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Throughout the regular season, Katelyn Greenleaf was focused on time. The Northside Christian senior logged numerous miles in training and sprinted out to the lead in every race against county competition in hopes of eventually running under 18 minutes at the state meet.
Now that the state meet is just three days away, Greenleaf’s goal has changed.
She wants to finish her high school career by placing in the top three, something she’s never done. Greenleaf is the only county runner to finish in the top 10 at state the past four seasons; the highest she placed was sixth in 2007.
“To be in the top three would be a nice way to end and something that I’m really aiming for,” Greenleaf said. “I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to try to do it.”
The goal is realistic considering Greenleaf has the third-fastest seed time (18 minutes, 22 seconds) going into the Class A meet. Based on those times, she also has a chance of winning considering she is just 10 seconds behind the top seed Julie Wolrath of Holy Trinity Academy.
“There are some girls who have some really fast times,” Greenleaf said. “I want to go out with the leaders and try to go for it at the end.
If I do that, I most likely will be able to run under 18 minutes.
“I think that no matter what happens, I’ll be happy with how my season and career ended.”
There are other county girls runners who could do well at state. Osceola’s Alexis Irwin is ranked 14th in 3A and has an outside shot of placing in the top 10. Northeast’s Amanda Spring could place in the top 15-20 in 3A.
In 4A, St. Petersburg’s Alex Eaton is ranked 18th and is a few seconds away, based on seed times, of cracking the top 10-12.
State cross country
When: Saturday. The Class 3A girls race starts at 8:30 a.m. with the Class 2A boys closing out the meet at 10:50 a.m.
Where: Little Everglades Ranch, Dade City
Admission: $9; parking, $10 per vehicle