Monday, February 19, 2018
Sports

State cross country: Mitchell senior bolts to 8th in Class 3A meet

TALLAHASSEE — On the most sublime racing morning of her high school life, 5-foot Mitchell senior Claudia Cancello consumed half a banana, a little water and essentially none of Nikita Shah's dust.

Shattering both her personal record and Shah's two-year reign of dominance over her, Cancello overtook seven runners in the last 400 meters to finish eighth (18:39.40) in the Class 3A girls cross country race Saturday on a rolling course at Apalachee Regional Park.

Shah, a Harvard-bound Wiregrass Ranch senior who beat Cancello by 40 seconds at last week's Region 2 meet, placed 15th (18:58.92).

"She's never been in the same zip code (as Shah)," veteran Mustangs coach Jeff Leavey said. "The truth is, it was her day. She works hard and it was her day. That's athletics."

The improbable converged with the inspirational on a morning of 40- to 50-degree temperatures and faint wind; blissful conditions by runners' standards.

While Cancello and Anclote senior Spencer Guerette (eighth in the 3A boys race) posted the North Suncoast's top showings, Land O'Lakes' boys posted the most uplifting one.

Joining the Gators was team captain Stephen Barnabei, who had emergency brain surgery only a couple of weeks ago. On Friday night, Barnabei addressed the team in coach Kris Keppel's room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

His message was one borne of raw, recent experience: If you can handle the mental challenge that awaits, you'll do fine.

The Gators finished 11th (300 points), one spot behind Wiregrass Ranch (294) in the 3A meet. Junior Travis Nichols finished an area-best 11th (15:57.04) while classmates Tyler Stahl (16:02.23) and Jake Poore (personal-best 16:25.85) placed 17th and 42nd, respectively.

"It's been a good year and I'm glad we finished on a good note," said Keppel, his voice cracking. "Having Stephen here was an inspiration for all of us: the parents, the runners, for me. He and I are very close, one of the many sons I've never had."

Cancello, who has run cross country only two seasons, benefited from a weather-friendly early start (8:25 a.m.) and a newfound composure, essentially running 100-meter increments in her mind down the stretch.

"Last week (at region) my stomach was kind of hurting," she said. "But this week I just told myself, 'Okay, just stay calm,' and it worked."

Shah's uncharacteristic struggles notwithstanding, Wiregrass Ranch's girls still placed sixth, the area's top team finish. Bulls senior Berlin Waters was 24th (19:21.71).

"Obviously I didn't have (Shah) ready," Bulls coach Don Howard said. "That's not on her, it's on me."

Guerette, who vowed atonement after a disappointing runnerup finish at the District 9 meet, notched a personal-best time (16:18.56). Nature Coast's boys finished seventh in 2A, putting four runners in spots 42-71. Senior Cody Van Natter (17:04.62) led the Sharks.

State results

Class 2A

Boys team scores, top and local:

1 Bishop Kenny 69, 7 Nature Coast 254, 19 Gulf 432.

Boys individuals: top and local 100:

1 Alex Pedraza, Golden Gate, 15:44.34; 8 Guerette Spencer, Anclote, 16:18.56; 29. Nick Buliga, Gulf, 16:56.25; 19; Cody Van Natter, Nature Coast, 17:04.62; 52 Kevin Ciccone, Nature Coast, 17:08.93; 54 Stephen Murphy, Nature Coast, 17:10.47; 99. Joseph Clark, Nature Coast, 17:55.59.

Girls team scores, top and local:

1 Bolles 58, 13 Nature Coast 347, 21 Gulf 480.

Girls individuals: top and local 100:

1 Julia Montgomery, Pine Crest, 18:20.93; 34 Kari Grippo, Gulf, 20:08.12; 64 Alexa Lacy, Nature Coast, 20:47.79, 68 Crystal Burchardt, Nature Coast, 20:50.92, 71 Brielle Perlingieri, Nature Coast, 20:53.14; 85 Eliza Gazda, Gulf, 21:06.02; 87 Mary Thomson, Nature Coast, 21:09.58; 99 Summer March, Nature Coast, 21:22.04

Class 3A

Boys team scores, top and local:

1 Belen Jesuit 60, 10 Wiregrass Ranch 294, 11 Land O' Lakes 300

Boys individuals: top and local 100:

1 Thomas Howell, Niceville, 15:19.64; 12 Travis Nichols, Land O' Lakes, 15:57.04; 17 Tyler Stahl, Land O' Lakes, 16:02.23; 30 Ermias Bireda, Wiregrass Ranch, 16:16.33; 42 Jake Poore, Land O' Lakes, 16:25.85; 54 Benjamin Hall, Wiregrass Ranch, 16:38.84; 68 Andy Hippely, Wiregrass Ranch, 16:52.45; 84 Patrick Hill, Wiregrass Ranch, 17:02.49; 98 Thor Alastre, Wiregrass Ranch, 17:14.44.

