The Varsity Cross Country team won the Class 3A State Championship on November 14 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. This marks the 4th consecutive State Title for Belen Jesuit. The win also cements the team’s place in state history as the winningest cross country program.
“Being a part of the record-breaking 12th cross country state championship team is very special,” said Javier Vento '21 who won the individual state title with a time of 15:22.20. “It shows how determined the coaches and athletes are year in and year out on winning state championships. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the team’s success.”
Additionally, Head Coach Frankie Ruiz ‘96 moves past legendary Largo Coach Brent Haley with his 11th State Championship title and Javier Vento ‘21 becomes the second Belen runner to win two individual State Championships. Aiden Villasuso ‘21 ran the race of his life and finished as a state runner-up with a time of 15:41.60. In all, Belen had 4 runners under the 16:00 mark.
“This team has endured a great deal of uncertainty this season due to many things out of their control,” said Frankie Ruiz ‘96. “As their coach, I am humbly proud of how they all chose to control the things they did have under their power. They chose to chase a State Championship using hard work and daily attention to important details. This laser focus led them to leave their mark in history at both Belen and in Florida. These guys are like the Navy Seals of Belen, they decided on a difficult mission and they carried it out with commanding precision. My congratulations to each and every ONE of them for representing Belen so well this season. Early on we knew the 2020 season was going to be unforgettable but now it's inspiringly memorable for all the right reasons.”
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain. The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline. In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow. Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.