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NEW PORT RICHEY — Sickles' improvement in the first three weeks of the season culminated with a sweep of Saturday's Mitchell Invitational as Abdin Fator won the boys' race, his second victory in as many weeks.
Fator crossed the line in 17 minutes, 8 seconds to lead the Gryphons (66 points) to a relatively easy team victory over second-place Osceola (99).
The senior has posted an average time of 16:32 for the 5,000-meter courses this season. Saturday's time was his slowest so far, as Starkey Park has little pavement and is mostly sand.
Anclote's Spencer Guerette (17:20) was second but was followed by another Sickles runner, senior David Piatt (17:30).
After winning last weekend's Zak Lukas Invitational in Brooksville, Nature Coast (106) took third as Cody Van Natter (17:37) finished seventh. The Sharks' Kevin Ciccone (17:59) took 14th, and James Harkless (18:11), who won last Saturday, was 16th.
Gulf's Nick Buliga (fourth, 17:31) was the other North Suncoast runner in the top five.
The Gryphons' girls victory came via their depth and a tiebreaker. Sickles (91 points) tied George Jenkins, but because Gryphons runner Taylor Richmond finished better than Jenkins' sixth runner, Sickles took the title.
Gryphons Abby Grant (20:50) and Kristin Glavan (21:18) placed in the top 10.
One week after finishing second at the Zak Lukas, Mitchell's Claudia Cancello (20:18) won her first cross country race. Teammate Emily Kerns (21:37) was 10th. Gulf's Kari Grippo (20:38) was second behind Cancello.