Girls team scores, top and local:

1 Estero 42, 6 Wiregrass Ranch 208

Girls individuals: top and local 100:

1 Susan Givens, Chiles, 17:48.78; 8 Claudia Cancello, Mitchell, 18:39.40; 15 Nikita Shah, Wiregrass Ranch, 18:58.92; 24 Berlin Waters, Wiregrass Ranch, 19:21.71; 52 Elise Cedre, Wiregrass Ranch, 20:00.37; 78 Madison Conway, Wiregrass Ranch, 20:26.77; 89 Addie Cornwell, Wiregrass Ranch, 20:40.08; 90 Chelsea Ginn-Davis, Wiregrass Ranch, 20:41.16

0star

Class A

Boys team scores, top and local: 1 Holy Trinity 39, 4 Seffner Christian 200, 12 Shorecrest Prep 279, 13 Indian Rocks Christian 330, 14 Clearwater Central Catholic 347, 16 Admiral Farragut 386, 24 St. Petersburg Catholic 619

Boys individuals: top and local 100: 1 Alex Brown, Holy Trinity, 15:37.69; 14 Ross Porter, Shorecrest, 16:39.05; 24 Patrick McNamara, AdmFar, 16:55.32; 32 Luke Peterson, Shorecrest, 17:05.83; 38 Nima Beheshti, AdmFar, 17:10.89; 53 Trevor Quandt, IRC, 17:23.96; 60 Jacob Endrulat, Keswick, 17:32.55; 61 Saul Ramirez, CCC, 17:35.59; 65 Cole Krajeski, IRC, 17:40.46; 77 Brennan Robinson, CCC, 17:55.86; 78 Luke Boeche, IRC, 17:57.89; 84 Josh Miles, Shorecrest, 18:04.71; 87 Justin Scoby, Shorecrest, 18:07.12; 96 Matt Adan, CCC, 18:14.16; 99 Connor Schiebinger, SPC, 18:17.44

Girls team scores, top and local: 1 Oak Hall 64,, 3 Shorecrest Prep 143, 15 Indian Rocks Christian 361,

Girls individuals, top and local 100: 1 Julie Wollrath, Holy Trinity, 18:15.49; 3 Alex Eaton, Shorecrest, 18:33.78; 11 Saphara Harrell, CCC, 19:15.09; 16 Olivia Rovin, Shorecrest, 19:34.75; 21 Hanna Brookover, CalChr, 19:47.49; 28 Kai Greenlees, Shorecrest, 20:24.20; 29 Bobbi LaBrant, IRC, 20:25.37; 38 Nicole Taggart, CalChr, 20:34.82; 40 Savannah Broome, Shorecrest, 20:36.25; 65 Rachel Kistemaker, IRC, 21:11.82; 67 Sophie Sweeney, CalChr, 21:14.99; 81 Katie Englert, CCC, 21:37.32; 91 Peninah Benjamin, Shorecrest, 21:53.20; 97 Kayla Hewel, IRC, 21:56.83; 99 Jordyn Bench, IRC, 21:58.72

Comments
LeBron James leads squad to All-Star victory

LeBron James leads squad to All-Star victory

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James picked a winner in the NBA All-Star Game.James scored 29 and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play, winning his third All-Star Game MVP award while his hand-picked team rallied to win an uncommonly entertai...
Updated: 2 hours ago
History in sight, Aric Almirola’s heart broken at Daytona 500

History in sight, Aric Almirola’s heart broken at Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH — Early Sunday evening, Aric Almirola walked from the infield care center and back to the garage area at Daytona International Speedway. His day was done, and with it a dream, the biggest you can have. He was released when medical...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

PORT CHARLOTTE – Rays officials insisted Sunday they made the best deals they could in a bad market, trading No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi for an unheralded Class A shortstop prospect and DFA-ing 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson in essentially a swa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

DAYTONA BEACH – No, Bubba Wallace did not win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.But you wouldn't have known that after seeing his emotions after he placed second – the highest finish ever by a black driver in the Great American Race.Wal...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Winter Olympics: First Russian fails drug test at Games

Winter Olympics: First Russian fails drug test at Games

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — A Russian has failed a preliminary doping test, the first athlete from the country to come under investigation for using a banned substance at the Games, putting in jeopardy Russia’s efforts to move past a vast, state-backe...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Duke6 p.m.ESPN2Miami at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN; 620-AMMaryland at Northwestern7 p.m.FS1Howard at N.C. Central7 p.m.ESPNUWomen: Georgia at Mississippi7 p.m.SECWomen: Syracuse at Pittsburgh7 p.m.Fox SunWomen...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Don’t like Rays moves? You’ve got company in Longo

Don’t like Rays moves? You’ve got company in Longo

Evan Longoria has said pretty much all the right things since the Rays traded him in December to the Giants.But the former franchise cornerstone felt strongly the Rays made the wrong move in designating for assignment Corey Dickerson and spoke out on...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Nick Goepper met Jeret "Speedy" Peterson only once.The larger-than-life Olympic aerial skier left a powerful impression on Goepper, an Indiana kid on his way to his own whirling fame.So when it got bad four years ago, when ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Shooting from the Lip

Shooting from the Lip

Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Worst newsSaturday night could not have been fun for Rays fans. Their team traded solid pitcher Jake Odorizzi and essentially let go of 2017 All-Star Corey ...
Updated: 6 hours ago