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"Long Red Row' lines up another district title

Leto's boys cross country team continued a long-standing tradition at the Class 6A, District 4 meet at Walden Lakes polo ground Saturday.

"The Long Red Row" won its 14th district title in as many years and advanced to next Saturday's regional meet at Polk Community College in Winter Haven.

All five scorers placed in the top 15 for Leto, which accumulated 39 points. Hennie Schoeman, who placed first at the Western Conference meet, led Leto's pack, finishing second in 16:05. Tim Tate (16:46), Adrian Benson (16:50) and Jim Hall (17:03) also scored for Leto, a six-time state champion.

Winter Haven's Pat Daymond sprinted past Schoeman in the last 100 meters and won the individual title in 16:04. Daymond stayed behind Schoeman and Leto's Bobby McConnell for much of the race before picking up the pace on the last mile.

"I tried to stay in the back through the early stage of the race," Daymond said. "There was a lot of mud and I didn't want that to slow me down.

"When we were coming up to the end, (Schoeman) said, "come on, let's go.' That fired me up and got me into a sprint for the rest of the race."

Schoeman praised Daymond's strategy.

"He ran a very intelligent race. He stuck with us the whole way and made a quick break at the end," he said.

McConnell finished third in 16:19, followed by Chamberlain's Pat Bokor (16:27) and Plant City's Tom Farson (16:32).

Winter Haven, with four runners among the top 15, placed second overall with 51. Gaither, Chamberlain, Brandon and Plant City also qualified for the regional meet. East Bay nearly clinched the sixth and final spot, but finished with 162, a single point behind Plant City.

The girls meet provided few surprises. Bloomingdale won its second consecutive district title with twins Katie and Jen Mitchell placing 1-2.

Katie extended her winning streak to six meets, finishing in 11:34 for 2 miles. Jen, in her fourth outing since coming back from an injury, recorded her best time and finish this season, completing the 2-mile course in 11:47.

With Denise Koenig (12:46) and Donna O'Donnell (12:56) also in the the top 15, the Bulls finished atop the team standings with 51 points.

Chamberlain's Micah Adriani ran second until being passed with a quarter-mile remaining. She finished third in 11:56. Gaither's Kathy Heabel (12:05) and Plant City's Christine Brady (12:09) rounded out the top five.

The top six teams and top five individual runners advanced to regionals. Gaither, Chamberlain, Winter Haven, Brandon and Plant City also qualified for next Saturday's meet.

District cross country

Results of the Class 6A, District 4 meet held Saturday at Walden Lake in Plant City:

BOYS

Team results: 1. Leto 39; 2. Winter Haven 51; 3. Gaither 99; 4. Gaither 99; 5. Brandon 127; 6. Plant City 127; 7. Bloomingdale 150; 8. East Bay 199; 9. Lakeland 307; 10. King 311; 11. Hillsborough 331; 12. Lake Gibson 342.

Individual results (3 miles): 1. Pat Daymond (WH) 16:04; 2. Hennie Schoeman (Le) 16:05; 3. Bobby McConnell (Le) 16:19; 4. Pat Bokor (Ch) 16:27; 5. Tom Farson (PC) 16:32; 6. Charles Draper (Br) 16:34; 7. Josh Fuller (PC) 16:43; 8. David Hicks (WH) 16:45; 9. Tim Tate (Le) 16:46; 10. George Tinsley (WH) 16:49; 11. Adrian Benson (Le) 16:50; 12. Brian Stamey (WH) 17:01; 13. Jim Hall (Le) 17:03; 14. Darrin Miller (Gai) 17:04; 15. Chris Diaz (Gai) 17:04.

GIRLS

Team results: 1. Bloomingdale 51; 2. Gaither 59; 3. Chamberlain 105; 4. Winter Haven 152; 5. Brandon 152; 6. Plant City 161; 7. East Bay 162; 8. Leto 165; 9. Hillsborough 215; 10. King 245; Lake Gibson NTS.

Individual results (2 miles): 1. Katie Mitchell (Bl) 11:34; 2. Jen Mitchell (Bl) 11:47; 3. Micah Adriani (Ch) 11:56; 4. Kathy Heabel (Gai) 12:05; 5. Christine Brady (PC) 12:09; 6. Valerie Hardee (WH) 12:12; 7. Lauren Thomas (Ch) 12:15; 8. Kristy Hausinger (Br) 12:32; 9. Amanda Fuller (PC) 12:42; 10. Denise Koenig (Bl) 12:46; 11. Kate Moehle (Gai) 12:47; 12. Christie Howard (Le) 12:55; 13. Heather Spencer (Gai) 12:56; 14. Donna O'Donnell (Bl) 12:56; 15. Jennifer Summers (Gai) 12:57.

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