MIAMI — The Marathon High School cross-country teams fared well last week in the Miami Country Day Open at Greynolds Park.

Senior Pedro Zapata finished the 5,000-meter run in second place with a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds to help the Dolphins boys team finish third out of the six schools taking part in the event.

Top girls runner sophomore Mikkel Ross clocked a 24:42 for her second straight personal record. Not far behind was fellow sophomore Rain Banks with a 25:30. The Lady Dolphins also had a third-place team finish.

“It was a good race. It was a smaller one than the first, but every team is either in our district or our region. We got to see what other people had going on,” said coach Jim Murphy.

Second for the boys was freshman Vance Bursa (20:01) followed closely by senior Enrique Escobar (20:08). Junior Jakub Bursa (20:38) was the Fins’ No. 4 harrier and senior Bryan Rodriguez (20:46) topped out the top five boys.

“We put five boys together — the Bursa boys, Enrique, Mason Buxton and Bryan Rodriguez,” Murphy said. “It worked out well. Vance, Enrique and Jakub were all close. Bryan ran a couple minutes faster by going with them this time. The first race he kind of burned out, but I think he’ll be pushing for that No. 2 spot eventually. He’s a senior and has been here a few years. He decided to play sports. He’ll be a good addition for the soccer team, too.”

Murphy said Ross has dedicated her life to running, which has paid off for the team.

“She runs 5 miles in a faster time than a 5K. I think a lot was getting that first mile set. She ran a 7:30 first mile with a 7:15 average throughout the 5K,” Murphy said. “Rain had a little stitch going on, but she still fought through it.”

Some of his younger girls improved well, said Murphy.

Eighth-grader Ava Merryman (26:39) was the third Marathon female finisher; seventh-grader Sara Robinson (27:36) was the No. 4 girl and senior Lucy Montenegro was the No. 5 with a 27:36.


Keys prep cross-country teams finally got to compete on Friday, Sept. 10, in the King of the Hill 2021 after their first scheduled event was a wash.

Marathon coach Murphy said the Lady Fins showed a lot of grit.

Out of 14 varsity girls teams, they finished 10th overall.

Ross (24:42) and Banks (25:30) finished one and two for the Marathon girls team.

Marathon’s top boy runner, Pedro Zapata, set a personal record time of 17:59 on a very tough course.

Finishing at second for the boys was Vaclav Bursa with a 20:32.

Coral Shores High School entered just nine runners in the varsity events. The top boys runner was junior Simon Gutierrez, just off a 19-minute pace with a 20:04 finish, much to the delight of coach Gabe Suarez, now in his seventh season with the cross-country team. Seconds behind was sophomore Robert Temkin (20:24). As a team, the Hurricanes were No. 17 out of 22 teams entered.

For the Lady Canes, freshman Kai Guth finished with a 26:24 and junior Hailey Cooper clocked a 27:08.