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Lecanto boys favored for cross-country title

Reality prompts Hernando High boys cross-country coach Ernie Chatman to concede Saturday morning's Gulf Coast Conference championships to Lecanto, ranked 21st among nationwide prep teams according to a poll in The Harrier magazine.

"We're all running to prepare for the next few races," Chatman said of the upcoming postseason, "because nobody's going to run with Lecanto."

Lecanto will be joined by Hernando, Central, Citrus, Crystal River and South Sumter in the GCC meet at McKethan Lake Park north of Brooksville. The 2-mile GCC girls race begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the 3-mile boys race at 9.

Lecanto's boys, who are No. 1 in Class 4A and have beaten the state's top-ranked teams in all other classifications, kept their unbeaten season intact last weekend with their 62-point victory at Dr. Phillips High in Orlando.

Junior Sean McManus, the GCC boys favorite, won in Orlando. The last time he ran at McKethan Lake, earlier this season, he won the Red Mule Invitational. Lecanto teammates Emilie Ruetenik and Cindy Ketchum, Hernando's Cassie Nowicki and Central's Brooke Bastien should contend among the girls.

Ridgewood's Matt Krcmaric and River Ridge's Jacki Waller are the boys and girls favorites in the Sunshine Athletic Conference championships Saturday morning at Ridgewood. Springstead is in the eight-school field.

PHCC volleyball No. 6

in junior college poll

Pasco-Hernando Community College, 29-4 after a runner-up finish to Miami-Dade Wolfson in the Florida Community College Tournament in Jacksonville, has moved up to a school-record No. 6 in the latest junior-college poll.

Gina McGee, who leads the nation in hitting efficiency, and Ardell Diaz, sixth in assists, were named to the all-tourney team. Debbie Snare is second in the nation in hitting efficiency.

Elsewhere, Saint Leo's volleyball team (13-11) plays this weekend in the Jacksonville University Tournament.

In men's soccer, Saint Leo meets Queens College at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and the University of West Florida at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, when it hosts the four-team Marriott Classic tournament. Also competing is Eckerd College, which plays UWF at 1 p.m. Saturday and Queens at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Saint Leo's Sam Koleduk scored two goals, one in overtime, when Saint Leo beat Barry 3-2 in the Monarchs' first game at home since Sept. 24. The tourney opens a five-game homestand for Saint Leo, which fell one spot to No. 7 among NCAA Division II South Region teams. Koleduk is ranked 16th nationally in scoring.

Basketball, baseball

coaches form group

Basketball and baseball coaches in Pasco County have joined in an association to better promote their sports, Zephyrhills High athletic director Craig Milburn said this week.

The new Pasco B&B Coaches Association was formed by Milburn, who coaches both sports, and had its first preliminary meeting last week. It is composed of boys and girls basketball coaches and baseball coaches from the county's seven high schools, county middle schools and from Saint Leo College and Pasco-Hernando Community College.