Sprankle came across in 25th and 26th places for the Eagles. This race was not the best race the team has had, but the workout was great and will prepare them for the big meets ahead.