BRADENTON — A strong group of boys ran in Thursday’s Class 3A, District 5 meet. Dunedin’s Shane Deeley, however, made sure it wasn’t much of a race.
When the gun sounded, Deeley broke for the lead with only a handful of runners beside him. They did not have his company for long. By the time he passed the second mile, Deeley was well ahead of the field.
The senior won in 17 minutes, 1.21 seconds. Teammate Zach Maciolek was second in 17:11.68.
“I trained really hard all summer to get to this point,” Deeley said. “I scoped some of the other teams out and knew I had a chance to win.”
It was a quantum leap for Deeley, who finished ninth at last year’s district meet. He also helped the Falcons finish second overall, their best finish in more than 20 years.
Largo’s Tyler Lewis (17:46.78) was sixth. Osceola’s Adam Clarke was seventh (17:47.87) and teammate Douglas Shytle ninth (18:03.58).
In the girls race, Osceola’s Alexis Irwin was third in a season-best 19:22.68, running with a pack of Lakewood Ranch runners, which had the top two finishers — Olivia Ortiz (18:56.21) and Kristin Zarrella (18:56.52).
“It was intimidating to have so many runners from that school up at the front of the race,” Irwin said. “I did a little research beforehand and knew it would be tough to beat their top two runners. But I had a chance to beat their other two for third, which I did.”
Boca Ciega’s Tyler Suitt finished sixth (20:40.78) and was the only other county girl to place in the top 10. The Pirates finished as the runnerup and the Warriors were fourth in the team standings.