Two graduating seniors will run with a lighter financial load thanks to scholarships from the FishHawk Road Runners Club.
For five years, the runners club has presented scholarships to a graduating senior who is involved in the sport of running senior and excels academically. This year, however, the club had two worthy recipients so awarded duo $1,000 scholarships.
Running club founder Steve Dunn, owner of , and club treasurer Mike Conti presented Cormac McCarthy of and Michael Babinec of with scholarships.
Both seniors are outstanding runners and students, said Dunn.
"These two guys made it an easy decision," said Dunn. "They're both exceptional students and exceptional athletes. I've watched both of them grow up and they're both great kids."
The funds from the scholarship come from various club races including the popular FishHawk Road Race, he added. In the past five years, the club has distributed $8,000 in scholarships.
Babinec, the son of Mary and Mike Babinec of Riverview, is a member of the FishHawk Runners Club and is a top runner in high school ranking eighth in the state for cross country and seventh in the state for the 2-mile. He also came in second overall in the Gasparilla Distance Classic.
Anticipating becoming an Eagle Scout this summer, Babinec began running cross country in his freshman year of high school. He has a 3.52 grade point average and has received a scholarship to run cross country at the University of South Florida, although he has not yet decided on a major.
McCarthy began running track during his freshman year and then joined the cross country team during his sophomore year at Bloomingdale. He has been captain of the team for the past two years. The son of Cormac and Lora McCarthy of Bloomingdale, McCarthy has a 6.51 grade-point average and is ranked among the top five students at Bloomingdale. He is headed to the University of Florida, where he plans to major in computer engineering.