The Top Six To Watch At The FSU Pre-State Invite

* Leon's Patrick Koon (left) and Belen Jesuit's Joshua Ruiz are set to duel this weekend in Tallahassee

Photo Credit: MileSplit Texas

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The FSU Pre-State Invitational at Apalachee Regional Park could bring a record-breaking weekend to Tallahassee. 

About 4,000 athletes are making their way to the Sunshine State's capitol to compete for the meet's 12th consecutive year.

With top tier runners among the lineup, some epic racing is sure to take place. 

Here are a list of the leading runners for both boys and girls.

Tune in this weekend to MileSplit's coverage of the FSU Pre-State Invitational with the links below.

WATCH LIVE: FSU Pre-State Invitational





Boys Athletes to Watch

1. Patrick Koon, Leon HS (FL)

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Class of 2024

PR: 14:43.09

Establishing a new course record of 14:50 last year, Koon took home the title for the second year in a row.

With Florida state records in both the 3,200m (8:58) and the 5,000m (14:56), the recent Stanford commit has run three times this season, though Pre-State should factor as his first "all-in" moment. He's clocked times of 15:39.10, 15:44.10 and 16:25.50 across competition thus far. 

Koon could go after his own course record here. But it won't come without challengers. 

2. Joshua Ruiz, Belen Jesuit (FL)

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Class of 2024

PR: 14:38.79

Ruiz pumped out the fastest 5K time in Florida high school history at the Southern Showcase, netting a time of 14:38.79 on Sept. 16. 

With such a recent and strong PR -- it was also his first time running sub-15 -- will Ruiz be able to go after Koon's PR of 14:50 at ARP? Ruiz finished second at the Florida Class 3A Championships on this very course last year, clocking a time of 15:37.30. He ran 15:16.60 at this very meet last year, too. 

The Florida commit will no doubt bring some healthy competition. 

3. Marcelo Mantecon, Belen Jesuit (FL)

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Class of 2027

PR: 14:52.59

Mantecon is the nation's top freshman right now. 

Two weekends ago at the Southern Showcase, he ran 14:52.59 for 5,000 meters, netting the fastest time in freshmen history for the distance. 

He was also the only underclassmen to place in the top 10 and the only freshman to finish among the top 30. His placement greatly aiding the team's first place win.

Mantecon currently holds the second fastest 5K time in Florida, right behind his senior teammate Ruiz. 

Girls Athletes to Watch

1. Addison Dempsey, Cardinal Mooney (FL) 

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Class of 2024

PR: 17:20.20

Running the fastest 5K time in Florida this season at the North Port XC Invitational, the Cardinal Mooney senior could be ready for another PR in Tallahassee. 

Last year's runner-up at the FHSAA Class 2A Championships, Dempsey has experience running against the state's best. With four wins this season and knowledge of the course, she could go after a win here. 

Dempsey could easily take home another sub-18 performance this weekend.

2. Annabella Tomasic, Lake Highland Prep (FL)

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Class of 2029

PR: 17:41.52

We always love a good freshman standout making themselves known; Tomasic is the latest to step up. The 12-year-old phenom is showing what she's made of, as she continues to collect wins at high school varsity races -- three so far this season.

At the beginning of this month, Tomasic ran a personal best of 17:41 at the Winter Springs Invitational. That performance is the second-fastest 5K time in Florida this year.

With this being her first true cross country season, the middle schooler is starting to get more experience under her belt. Running alongside Florida state finalists this weekend could result in fast times all around.

3. Mackenzie De LisleBishop Verot HS (FL)

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Class of 2025

PR: 17:41.83

Coming off of a personal best of 17:41 at the North Port XC Invitational last weekend -- which shaved off nearly a minute from her time last year -- De Lisle is looking strong for Pre-State. 

The Bishop Verot junior placed fifth at the state championships last year and took home multiple PRs outdoors. With an opening season win at the Cecil Field Summer Classic in August, De Lisle has shown great confidence and an ability to win. 

Related Links:


FSU Elite Boys Virtual Race Projections

FSU Elite Girls Virtual Race Projections