NEW PORT RICHEY — With a big smile and seemingly not out of breath after running the 3,200 meters, Land O'Lakes' Felix Soto said it takes a lot of heart to keep up at the pace he runs.
He should know after winning two distance events, and running a leg of a winning relay, to help lead the Gator boys to first place with 132 points in the Chasco Invitational at Gulf's Des Little Stadium on Friday night.
"Basically, it comes down to who has the most heart out here. You have to have a lot of heart to come out here and do this sport," Soto said.
"My dad really motivated me to come out here and run and without him I wouldn't be who I am today."
Soto won the 1,600 meters (4:32), 3,200 (9:55.29) and helped the Gators win the 4x800 (8:39.04).
Other standouts included Pasco's Marcus Hicks, who won the 100- (10.93) and 200-meter dash (22.01).
Wesley Chapel, which finished in second place with 116 points, was led by Kamran Joyer, who took first in the discus (146-6) and shot put (58-4).
On the girls side, Wesley Chapel won with 182 points, 22 in front of Ridgewood (160), which was able to snatch first place in five events.
Wildcat Shantel Houston placed first in four events: long jump (15-71/2), high hurdles (16.89), triple jump (34-51/2) and the 300-meter hurdles (50.46).
"I did not expect to do so well today, but I came out here with some renewed confidence," Houston said.
"Our team has done real well in the past years, but I think this year's team can do really good."
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