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Seminole captures cross country championship

Seminole High School placed three runners in in the top 15 en route to an 11-point win in Thursday's Pinellas County Conference cross country championships at Crescent Lake. The Warhawks scored 69 team points for the first win in coach Bruce Calhoun's six-year career. Clearwater placed second (78 points) and defending champion Largo was third (89). St. Petersburg's Brian Herring won the individual title with a time of 15:18.

In the girls division, Clearwater easily held off second-place Seminole 56-105. East Lake's Tasha Lee ran a county best 11:41 for first-place individually.

"I've always had hopes we were this good," Calhoun said. "I just didn't know if it was true until now. We've always had a good top three runners, but today our four and five runners ran just divinely. Everyone did. This was just an inspiring and inspired performance."

No.1 runner Dan McHugh was third with a 15:48, and Erick Lipham was sixth in 16:08. Andy Fussner was 15th in 16:40. Clearwater's top runner was Jesse Kier, fifth in 15:53. Largo's Shelond Pennington finished eighth in 16:11, ahead of teammate Joe Palmer, who finished 12th.

St. Petersburg's Herring opened a 100-yard lead at the mile mark and held on for the victory. Gibbs' Kenyada Jones was third in 15:42. Countryside's Chris Galle was fourth in 15:52.

Clearwater's girls got three personal bests for the victory. Lakewood was third with 107, followed by Largo with 113.

Clearwater's Jennifer Vieira ran an 11:49 (third), Wyleia Foster was fifth in 12:07, and Jennifer Graf was 13th in 12:58. Dixie Hollins freshman Marjorie Schmidt duplicated her personal best of 11:46, but it wasn't enough to catch Lee. She finished second.

"She made her move on the back stretch," said Schmidt, who led by a slim margin at the first mile. "I tried to make one last try for her, but I didn't have enough."

Osceola's Amy Goss was fourth in 11:57, and Seminole's Tiffany Hill was sixth in 12:17.

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