SHADY HILLS — A familiar course and similar results were posted at the Class 3A, District 3 championships at Crews Lake Park as the Wiregrass Ranch boys and girls continued their stampede toward regionals. Both claimed district crowns among a field of 18 schools Thursday evening.
"We came out here and I told the girls, don't worry about your times, this is just about racing. And the girls performed," Bulls coach Don Howard said. "We had some girls not feeling well today and not running at their best, but in spite of that we pulled it out and as a team they did it."
Wiregrass freshman Nikita Shah kept up her torrid pace as she finished one second behind Belleview's Anne-Marie Blaney (19:32). The Bulls finished first with 53 points and got good performances from Ariel Gray (20:23) and Kelsey Sturman (20:47), who finished fifth and 10th, respectively. Mitchell's Kelli Williams finished third (19:55).
On the boys side, Land O'Lakes' Matt Schwartz conquered the Crews Lake course once again and finished in first with a time of 16:32. Wiregrass placed three in the top 10 with Ryan Pulsifer (16:44), Delonzo Sharp (16:44) and Joshua Reilly (17:09).
Nature Coast came into the meet without coach Trevor Barlow, who resigned Monday for undisclosed reasons. Interim coach Kristen Peeples said she has stepped in as coach.
"It has been a hard week mentally," said Nature Coast lead runner Bruce Federico, who finished fourth (17:02). "We felt lost, but it is mixed feelings right now."
Barlow took over just before the start of this season, replacing Armen Merjanian.