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LARGO — Seminole coach Michael Homme knew the Class 4A, District 5 girls race would be tightly contested with every place and point crucial.
It became even tighter for the Warhawks when their No. 2 runner, Jasmine Whitney, was unable to race because she was attending a funeral.
In the end, Seminole and Palm Harbor University tied with 43 points. The tiebreaker came down to the No. 6 runner for each team. That is where Seminole’s depth paid off.
Hannah Heinrich, Seminole’s sixth-best runner, finished 14th overall, eight spots ahead of the Hurricanes’ sixth-best, Kristina Lavrich.
“We knew it was going to be tough, and it was going to come down to a point or two,” Homme said. “But we have some pretty good numbers and this is something we can build on for next week.”
St. Petersburg’s Erin Waterman won the girls race in 20:04, followed by Palm Harbor University’s Sarah Raymond (20:23) and Brianna Paczynski (20:31). The Warhawks’ Olivia Suski (20:38) and Maddie Cappelli (20:59) rounded out the top five.
Once again, the boys race was between St. Petersburg’s Sam Chandler and Countryside’s Paul McKenna, the county’s top public school runners.
Unlike last week’s conference meet, McKenna decided to stay back rather than take the lead from the start. By the final mile, McKenna grabbed the lead to win in 16:14, 31 seconds ahead of Chandler.
“This time I was running more of my race,” McKenna said. “I knew what I needed to do. Once I hit the cement, I just kept pushing and had another good time.”
St. Petersburg’s Semmes Bruce was third (17:04), followed by Seminole’s Lorenzo Long (17:14) and Sam Weller (17:20).
The Warhawks won the team title, outscoring the Green Devils 40-51. And Seminole did it without No. 1 Josh Luker, who was held out of Wednesday’s race because he missed a workout earlier this week.
Class 3A, District 10: Northeast’s Amanda Spring was waiting to run on the course at Walter Fuller because it is known to produce fast times.
Spring had the fastest time of her career, setting a school record in 18 minutes, 44 seconds to win the girls individual title. Spring was so dominant she beat Largo’s Alicia Konstantinovic (19:48.93) by more than a minute.
Led by Spring, the Vikings also won the team title, beating the Packers 46-56. Other top-five girls were Dixie Hollins’ Jessica Silk (20:00), Largo’s Marina Levine (20:02) and Northeast’s Summer Kanstoroom (20:09).
Osceola’s Hunter McCann won the boys race in 16:43. He was part of a strong lineup that had three of the top runners, including runnerup Thomas Grzesiakowski (16:57) and Abimael Jimenez (fifth, 17:08). Northeast’s Steven Rudderham (17:07) and Matthew Stenger (17:08), were third and fourth, respectively.