ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Christian's Katelyn Greenleaf battled two things Wednesday — her opponents and the elements.
She conquered both.
Greenleaf beat two of the county's top runners, St. Petersburg's Alex Eaton and Northeast's Amanda Spring, at the St. Petersburg City meet. Better still, the Mustang senior shattered the meet record she set a year ago. She finished in 18 minutes, 31 seconds, a 23-second improvement, despite strong wind gusts.
"I knew it was going to be tough because of the wind, but I thought (the meet record) was still a possibility," Greenleaf said. "I just knew I was going to have to run a really great race."
Much like last year, Greenleaf dictated the pace by sprinting out to the lead. Eaton stayed with her through the first 800 yards before Greenleaf pulled away.
"My strategy was to go out fast," Greenleaf said. "It was hard because I was running by myself the whole race.
"I don't have much of a kick, but I worked on it and went as hard as I could coming in."
Eaton took second in 19:16 and Spring third in 19:19. Northside, which had three runners among the top 15, won the team title, beating Keswick Christian 68-79.
Admiral Farragut's Blake Arnold won the boys race, finishing in 16:34 for his first City Meet title after coming in second the past two years.
Arnold hoped to break the school and meet record, but the wind prevented that.
"I took the lead right away, and I didn't have anyone to break up the wind," he said. "I'm still happy with my time because it was just a spiral of wind out there."
Keswick Christian's Jacob Endrulat took second in 16:43 followed by St. Petersburg's Sam Chandler in 16:45.
Chandler was one of three Green Devils who finished among the top 15. That depth helped St. Petersburg beat Northeast 68-74 for the team title.