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North Suncoast cross country roundup

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Mon. September 9, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Land O’Lakes’ Travis Nichols continued his strong cross country season by winning his second race of the fall.

Nichols took first in the Lecanto Panther Cross Country Invitational over the weekend, with a time of 16:05.06 – five seconds ahead of runner-up Troy Clark of Mount Dora Bible. Nichols also won his season-opening Holloway Park Jamboree on Aug. 31.

Nichols’ Gators had a strong second-place showing to finish 25 points behind Mandarin. Tyler Stahl (16:26.83) placed sixth for Land O’Lakes, and teammate Jake Poore (16:52.16) was eighth.

Other notable boys finishers included Nature Coast’s James Harkless (16th, 17:19), Mitchell’s Troy Shea (17th, 17:20), NCT’s Austin Mulyck (19th, 17:26) and Fivay’s Kenny Walker (24th, 17:37). The Sharks placed sixth as a team.

Springstead sophomore Amber Philpott was the top female finisher from the North Suncoast at the race. She took third at 19:16.05. Other notable girls included Mitchell’s Emily Kerns (sixth, 19:48), Ridgewood’s Cynthia Negron (12th, 21:44), Land O’Lakes freshman Izabella Brown (13th, 21:56) and Mitchell’s Jordan Spicer (16th, 22:05).

Land O’Lakes’ girls finished an area-best fifth, and Springstead was eighth as a team.

At the Indian Rocks Invitational, Kari Grippo led Gulf’s girls team to a third-place finish - 58 points behind Shorecrest Prep. Grippo took sixth (21:13) to lead a field of three Bucs in the top 15, along with Eliza Gazda (11th, 22:25) and Katie Buckman (15th, 23:14).

Gulf’s boys also placed three runners - Wesley Best (sixth, 18:10), James Raymond (seventh, 18:17) and Sebastain Gazda (14th, 19:11) - in the top 15 to finish sixth as a team.

At the Newsome Wolves Invitational, Wiregrass Ranch’s girls finished sixth, and its boys team placed eighth in the 14-team elite races.

Madison Conway, Elise Cedre and Kerry Reilly finished within three seconds of each other and claimed positions 18-20 to lead the girls. Christian Suriel (18th, 17:54) and Keval Patel (23rd, 18:00) were the Bulls’ top two boys finishers.

Wesley Chapel’s Dominic Moreno had a solid showing at Newsome’s varsity race, placing 14th (19:41). His Wildcats finished 11th.

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