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3A-3 cross country: Wharton boys, girls prevail

Boys Team-1. Wharton 61; 2. Land O'Lakes 64; 3. Vanguard 94; 4. South Lake 125; 5. Ridgewood 142; 6. Central 148; 7. Gulf 154; 8. Forest 166; 9. Belleview 257; 10. Leesburg 274; 11. River Ridge 330; 12. Freedom 367; 13. Springstead 373; 14. Lake Weir 386; 15. Wesley Chapel 409; Individual-1. Soto (LOL) 15:45; 2. Wolfe (SL) 15:54; 3. Grellner (Wh) 16:15; 4. Slack (Van) 16:30; 5. Schwartz (LOL) 16:33; 6. Bell (Bel) 16:37; 7. Swain (Wh) 16:43; 8. Camacho (Rw) 16:46; 9. Williams (Van) 16:48; 10. Torres (For) 16:58; 11. Morken (LOL) 16:59; 12. Miller (Gu) 17:00; 13. Chilamonczyk (Rw) 17:04; 14. Taylor (Wh) 17:08; 15. MacKenzie (Cen)_ 17:16.

Girls Team-1. Wharton 37; 2. Vanguard 100; 3. Land O'Lakes 100; 4. South Lake 130; 5. Central 136; 6. Gulf 141; 7. Springstead 180; 8. Forest 191; 9. Ridgewood 196; 10. Freedom 241; 11. Belleview 277; River Ridge 318. Individual-1. Lawson (Van) 18:38; 2. Franks (Wh) 19:20; 3. Blaney (Bel) 19:22; 4. Brandt (LOL) 19:27; 5. Bailey (Wh) 19:41; 6. Carney (SL) 19:49; 7. Kelly (SL) 20:00; 8. Furst (WC) 20:01; 9. Foley (Wh) 20:07; 10. Ritter (Wh) 20:08; 11. Browne (Rw) 20:13; 12. Hatcher (Van) 20:13; 13. Rangel (SL) 20:14; 14. Meggs (Wh) 20:17; 15. Forcier (LOL) 20:19.

Wharton coach Wes Newton brought his team to the McKethan Lake course in Brooksville a week ago to get familiar with the surroundings.

Despite being heavy favorites in both races, Newton did not want to leave anything to chance. So it was no surprise Wharton won the boys and girls races to defend its Class 3A, District 3 crowns Friday afternoon.

The girls crushed the competition, with five runners finishing in the top 13 for a team score of 37 points. Ocala Vanguard was second (100) followed by Land O'Lakes (100), Groveland South Lake (130), Central (136), Gulf (141) and Springstead (180).

Wildcats senior Alyssa Franks finished second (19:20) behind Vanguard senior Tori Lawson (18:38), and Land O'Lakes sophomore Alyssa Brandt was fourth (19:27).

"We pretty much expected Tori Lawson would win," Newton said. "Our goal was to have our five girls finish within 20:30, and they did that."

In the boys competition, Wharton held off Land O'Lakes 61-64. Gators senior Felix Soto won in 15:45 while Wharton senior John Grellener was third (16:15). Land O'Lakes junior Matt Schwartz finished fifth (16:33). The Gators' top three were ahead of Wharton's, but the Wildcats won thanks to their fourth and fifth runners.

"I knew it would be a real battle between us and Land O'Lakes," Newton said. "We had a plan to run man up on them. It was our job to beat them and our No. 5 guy."

Vanguard was third (94) followed by South Lake (125), Ridgewood (142), Central (148) and Gulf (154).

3A-3 cross country: Wharton boys, girls prevail 11/07/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 7, 2008 8:26pm]

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