Female Athlete of the Week: Durant's Grace VanDeGrift



MORE from our HomeTeam writers.

More Video

HomeTeam Hot Shots
Vote for the top male and female athletes from the bay area
Madison Epperson, softball, Tampa Catholic
Jen Kistemaker, track, Osceola
Emily Merino, softball, Tarpon Springs
Madisyn Palmer, softball, River Ridge
Jasha Patrick, track, Hernando
Julia Schifino, softball, Academy of the Holy Names
Jordan Butler, baseball, Alonso
Anthony Crandon, track, Northeast
Felix Dieguez, baseball, Leto
Franklin German, baseball, Bishop McLaughlin
Tyler Hawks, baseball, River Ridge
George Koulianos, baseball, Indian Rocks Christian



Tue. October 19, 2010 | Joey Knight | Email

In a surreal 12-hour span this past weekend, Durant senior Grace VanDeGrift, made an improbable segue from elegance to endurance.

A member of Durant High's homecoming court Friday night, VanDeGrift rose before dawn the following morning, traveled to a steeplechase ranch in northeast Pasco County and enjoyed arguably the best run of her cross country life. 

Reaffirming her status as the premier girls runner in Hillsborough County, VanDeGrift placed 14th in the girls elite race at the Pre-State Invitational at Little Everglades Ranch. Her time -- 18 minutes, 34 seconds -- was the best posted by any local female runner. 

VanDeGrift, who was battling a stress fracture in her hip less than a year ago, actually ran a faster time (18:13) at the flrunners.com Invitational 11 in Titusville a couple of weeks before. But Durant coach Mike Gursky said her effort Saturday was more impressive, considering the difficulty of the Little Everglades course that features a long uphill straightaway/backstretch.

If you have a standout athlete with a memorable performance that you think should be considered, e-mail us at hometeam@tampabay.com. Athletes of the week each receive tickets to a future Lightning game, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Teams in post


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours