ST. PETERSBURG — As the dominant girls runner in the county, Shorecrest’s Alex Eaton was the overwhelming favorite to repeat as champion at the St. Petersburg City meet.
But it was a time more than a title Eaton was focused on obtaining.
The senior was trying to break the girls meet record of 18 minutes, 31 seconds, set by former Northside Christian standout Katelyn Greenleaf in 2011.
Eaton easily won Thursday, finishing more than 30 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. But her time of 19:05 was short of the record.
“I wanted the record, but the race was a challenge,” Eaton said. “It was very hot, probably the hottest it’s been since I’ve run this meet. Plus, I’m getting over a respiratory illness and finally felt in good shape.”
There was a caravan of Chargers runners following Eaton with Olivia Rovin finishing second (19:35) and Sophia Vesely taking third (20:07).
In all, Shorecrest had five of the top 10 runners to win the team title with 24 points, 30 ahead of Boca Ciega.
The Pirates’ Alexis Stevens was fourth (20:12) and Northeast’s Caroline Condon fifth (20:57).
In the boys race, Shorecrest had the front runners to beat St. Petersburg 39-48 for the team title.
The Chargers’ Luke Peterson sprinted to the lead and stayed there, winning the race in a personal-best 16:23.
“I always like running this race because I’m usually able to go fast and set a PR,” Peterson said. “I wanted to get under 16:40, and I was able to do that. But the big thing was beating St. Petersburg in this race because that’s something we haven’t done in a while.”
Peterson’s teammate, Ross Porter, was second (16:41), followed by Northeast’s Nick Spring (16:51), St. Petersburg’s Elliot Traxler (16:57) and St. Petersburg Catholic’s Pat Artise (17:10).
St. Petersburg City meet
Team scores: Shorecrest 39, St. Petersburg 48, Northeast 54, St. Petersburg Catholic 112, Admiral Farragut 172, Lakewood 202, Northside Christian 216, Dixie Hollins 217, Boca Ciega 221, Canterbury 222, Keswick Christian 289
Results: Peterson (Sc) 16:23, Porter (Sc) 16:41, Spring (Ne) 16:51, Traxler (SP) 16:57, Artise (SPC) 17:10, Abernathy (SP) 17:22, Bruce (SP) 17:24, Miles (Sc) 17:37, Stenger (Ne) 17:37, Scoby (Sc) 17:47
Team scores: Shorecrest 24, Boca Ciega 54, Northeast 85, St. Petersburg 97, St. Petersburg Catholic 116, Northside Christian 153, Admiral Farragut 176
Results: Eaton (Sc) 19:05, Rovin (Sc) 19:35, Vesely (Sc) 20:07, Stevens (BC) 20:12, Condon (Ne) 20:57, Fitzgerald (SP) 21:12, Brahm (Ne) 21:13, Broome (Sc) 21:17, Giordano (BC) 21:24, Greenlees (Sc) 21:46