DOVER — Cross country races are generally decided by scoring the teams’ top five runners, but Newsome left Tuesday night’s Ryan McCall Invitational with a victory because of its sixth.
The Wolves’ boys team tied Chamberlain with 46 points, but Kevin Tragesser, their sixth finisher, came in 21st to give Newsome the tiebreaker and their second win of the season.
“We talk about that all the time,” Newsome coach Orlando Greene said. “You want to get your top five in, but you also want to get your sixth and seventh in. That’s always our motto.”
Freedom won the girls race with 78 points, with Lake Region (87) and Newsome (93) not far behind. Patriots coach Dwight Smith said last week’s victory at the Central Hillsborough Invitational was the first win in school history, and they didn’t wait long to pick up their second.
“It’s been a long time for the school,” Smith said. “I’m kind of excited. The girls pulled together. … I think they’re really coming into their own this year. They’ve got a little bit more confidence.”
Chamberlain’s Max del Monte (15:57.44) and Jake Covington (16:25.69) finished first and second in the boys race. On the girls side, Durant senior Grace VanDeGrift cruised to a first-place finish in 19:31.72, more than a minute faster than the second-place finisher.
The meet, the first held on Strawberry Crest’s campus, was created last year in memory of Ryan McCall, a University of Tampa distance runner who was murdered in August 2009.
UT created a scholarship in McCall’s name, and all proceeds from T-shirt sales and a donation table at the race go to that fund.
Jarrett Slaven, McCall’s coach at UT, was on hand.
“The community’s aware of it, and I think it’s nice to have his name live on, especially at our university through the scholarship,” Slaven said. “This means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means a lot to his parents.”