How does Seminole High boys cross country coach Bruce Calhoun feel about being the district front-runner? "It is a very weird position," he said. "We are just going to go out and do the best that we can. This is one of those things you take one step at a time."
Seminole won its first Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship last week, by 11 points over Clearwater, ending Largo High's four-year reign.
Now the cross country post-season begins with the Warhwaks again running against PCAC rivals Clearwater and Largo in the Class 4A, District 3 meet. There will be nine teams from Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee counties in the meet, scheduled for 4:30 today at Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg.
The Class 3A, District 5 meet is Saturday morning at 8:30 at Lake Park in Tampa. Boca Ciega, Gibbs, Lakewood, St. Petersburg and Osceola will compete with teams from Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties.
The top five finishers in both the Class 3A and 4A boys and girls races advance to next week's regionals, along with the top six teams.
Locally, runners to watch in the 4A meet are Largo's Joe Palmer, Countryside's Chris Galle and Clearwater's Jesse Kier. Seminole, Largo and Clearwater will battle for the boys team title.
Clearwater, which features the one-two punch of Jennifer Vieira and Wyleia Foster, is a favorite in the girls race. Individually, Dixie Hollins freshman Marjorie Schmidt is a favorite.
In the Class 3A meet, St. Petersburg High's Brian Herring will be favored in the boys race and Gulf High's Aimee Lund is the favorite in the girls race. Lund was a class 3A state runner-up last year. East Lake's Tasha Lee (11:42 at the PCAC meet last week) will likely challenge Lund for the top spot. Osceola's Amy Goss should also contend.
Herring ran away with the PCAC cross-country race last week, followed by Gibbs' Kenyada Jones.
Class 4A, District 3 meet
What: Class 4A, District 3 cross country meet.
Who: Manatee, Cape Coral, Countryside, Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Pinellas Park, Dixie Hollins, Northeast, Sarasota, Sarasota Riverview, Seminole.
Where: Crescent Lake Park.
When: Today at 4:30 p.m.
At stake: The top-five individual finishers and the top-six teams advance to the Region II meet, Nov. 10 at Lake Park in Tampa.
Class 3A, District 5 meet
What: Class 3A, District 5 cross country meet
Who: Hernando, Pasco, Hudson, Land O'Lakes, Gulf, Ridgewood, Boca Ciega, Gibbs, Lakewood, St. Petersburg, Osceola, Springstead, Tampa Bay Vo-Tech, Tampa Jesuit, Tampa Plant, Tampa Robinson, Tarpon Springs, East Lake, Zephyrhills.
Where: Lake Park in Tampa.
When: Saturday morning: girls race starts at 9, boys race at 9:45.
At stake: The top five individual finishers and the top six teams advance to the Region III meet Nov. 10 at McKeethan Lake Park in Hernando County.