FBA’s Beam grabs first place; Barron boys, girls sweep team titles at Cardinal Mooney meet


First Baptist Academy eighth-grader Katie Beam continued her standout season Saturday with a first-place finish in the inaugural Cardinal Mooney cross country meet at Nathan Benerson Park in Sarasota.

Beam ran the 5K in 20 minutes, 47.02 seconds — just over 23 seconds better than runner-up Grace Marston of Braden River High School.

Katie Beam runs the 5K during Saturday’s Cardinal Mooney cross country meet in Sarasota. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Last week, Beam broke her own school record at the North Port Invitational with a time of 19:24. That was also the top time of any Collier County varsity runner this season.

Barron Collier High School won the team titles. The Cougars were led on the boys side by Cipriano Martinez (17:43.18, second place), Tristan Bashaw (18:19.84, third) and Walker Brunner (18:31.29, fourth). Barron’s girls were led by Sophia Richardt (21:50.15, fourth), Andi Gonzalez (22:12.68, sixth) and Payton Yoder (22:52.82, eighth).

Beam’s victory and senior Emilie Josephson’s ninth-place time (23.04.24) led First Baptist’s girls to a third-place finish in the seven-team field. The Lions’ team score of 76 was just behind runner-up and host Cardinal Mooney (70), though both were well behind the Barron Collier girls squad, which finished with 49 points.

Junior Austin Flynn topped FBA’s boys team — his time of 18:46.03 was good for a fifth-place finish in a field of 113 runners.

Austin Flynn, right, poses with Katie Beam following Saturday’s races. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Lions finished sixth in the nine-team boys field. Their team score of 138 was almost good enough for a top-five finish — Imagine School at North Port posted a 137. Barron Collier’s boys turned in a score of 38 — 23 points ahead of runner-up Braden River.

First Baptist’s other girls runners were seventh-grader Ella Flynn (23:26.28, 12th place), junior Alexis Baker (25:14.01, 26th), eighth-grader Julliette Lane (25:48.57, 33rd), freshman Victoria Blankenship (26:06.47, 36th), seventh-grader Lexi Cipolla (26:44.59, 47th) and sophomore Ari Arnad (30:10.16, 64th).

First Baptist’s other boys runners were junior Adler Kaufmann (20:18.70, 17th place), freshman Hunter Beam (20:57.17, 21st), freshman Spencer Sommerville (22:55.10, 52nd), sophomore Austin Wood (23:28.73, 59th), freshman Alden Kaufmann (23:56.27, 66th), senior Joshua Hariharan (24:02.84, 70th) and sophomore Braden Lane (25:38.92, 91st).