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Ava Povich and Kolton Pickard at the 9th Annual Race in Estero

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Kolton Pickard and Ava Povich with 9th annual race in Estero

An invasion of Miami-based teams couldn’t stop two of Southwest Florida’s top cross country runners from dominating the grueling DDD Invitational Saturday morning at Estero Community Park as Ava Povich of ECS and Kolton Pickard from Estero claimed the individual titles.

Povich, a junior, slowly eased her way through the field settling into a battle with Emma Hencock from Miami based St. Brendan. The Sentinels star started pulling away from Hencock by the midway point and opened up a 14-second gap at the finish.

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As for the tough course which features sand pits Povich said, “The sand was definitely a surprise to my legs because it really does slow you down a lot, it makes you feel like you’re running in slow motion.”

Our Lady of Lourdes Academy out of Miami took the girls’ team title with Bishop Verot finishing as the top area team in fourth. Highly rated Fort Myers held out the majority of its varsity girls and Green Wave Coach Yancey Palmer did the same with his boy’s squad.

The boy’s race played out much the same way as the girls with Pickard chasing a pack of four runners before separating at the mile, running to the halfway point with Collin Butzow from Miami’s Palmetto High. Pickard, a senior, started to apply pressure on the last hill and gradually pulled away for victory. It was his second straight win, and he won it so early in the season.

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For his season thus far: “I’m running the times I’m supposed to be, so yeah, it’s going pretty good right now,”Pickard spoke.

Christopher Columbus High out of Miami took the boy’s title while Naples finished second in front of Cape Coral.  Mary Beth Watkins, Naples coach welcomed the competition from east coast. “It’s great having the Miami teams over here.  It makes us better.” 

Fort Myers Invitational will take place Saturday at the Kelly Road Soccer Complex.

Girl’s Top Ten

1. Ava Povich, ECS, 19:42; 2. Emma Hencock, St. Brendan, 19:56; 3. Olivia Fraga, Lourdes, 20:12; 4. Johanna Deiz, Lourdes, 20:36; 5. Julia Reitz, Bishop Verot, 20:39; 6. Mackenzie De Lisle, Bishop Verot, 20:42; 7. Gabriella Page, St. Brendan, 20:47; 8. Tara Watkins, Naples, 20:55; 9. Olivia Rodriguez, Lourdes, 20:55; 10. Gianna Del Pizzo, Lehigh, 20:58

Girl’s Team Scores

1. Lourdes 44, 2. St. Brendan 84, 3. Gulliver Prep 112, 4. Bishop Verot 121, 5. Naples 134, 6. Estero 160, 7. Gulf Coast 175, 8. Cape Coral 197, 9. Venice 267, 10. Fort Myers 295

Boy’s Top Ten

1. Kolton Pickard, Estero, 16:31; 2. Collin Butzow, Palmetto, 16:52; 3. Daniel Garcia, Christopher Columbus, 16:59, 4. Hayden Tank, SFCA, 17:02; 5. Evan Meyer, Lehigh, 17:07; 6. Tyler Wadsworth, Port Charlotte, 17:08; 7. William Montanye, Gulf Coast, 17:09; 8. Nicholas Ivonnet, Christopher Columbus, 17:14; 9. Nekhi Perry, North Fort Myers, 17:22; 10. Isaiah Barajas, Naples, 17:24

Boy’s Teams

1. Christopher Columbus 40, 2. Naples  94, 3. Cape Coral 175, 4. SFCA  211, 5. Charlotte  221, 6. Fort Myers  232, 7. Ida Baker  261, 8. North Port  268, 9. CSN  298, 10. Bishop Verot 299

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