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Seminole standout Magee is in championship form

Ken Magee looked like he knew what he was doing Saturday.

A week after easily capturing a district title at Lakewood Ranch High, he duplicated the feat by winning the Class 4A, Region 2 meet to secure a berth in the state finals at Ed Radice Park in Tampa.

The Seminole star, ranked sixth in the state, smashed last week's time (17:01) to take the championship by five seconds from Martin County's Joseph Faitella. Magee crossed the finish line in 16:42.

Joining him in Saturday's state meet will be St. Petersburg's Thomas Nagy and Clayton Hofstra, who both qualified by placing in the top 15.

"I usually set a strategy for the race, but I don't usually follow that," Magee said. "I run by feeling. My goal is to win and get a better time than last week."

Magee helped the Warhawks achieve their goal, buoying his side to fourth place in a tight team race.

The top six squads advanced, and just 34 points separated those teams. Seminole's 128 left the 'Hawks two points out of third and eight shy of runner-up Martin County.

The girls race was even closer, as nine points separated second-sixth. Seminole slid in with a fifth-place score of 146.

Devin Gapstur and Shannon Barry, second and third respectively, allowed Martin County (75) to run away with the title. The Warhawks closely trailed St. Cloud and Bloomingdale, who tied for second at 141.

"That was amazing," Seminole coach Bruce Calhoun said. "I really was just hoping we could qualify. Fifth place is divine. To know that they came in fifth, only five points out of second, that was an extraordinary performance for our girls."

The individual event bore no resemblance to the team races.

St. Petersburg's Kerry Allen dusted off Gapstur, second in the state a year ago, to repeat her victory at the district meet. With a 19:16 performance, the Green Devils sophomore shaved 29 seconds off her time from a week ago.

Gapstur managed to do something that just one other person has done all season _ finish inside a minute of Allen's pace. The Martin County senior clocked in at 19:31.

Seminole's Lauren Vogel timed in at 20:59 for sixth.

But Allen couldn't carry her team with her.

St. Petersburg placed 10th and failed to advance, as did Palm Harbor University.

Lauren McNary ran 47th to lead a contingent of Hurricanes. All five ranked 47-63 to land 12th.