SHADY HILLS — Something had been missing from Wiregrass Ranch cross country runner Nikita Shah's season.
Finishing in the top five? Check. Running a solid race? Check. How about running with some motivation? Well …
Shah said she finally felt like she ran with some of it Saturday morning at Crews Lake Park. The Wiregrass Ranch sophomore took individual honors and the Bulls' girls and boys won team titles at the Gator Invitational.
"I haven't been doing so well lately," Shah said. "I felt good and was really motivated today. So I came out here (Saturday) thinking positive, instead of negative like I usually do."
With the time Shah posted, there was no cause to think negatively. Shah finished in 19 minutes, 21 seconds, ahead of Lecanto's Chloe Benoist (19:24). The Bulls had three other girls finish in the top 10, including Ariel Gray (fourth, 19:58), Elise Cedre (ninth, 21:06) and Kelsey Sturman (10th, 21:08). Wiregrass Ranch totaled 37 points overall, easily outdistancing second-place George Steinbrenner (114).
Other notable finishers included Springstead's Mikayla Bogulski (seventh, 20:44) and Ridgewood's Alyssa Baladad (eighth, 20:48).
The Wiregrass boys scored 26, besting host Land O'Lakes (67). The Bulls had four runners in the top 10: Josh Reilly (second, 16:34), Ryan Pulsifer (third, 16:38), Sam Hippely (fifth, 16:47) and Logan Selzer (eighth, 16:53).
"(Josh Reilly) ran well, but the missing piece today was (Logan Selzer)," coach Chris Loth said. "Our goal coming into this meet was to win it."
Pasco's Anthony Plourde won the boys event in 16:27. Land O'Lakes' Hendrix Lafontant (seventh, 16:52) and Sunlake's Kenneth Fessel (ninth, 16:54) rounded out top North Suncoast finishers.
"(Plourde) ran a very good race and so did the two Wiregrass boys," Pasco coach Barry Grayling said.