Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Cross country notebook: Starring role for Calvary's Brookover

Calvary Christian's Hannah Brookover was a soccer player who tried cross country for the first time last year. She became one of the county's top runners, finishing 21st at the state meet.

Now, Brookover is more consumed with running. The sophomore continued her meteoric rise with a strong start to the season, winning the Holloway Park Jamboree in 19:37.30. She followed that up with a fifth-place finish at last weekend's Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville with a time of 18:40.53, nearly a minute faster than her time at last year's state meet.

Brookover finished the highest among Pinellas County girls runners at the meet, ahead of Shorecrest's Alex Eaton, who was considered one of the favorites.

Eaton was eighth in 18:58.93. She attributed her subpar performance to not eating enough before the race.

It was a rough meet for the Chargers, who were without three of their top runners and finished 16th overall.

Shorecrest's boys had it worse. The team bus had a flat tire on the way to Gainesville. The runners were held up even longer because of an accident on I-75. Once they arrived, they were too late for the varsity race and had to run with the junior varsity. Despite not being pushed, the Chargers' Luke Peterson (16:59.04) and Ross Porter (16:59.06) each posted season-best times, finishing 1-2.

"It was a tough weekend," Shorecrest coach Jeff Raab said. "We had a to deal with some bad luck before the race, and then had to battle through a hot day. But I thought both teams ran well and had great times considering the circumstances."

Leaders of the pack: Based on early-season results, Osceola's boys and Seminole's girls are the teams to beat among county public schools.

The Warriors have won every big meet, including team titles last week at the Cougar Invitational and the Anclote Invitational.

Osceola's top runner is Hunter McCann, a sophomore who bounced back from a runnerup finish at the season-opening meet to take first at the Cougar Invitational (16:10) and Anclote Invitational (18:05). But the Warriors have won because of depth. Two of McCann's teammates, Abimael Jimenez and Reggie Cape, have each had top-10 finishes in their past three big meets.

The Warhawks girls, meanwhile, have won team titles at the Green Devil and Cougar Invitational. Olivia Suski has become Seminole's No. 1 runner and won last week's Cougar Invitational in 20:00.

Streak at stake: Northeast's Caroline Condon, who took over as the Vikings' top runner this season, has won individual titles at the Pirate and Green Devil Invitational. She'll try to keep that streak alive Thursday at the Viking Invitational, a 10-team meet that includes Boca Ciega, Seminole and St. Petersburg, who have strong runners.

Comments
Plant City wins first soccer championship in dramatic fashion

Plant City wins first soccer championship in dramatic fashion

DELAND — As Plant City players lined up for their Class 5A state championship medals after an exhausting 2-1 (3-2 in penalty kicks) win over Miami Beach Saturday afternoon, the reality hit them. They had to dye their hair blond.The Raiders made...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Distance Classic journal: Feeling the burn at 81

Distance Classic journal: Feeling the burn at 81

TAMPA — Bill Riley is still at it, which is amazing because he's 81.A very, very fast 81.Riley, for instance, ran Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K in 26 minutes, 19 seconds, more than 10 minutes ahead of his next age group compe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF honors seniors, watches them shine in win against Cincy

USF honors seniors, watches them shine in win against Cincy

What began as an emotional senior night segued into a methodical senior showcase for the 18th-ranked USF women Saturday.Six-foot Denmark native Maria Jespersen notched her 17th double-double of the season (26 points, 16 rebounds) while fellow senior ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What Lightning would be getting in Erik Karlsson

What Lightning would be getting in Erik Karlsson

MONTREAL – We don't know yet if the Lightning will be able to land Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson by Monday's trade deadline.There's a chance, with Tampa Bay having enough interest – and high-level prospects – to make t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

FORT MYERS – Just playing on back-to-back days was significant for Rays 3B Matt Duffy.Playing well has made the start of spring training even better."Really liked the way Duffy has continued to play," manager Kevin Cash said after a 4-3 loss to...
Updated: 2 hours ago
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

TAMPA — The only other time Taylor McDowell ran the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K, he came in 10th place. So as this year's event neared, the Tampa resident created a training plan, and he stuck to it.McDowell, who competed in cross cou...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 5 hours ago