Plant's girls continued their strong season by claiming the Class 4A, Region 4 championship on Saturday at North Port.
Bailey Sullivan won the 5K girls race in 18 minutes, 52 seconds, and teammate Anna Montgomery was 24 seconds behind to take fourth. Abigail Crowder's 10th-place showing helped the Panthers finish eight points ahead of host North Port for the title.
The top six teams and the top 15 individuals qualify for the state meet later this week.
Palm Harbor University placed fourth as a team and will advance. Senior Sarah Raymond led the Hurricanes by finishing third (19:16).
Other notable finishers were Sickles' Abigail Grant (seventh) and Newsome's Emily Zwijacz (12th).
In the boys race, Sickles junior James Zentmeyer cruised to the region title in 15:59, 26 seconds ahead of Countryside senior Andrew Llewellyn.
Newsome was the team runnerup, 57 points behind Sarasota Riverview. The Wolves placed four runners in the top 30 overall, led by Andrew Flynn (22nd). Sickles also had a seventh-place finish by sophomore Paris Williams to take third as a team.
Junior Jack Guyton finished third for Plant, which placed fourth as a team. Steinbrenner was fifth and also advanced to state.
3A-3: King sophomore is bright spot
DOVER — Robinson's girls and boys teams each fell one place shy of a state berth in Saturday's 3A-3 region meet at Sydney Dover Trails. The Chamberlain girls, who tied Robinson for seventh, suffered the same fate.
Individually, King sophomore Sneha Sathish had the top finish among area runners, fifth place in 19:31.
Sathish, who placed 12th in last year's region, attributed her improvement to a fast start.
"Last year I had a problem with starting and finishing," she said. "This year my start got a lot better. This is my favorite course. I like the sand, I like the hills and everybody hates it."
Also among the top 15 advancing to the state meet was Robinson's Jack Rogers and Brandon's Eliana Ochoa.
"It would mean more if the team was coming with me," said Rogers, who was 13th in 17:04.
Ochoa ran a 20:02 to place 12th.
2A-3: Holy Names girls dash through
At Anclote, the Academy of the Holy Names girls and the Jesuit boys led bay-area efforts.
Led by Colleen Doherty (third, 20:55) and Claire Snyder (fifth, 21:07), the AHN girls tied Lemon Bay with 46 points, but they were awarded the team title based on the sixth runner's points. AHN senior Virginia Barreda was 25th and easily ahead of Lemon Bay's runner as the field endured a storm.
"I think mentally, I feel better (when it's rainy)," Snyder said.
Berkeley Prep's girls qualified for the state meet with a fifth-place finish, led by seventh-graders Catelin Lipham (ninth, 22:10) and Emma Righter (11th, 22:18).
The Jesuit boys improved on their third-place finish a year ago by taking second with 65 points, just seven behind winner Lakeland McKeel. Tigers senior Tim O'Loughlin grabbed third in 17:03, and freshman teammate Charlie Gonzmart was eighth in 17:25.26.
Berkeley Prep took the sixth qualifying spot with 171 points as junior Vasilis Vasiloudes (11th, 17:33.60) and freshman Leonel Ochoa (19th, 17:49.90) led the way.
A-3: Calvary runner battles to third
At Holy Trinity Academy in Melbourne, sophomore Hannah Brookover notched a third-place finish in 18:31 to help the Calvary Christian girls to a sixth-place finish (197 points) — good enough to advance to state.
Julie Wollrath won in 18:14 to pace Holy Trinity to the team title with 39 points.
Shorecrest's girls were second (91), led by senior Alex Eaton's fourth-place finish (18:36).
In all, five bay area boys teams advanced to state, placing second through sixth, respectively, behind champion Holy Trinity (41): Indian Rocks Christian, Shorecrest, St. Petersburg Catholic, Admiral Farragut and Seffner Christian. Holy Trinity's Andrew Cacciatore was the top runner in 16:07. Seffner Christian's Cory Chambers was 11th in 17:06.
Times correspondents Steve Lee and Andy Warrener contributed to this report.