Wind, rain, mud, slippery grass and strong competition did not stop Leto's Kostyantyn Federenko from winning the Region 2 boys title Saturday. The senior completed the 3-mile course in 16 minutes, 6.78 seconds.
He guided the Falcons to a fourth-place finish with 152 points.
Orlando Boone won the team title with 62, followed by Cypress Creek (103) and Oak Ridge (127). Bloomingdale closed out the top six team qualifiers for state with a sixth-place finish and 177.
"Besides the rain, a lot of wind was pushing against me, which made my feet slip some," Federenko said. "So I had to push a little harder to stay in front. I though the race would be even harder, with all the good runners in the meet. But after the second mile, they dropped fast."
In addition to Federenko, helping the Falcons were John Salas, Tyrone Jones, Carlos Malpica and Daniel Lopez.
"Last week in the districts, we tied with Bloomingdale 81-81, so we had to step it up to beat them out this week," Leto coach Hennie Schoeman said. "Now we have to give a little more attention to the other runners in the region and state and step up a little more next week. My top five are all seniors and they have a lot at stake next week."
Bloomingdale scored in a tight bunch starting with 21st place and the fifth runner finishing 44th.
Scoring to help the Bulls were Alex Regar, Kyle Koontz, David Cook, Justin Yarborough and Harrison Smith.
Riverview junior Sean Kinne placed 10th to earn an individual berth to the state meet.
In the girls race, Gaither freshman Amanda Quick came within seven seconds of winning the individual title.
She finished second in 18:40 and helped her team grab the last qualifying berth with a sixth-place finish.
"After passing the 2-mile mark, the leaders were about 50 yards ahead of me, so I had a lot to make up in the last mile," Quick said. "The rain didn't really effect me. Actually, I love to run in the rain."
Also scoring for Gaither were Heather Dickson, Katlyn Truesdale, Heide Hohman and Shilah Rose.
For most of the race, Lavera Morris of Oak Ridge and Kerry Allen of St. Petersburg shared the lead. Quick moved into the forefront in the final yards to take second from Allen and push Morris into a fast kick to win.
The top six teams and 15 individuals not on those teams qualified for the state meet. Even though the Cowboys were the county's only girls team to qualify, a pair of individuals finished in the top 15.
Sara Hall, a Plant City senior, finished fourth in 19:06 and Bloomingdale freshman Jaclyn Johnson finished ninth in 19:56.
"Because of the rain, I didn't press too hard," Hall said. "Taking a chance on getting an injury at this level would not have been too smart."