District cross country: Holy Names girls, Berkeley Prep boys out front
TAMPA — Back-to-back district meets set off at Al Lopez on Thursday evening. First up was the smaller Class 2A, District 10 meet that saw Academy of the Holy Names girls take their third straight team title with 23 points.
Berkeley Prep was second with 42 and Tampa Catholic edged Spoto 86-87 for the final team qualifying spot. The Jaguars were led by freshman Greta Dieck, who was fifth at the full Hillsborough County meet last Tuesday. Dieck got out early, putting eight seconds on the rest of the field after about the first mile, while teammates Alexa Fredericks and Emma Zazzero trailed her.
Dieck put more than 20 seconds on the field before the second mile, and there was no challenge the rest of the way.
“I was a little nervous because I thought I would be running on my own but I got into a good pace for the first 2 miles and just tried to hang on for the last (mile),” Dieck said.
The freshman did indeed hold on for a win in 20:53.2, more than 15 seconds ahead of the field. Fredericks and Zazzero had second and third locked in before a hard charge from Berkeley’s Caroline Brown. Brown took second in 21:09.5. Fredericks settled into third (21:19.9) and Zazzero fourth (21:33.6).
The Jaguar girls are going to be the team to beat in 2A-10 for some time as the top five runners are all underclassmen and Fredericks is just a seventh-grader.
“We hope to have a strong team for the next few years,” Dieck said. “We can only get better; there’s a lot of potential on this team.”
On the boys side, Berkeley Prep made it two in a row but only by the narrowest of margins. The Berkeley boys scored 34 points to Jefferson’s 35. Spoto (94) took the third qualifying spot. The Dragons came just that close as Miguel Leon ran a personal-best 18:28.1.
“(Leon) has run for me the last three years and is always making progress,” Jefferson coach Tina O’Neal said. “The boys came out and ran with passion and fire today. I just knew we could beat them (Berkeley).”
The Bucs were hindered by their ace runner Leonel Ochoa still coming back from a bout with Achilles tendinitis. Ochoa ran a 16:10.3 at the IRC Open back in early September that put him on the map but he was out three weeks dealing with the injury.
“I swam, I biked I did whatever I could (while out),” Ochoa said. “I started running again last week hoping to salvage this season.”
The individual star on the boys side was Middleton’s Daniel Dean, who raced out to an early lead and kept up a withering pace that no other runner challenged. Dean broke the tape at 17:11.4 thanks to some frequent cajoling from first-year volunteer coach Kyle Myers.
“This was a smaller race so we knew (Dean) would have to be racing himself,” Myers said. “With no one close to him it was time he was trying to beat.”
Dean, who has aims at cracking 17 minutes, barely noticed he had no challengers and held a strong pace all the way to the finish.
“I knew I would be in front here, but I have to prepare for the next level,” Dean said.
The 2A-10 teams and individuals advancing to regionals:
Teams: Holy Names 23, Berkeley Prep 42, Tampa Catholic 86
Individuals: Greta Dieck (Holy Names) 20:53.2, Caroline Brown (Berkeley Prep) 21:09.5, Alexa Fredericks (Holy Names) 21:19.9, Emma Zazzero (Holy Names) 21:33.6, Christiana Til (Berkeley Prep) 21:37.8, Olivia Ramsey (Tampa Catholic) 21:37.8, Victoria Baldor (Holy Names) 22:02.0, Morgan Graff (Holy Names) 22:02.1, Abigail Walters (Berkeley Prep) 22:07.0, Katherine Hahn (Holy Names) 22:09.5, Katherine Freedy (Berkeley Prep) 22:35.5, Lindsay Calka (Holy Names) 22:45.1, Kela Nelson (Spoto) 22:49.0, Eriqa Caldwell (Spoto) 23:27.5, Grace Searle (Berkeley Prep) 24:08.4
Teams: Berkeley Prep 34, Jefferson 35, Spoto 94
Individuals: Daniel Dean (Middleton) 17:11.4, Leonel Ochoa (Berkeley Prep) 18:01.6, Miguel Leon (Jefferson) 18:28.1, Colby Kudla (Berkeley Prep) 18:54.2, Gaby Fraifer (Berkeley Prep) 18:57.0, Darius Ford (Jefferson) 19:31.7, Cesar Delatorre (Jefferson) 19:55.1, Evan Williams (Spoto) 19:55.9, Tykeem McCord (Jefferson) 19:58.0, Javier Ramirez (Jefferson) 19:59.0, Brian Showalter (Berkeley Prep) 20:01.5, Ethan Lipham (Berkeley Prep) 20:04.4, Collyn Lindley (Middleton) 20:08.8, David Pachon (Spoto) 20:18.8, Nicholas Franklin (Tampa Catholic) 20:24.1