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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Mar. 20, 2017 3 years ago

Wekiva cross-country coach wins first marathon in California -- Observer Preps

Erica Weitz placed first in the Napa Valley Marathon March 5 with a time of 2:48:48.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

As a varsity runner in high school in New Jersey and a distance runner at the collegiate level at UCF, Erica Weitz has had her share of success.

Courtesy photo

Winning a marathon for the first time March 5 in Napa Valley, Calif., though, is a personal highlight for the coach cross-country coach at Wekiva High.

“It was awesome — it was way more than winning any other race,” Weitz said. “Winning a marathon was something I’d always dreamed of doing.”

Weitz’s victory in the 39th annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon — her ninth marathon, overall — came by way of a time of 2:48:48 and was a culmination of sorts of a trend toward distance in her competitive career.

“It’s funny because I never knew what my (ideal) distance was,” Weitz said. “As I got older, my coaches would put me in longer and longer events.”

For Weitz — who is also an assistant coach for track and field and the junior varsity coach for girls soccer — that meant evolving from the 400-meter and 800-meter events to the mile while in high school. Then, at UCF, she ran the traditional cross country distance (roughly a 5K).

After her career with the Knights finished, she focused on distance and something clicked. 

“I realized the longer the distance, the better for me,” Weitz said.

Since winning the race earlier this month, Weitz has returned to congratulatory coworkers on staff at Wekiva — and student-athletes who have to give their coach/teacher credit where it is due.

“Everyone, all my coworkers and stuff, have been saying congratulations since I came back and it feels awesome,” Weitz said. “(The students) were pretty impressed.” 


Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].

Steven Ryzewski is the Senior Sports Editor for, as well as all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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