NEW PORT RICHEY — For as long as girls coach Joel Myers can remember, Springstead has not been near the top of many cross country invitationals.
But Saturday morning at Starkey Wilderness Park may have ended that rough track. Springstead (112 points) finished 23 behind first-place Sarasota Riverview, enough for second at the Mitchell Invitational 5K.
Springstead's top finisher was junior Jaclyn White, who was sixth in the field of 122 runners with a time of 21 minutes, 15 seconds.
"It has been a long time since (Springstead) has finished this well, and I am just real proud of the kids," Myers said. "They really earned this and have worked real hard the past couple summers."
Mitchell, the race host, had the top placer from Pasco County. Kelli Williams finished second, just behind East Lake's Katherine McMeekin. Williams finished in 20:54 to McMeekin's 20:21.
"I just really paced myself a lot better than last week's meet, and I am just really happy that I got to this point," Williams said.
The boys race was much closer, with Sarasota taking the team title over Largo by a single point, 61 to 62. Nature Coast (90 points) was the top North Suncoast team, finishing third overall.
Kenneth Fessell, a freshman from Sunlake in his second race, took fifth for the Seahawks in 17:17. Coach Joel Richards believes there are bigger things to come in Fessell's future.
"(Kenneth) is a hard worker and is only a freshmen and has really improved every week he has been running," Richard said. "He has a real bright future in Pasco County."