TAMPA — For the early part of the cross country season, Seminole’s Mary Hall was Pinellas County’s dominant public school runner.
Towards the end, though, sometimes she felt like she was running in quicksand.
“I felt a little worn out,” she said.
But Friday morning at Lake Park, she may have gotten some of her mojo back. One week after a disappointing 20th-place finish at districts, Hall finished 11th in 19 minutes, 24 seconds at the Class 4A, Region 2 meet and is headed to next week’s state championships.
“I went as a freshman because the team went, but I had so many injuries my sophomore and junior year,” said Hall, who has then been slowed lately by, well, being slower.
“It was my goal at the beginning of the season to get to state. I was a little worried (lately).”
Hall ran a 20:43 in finishing seventh at the PCAC championships two weeks ago, and ran the district race in 21:00 as six runners from the county finished ahead of her.
Friday, she bested all those runners and was the top local.
Hall will be joined at state by St. Petersburg, the only county team to qualify. Freshman Alex Eaton was less than a second behind Hall at 19:25, Erin Waterman was 19th and Savannah Dearden was 24th for the Green Devils, who scored 154 points and were fourth behind winner Plant.
On the boys side, Seminole’s Chase Sutton, who won the district race last week, knocked 23 seconds off his time but an aggressive race with a lot of jostling for position between the top four runners took a toll as he finished fourth.
“There were a lot of moves made the entire race, and I spent a lot of energy trying to keep myself in a good position,” Sutton said.
Countryside’s Ricy Brown will join Sutton at state. He ran a personal-best 15:50 to finish 10th.