SHADY HILLS — Despite some extra maneuvering, Estero coasted to the front of a field of 28 schools to win both the boys and girls team titles Saturday at the 13th annual Gator Invitational at Crews Lake Park.
An emergency medical services crew appeared on the course, taking Seffner Christian's Taylor Weisman off the course for treatment for light-headedness during the girls race.
The emergency vehicle became somewhat became an obstacle during the boys race, but Estero's Erick Montoya, Flrunners.com's No. 1-ranked Class 2A runner, found his way around to win in 16 minutes, 14 seconds.
"Well, I had it in my head that I had to go around the EMS crew, and I am just getting over the flu, so it feels good," Montoya said.
The Land O'Lakes boys, led by Matt Schwartz's second-place finish (16:48), finished third (128 points) behind Estero (62) and Baker (116). Wiregrass Ranch's Delonzo Sharp (17:10) was the only other North Suncoast runner in the boys top five.
On the girls side, Land O'Lakes was third (120), led by Renea Porsch in fifth individually, behind Estero (54) and Lake Region (105).
Baker's Darlene Hanlon won a tight finish in 19:52, with Lecanto's Chloe Benoist (19:53) second and Wiregrass Ranch freshman Nikita Shah (19:56) third.
Wiregrass Ranch's top runner, Ariel Gray, was nowhere in sight, and coach Don Howard would not specify why Gray did not run.
"Ariel didn't run today, so I felt like I had to do it for her," said Shah, whose team was fourth.