LITHIA — Newsome held serve Thursday at the Class 4A, District 7 cross country meet. Even with new district addition Bloomingdale, the Wolves were able to carry both team titles for the second year in a row.
In the girls race, Newsome’s Emily Zwijacz built a commanding lead but Bloomingdale’s Kali Clemmer had a plan for her victory.
“My strategy was just to stay right behind her until the last 800 meters,” Clemmer said.
Clemmer is an 800-meter runner for the track team but the tricky, serpentine final 800 meters Thursday at Newsome was nothing the sophomore was used to on the track.
“The turns were really difficult, especially with it being her school and she knows the course,” Clemmer said. “She would pick up ground on me on the turns, and I would have to make sure I caught up on the straightaways.”
Clemmer did and finished in first with a time of 20:26.25. Zwijacz was not far behind at 20:37.30. Newsome also claimed third (Marcella Benner, 21:20.38), fourth (Ananda Miller, 21:26.20) and fifth (Delsie Borgen, 21:34.34) to finish with 24, ahead of runnerup Bloomingdale (51).
On the boys side it was a battle between Bloomingdale’s John Bryant and Newsome’s Aaron Harper. The two were locked until the final few hundred meters. The Newsome course opens into a field from a wooded area the last 800 meters and wends around several times before the finish.
“I wasn’t too good on the turns; he (Harper) put ground on me and I had to catch up,” Bryant said. “There was that mental game about not letting him get away.”
Bryant did not, passing Harper early in the last 800 meters to win in 17:19.47. Harper was a few seconds behind at 17:25.31 and was nearly caught by Bloomingdale’s Andrew LeBlanc (17:25.62). It was not enough for the Bulls to challenge Newsome’s team score of 36. The Bulls finished with 46.
2A-10: Academy of the Holy Names swept the top two spots and placed six girls in the top nine to cruise to the Class 2A, District 10 championship Thursday morning at Taylor Park.
Junior Colleen Doherty won the district title, finishing the 5,000 meters in 19 minutes, 59.80 seconds. Teammate and defending district champ Claire Snyder was eight seconds behind, followed by Berkeley Prep’s Catelin Lipham, AHN’s Natalie Hahn and Anclote freshman Perla Saucedo.
Virginia Barreda, Siobhan Lynch and Lindsay Calka also earned top-nine finishes for the Jaguars, who finished with 20 points — 31 ahead of runnerup Berkeley Prep. Anclote finished third to advance to next week’s Class 2A, Region 3 meet.
Jesuit was nearly as dominant in its 25-point win over runnerup Berkeley. Senior Tim O’Loughlin finished second in 16:22 — 21 seconds behind Bradenton Bayshore’s Canaan Meester-Kitterman. The Tigers claimed every position from fifth through 10th to earn the district crown.
Berkeley’s Vasilis Vasiloudes and Leonel Ochoa took third and fourth. Anclote placed fourth as a team behind Stefanos Katsiopis’ 12th-place showing.
Staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report.