Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cross country: Brisk day brings quick pace for elite field in prestate classic

DADE CITY — At last, Saturday morning finally felt like cross country season, as evidenced by the dipping temperature and running times.

The rushes of overdue cool air whipping across the rural Pasco County countryside served as a harbinger of the brisk paces logged by several locals in the Prestate Classic at Little Everglades Ranch — site of next month's state meet.

Whether it was Chamberlain senior Mark Parrish eclipsing the 16-minute barrier, or Sickles' Julian Gines, Berkeley Prep's Tyler Greathouse and Newsome's Brianna Jackson eclipsing their personal bests, Saturday served notice that autumn — and a few locals — have arrived just in time for the postseason.

"Great course conditions," said Greathouse, 14th in the boys elite race (16 minutes, 1.28 seconds), the two-day festival's most prestigious event. "Perfect weather, overcast and cool. I don't know any better race conditions, so I was happy."

Posting the fastest local effort was Parrish, who engaged the boys elite race leaders in a breakneck opening pace on the hilly Little Everglades course and held on for a solid seventh-place showing (15:42.97). Rising sophomore teammate Max del Monte (16:09.04) was 20th.

Tallahassee Leon's Matt Mizereck, the defending 3A state champ, won in 15:20.44, pulling away from Creekside's Jimmy Clark for a 3-second triumph.

"It was one of my better ones this season," said Parrish, third at last season's 3A meet. "I felt really good the first mile, decided I was strong enough to make an attack. It didn't play out in the end, but I felt like I put in a real hard effort, and that's all I came to do."

Meantime, Greathouse, a five-time state qualifier who has run this course eight times, beat his performance in last year's 1A state meet by 30 seconds.

"I was kind of worried about my own race," he said. "But I didn't want to lose control and be out in no-man's land."

No Hillsborough County runner challenged in the girls elite race, though Jackson, a 14-year-old freshman who moved from Illinois earlier this year, placed 33rd in 19:44.10. Plant had four runners in the top 61 and came within one frightening finish-line scene of having five.

Panthers sophomore Molly Harry (82nd, 20:48.82) collapsed 5 yards shy of the finish line before getting to her feet and crossing just as her legs gave out again. A first-year runner who won last month's West Hillsborough Invitational, Harry was treated on scene and exited the course on her own power.

Elsewhere, Gines had the area's highest finish with a fifth-place effort (16:36.36) in the boys large schools race. King's Dayna Cline was seventh (20:07.20) in the girls large schools race.

"I was just trying to (run a personal record), have a good time," Gines said. "That's about it. I was just going for a good time, and I did it. It's a tough course. Those hills are a killer."

Cross country: Brisk day brings quick pace for elite field in prestate classic 10/17/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.