Jesuit High senior James Osborne sensed the lead could be had.
With a little less than a mile left, he made his move.
Osborne, 17, passed Tyrone Bell, a senior at Florida Southern College, as the finish line approached and held off the field to win the Gasparilla 5K.
Osborne's time of 15 minutes, 35 seconds was 10 seconds better than Bell, who came in second.
"He took off really fast from the beginning," Osborne said of Bell's strategy.
"By the time I finally caught up to him, I knew he couldn't keep going."
Bell admitted his only hope of winning was to keep in front of Osborne.
"I hit the turnaround in first, and I was still in first with four minutes to go," Bell said. "Once he passed me, I knew it was over.
"I had nothing left."
Once Osborne took the lead, he was never threatened the rest of the race. The Duke-bound runner comfortably sprinted toward the finish line.
"I felt good," Osborne said. "I didn't kill myself too much.
"At least I wasn't blacking out like I've done for cross country before."
Bell wasn't too disappointed with the result. He developed Achilles tendonitis after posting 14:38 at the Twilight 5K in Lakeland three weeks ago.
Two years ago he placed fourth in the Gasparilla 15K, but ran the 5K this year because of the injury.
"I was partly disappointed, maybe 50/50," Bell said. "I was just happy to be running."
Plant sophomore Brigithe Moreno strained her left ankle three weeks ago, but it didn't seem to affect her as she won the women's 5K by 35 seconds over Kerry Allen, a senior at St. Petersburg High.
Moreno finished in 18:15.
The 15-year-old fought through a strained right ankle in the fall cross country season running for the Panthers.
"This was a fun race for me," Moreno, a Times first-team All-Hillsborough County selection, said. "It was a training-type run to see where I'm at."
Allen, 17, also used the race to test an injury. She was a state high school champ as a freshman in the 2-mile and a runnerup as a sophomore before taking her junior year off because of a stress fracture in her back. She wore a back brace for four months.
"I was using this as a test run, and I'm happy with the way it went," she said.
"I looked at it as a fun race."