PLANT CITY — Robinson coach Mark Altimari's game plan for Thursday evening's Ron Frost Invitational was not to have one, at least not for the girls race. No strategy, no inhibitions, no pressure.
No problem. Led by junior Maddy Hull, normally the Knights' No. 2 runner, Robinson put all five of its girls in the top 10 en route to an overwhelming team victory in the annual event at Durant High. The Knights boys also prevailed, with three top 10 finishers.
"That was our plan — run as hard as you can as long as you can," Altimari said. "It was a workout day."
For Hull, it was a milestone one as well. Overtaking senior teammate Julia DeYoung at roughly the 2-mile mark on the grassy southern border of Durant's campus, Hull made a strong final kick from there, winning her first prep event in 21:26.
DeYoung, 23rd at last season's Class 2A state meet, finished fifth (21:47) after leading by more than 100 meters at one point. She eventually also was overtaken by Brandon's Eliana Ochoa (second), Knights teammate Madison Scanlan (third) and Bloomingdale's Julie Roggeman (fourth).
"She went out really fast," Hull said. "Our whole team ran a really great race today. I'm really proud of them."
On the boys side, Keswick Christian senior Jacob Endrulat and 107-pound Middleton freshman Daniel Dean exchanged the lead at least twice and remained tight for most of the race before Endrulat pulled away in the last mile to win in 16:48.
"I was just trying to stick with him, see what I had, and I just tried to give it my all on the way in," Endrulat said.
Joey Knight can be reached at [email protected]