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)

Girls cross country: Wiregrass Ranch senior Megan Ibison runs well despite sickness

Strong run: Mitchell’s Kelli Williams finishes 24th in 4A.


Strong run: Mitchell’s Kelli Williams finishes 24th in 4A.

DADE CITY — Moments after the final cross country race of her prep career, Wiregrass Ranch senior Megan Ibison felt two sensations: a southerly breeze carrying 40-degree air across her perspiring skin, and surreality.

The latter arrived when Ibison was told she had crossed the finish line of the Class 2A state championship race ahead of more-heralded teammate — and two-time Sunshine Athletic Conference champ — Ariel Grey.

"Really?" Ibison said. "I didn't think that was possible."

Funny. If any of the hundreds of runners who convened just after dawn Saturday at Little Everglades Ranch knew about stretching the boundaries of possibility, it was Ibison. Twenty-four hours before, it appeared she wouldn't be cleared to run by her doctors.

Physically wracked by a bladder infection, Ibison nonetheless had the race of her life, running a personal-best time (19 minutes, 56 seconds) to place 35th and lead the Bulls to 13th place. Grey (48th) was nine seconds behind.

"I was real close to not letting her run," said Bulls coach Don Howard, whose team's finish was four places better than last year's.

"She wasn't in pain, but she had been tired all week. I've been telling them, 'This is not a week to be tired; we've got to have our energy.' But obviously she was sick."

Ibison's valiant effort highlighted a strong — if not medal-winning — day by the North Suncoast girls on a morning when temperatures seemed to hover a few degrees above freezing. The top 10 individual finishers earned medals.

"Horrible," Ibison said of the conditions. "Definitely the hardest thing I've had to run in this year."

Land O'Lakes sophomore Alyssa Brandt, a first-year runner, posted the best time of any local girl (19:25) en route to 18th place in the 3A race. She even led the first several hundred yards. "That was a cool feeling. I never thought that would happen."

Another rookie, Mitchell sophomore Kelli Williams, finished one second slower than Brandt, placing 24th in the 4A race. "I think I broke into my second gear," Williams said, "which I didn't think I had."

Girls cross country: Wiregrass Ranch senior Megan Ibison runs well despite sickness 11/22/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  2. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  3. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)