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Lakewood easily wins district title

With runners fighting the flu and the bugs in her lineup still not shaken, Liz Collins didn't know what to expect from her Lakewood High girls cross-country team at Saturday's Class 4A, District 4 meet.

Sure, Lakewood was last year's Class 3A state champion, and no, the Spartans haven't lost to a 4A team this season. Still, the second-year coach took nothing for granted as Lakewood tried going 2-for-2 as district champs under her reign.

"We're still playing with our lineup," Collins said after Lakewood, led by individual runner-up Emily Saunders (12 minutes, 28 seconds) and buoyed by the 11th-place showing of No. 5 runner Courtney Gandy (13:52), won handily. "If we can get healthy, we'll be excited for the region meet."

All runners from the top-six district girls and boys teams advance to Saturday's 3A-Region II meet at McKethan Lake Park near Brooksville, where 4A state-meet berths are at stake.

Lakewood's boys, led by fourth-place Hicham Mahjoubi (16:27) in a 3-mile race won by Arik Chellew of New Port Richey River Ridge (15:54), placed sixth. The Spartans beat Hudson by three points, 146-149, to take the last region qualifying spot. Brooksville Hernando scored 33 to win the boys team title, its third in four years.

River Ridge's Jacki Waller easily won the 2-mile girls race in 11:59, using a fast start to propel her to a 59-second victory over Saunders.

"I was really, really nervous for this race," said Waller, a sophomore. "With Emily (Saunders), you never know with her. I mean, she's an outstanding runner. She never has a bad race."

The Spartan girls _ also led by fourth-place Heather Levering (13:07), ninth-place Chastity Ott (13:32) and 10th-place Diana Biniasz (13:44) _ scored 36 points to beat Hernando (53) in a nine-school field. Lakewood's Louise Van Loyen was 16th and Jill Stone, running just her second meet of the season due to illness, was 21st.

Clearwater Central Catholic's girls, led by eighth-place Carnie Wilson (13:20), were fourth.

District cross country

Results of the Class 4A, District 4 meet held Saturday at Central High School in Brooksville:

BOYS

Team results: 1. Brooksville Hernando (Her) 33; 2. New Port Richey River Ridge (RR) 60; 3. Brooksville Central (Cen) 69; 4. Zephyrhills (Z) 127; 5. Dade City Pasco (Pas) 144; 6. Lakewood (Lw) 146; 7. Hudson (Hud); 8. Osceola 224; 9. Clearwater Central Catholic 224; NTS _ Land O'Lakes (LOL).

Individual results (3 miles): 1. Arik Chellew (RR) 15:54; 2. Joe O'Donnell (Cen) 16:07; 3. Shawnn O'Connor (Her) 16:25; 4. Hichan Mahjoubi (Lw) 16:27; 5. Philip Borozny (Her) 16:33; 6. Jonathan Britton (Her) 16:33; 7. Mike Dorkowski (RR) 16:39; 8. Chris Follett (Hud) 16:45; 9. Jay Gregory (Her) 16:47; 10. Andrew Malcolm (Her) 16:54; 11. Ian Doyle (RR) 17:01; 12. Will Staples (Z) 17:08; 13. Andy Cappiello (Cen) 17:11; 14. Akindeji Hill (Cen) 17:18; 15. Brian Wood (Z) 17:20; 16. Kevin Barry (Z) 17:20; 17. Kevin Scott (Pas) 17:24; 18. Chris Hannon (RR) 17:27; 19. Scott Puttre (Cen) 17:30; 20. Lee Stephens (LOL) 17:37.

GIRLS

Team results: 1. Lakewood (Lw) 36; 2. Brooksville Hernando (Her) 53; 3. New Port Richey River Ridge (RR) 67; 4. Clearwater Central Catholic (CCC) 104; 5. Brooksville Central (Cen) 127; 6. Hudson (Hud) 140; NTS Dade City Pasco, Land O'Lakes, Zephyrhills.

Individual results (2 miles): 1. Jacki Waller (RR) 11:59; 2. Emily Saunders (Lw) 12:58; 3. Cassie Nowicki (Her) 13:05; 4. Heather Levering (Lw) 13:07; 5. Brooke Bastien (Cen) 13:15; 6. Vanessa Nowicki (Her) 13:18; 7. Stephanie Poe (Her) 13:29; 8. Carnie Wilson (CCC) 13:30; 9. Chastity Ott (Lw) 13:32; 10. Diana Biniasz (Lw) 13:44; 11. Courtney Gandy (Lw) 13:52; 12. Jamie Leonard (RR) 13:53; 13. Michelle Campbell (Hud) 13:57; 14. Allison Proctor (RR) 13:59; 15. Leigh Ann Letvin (RR) 14:05; 16. Louise Van Loyen (Lw) 14:07; 17. Loretta Lambright (Her) 14:08; 18. Shannon Ackerman (Cen) 14:09; 19. Colleen McBride (CCC) 14:12; 20. Erin Chatman (Her) 14:13.

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