TAMPA — The individual winners of Wednesday's Class 4A-District 6 cross country meet — Sickles' Abigail Grant and Plant's Jack Guyton — both said, “I felt great today,” running in the slightly cooler temperatures around Al Lopez Park.
Grant cruised over the 5k course in 19 minutes, 36.2 seconds, 11 seconds ahead of Plant's Anna Montgomery and Bailey Sullivan, who ran together throughout the race and finished in 19:47.6 and 19:47.7 respectively.
“I thought (Montgomery and Sullivan) might get me,” Grant said.
“But I felt great today and I didn't feel any pressure. I know I could have gone faster but regional are next week and I want to make sure I'm ready for that (and not burned out after a strenuous district meet),” Grant said.
“My goal is to go under 19 minutes (at the regional meet).”
Guyton said he also felt he had a lot more in the tank, even though he ran a personal-best 15:54.6, 20 seconds ahead of James Zentmeyer of Sickles.
“This is very encouraging because I feel I can go faster,” Guyton said.
Guyton's effort helped the Panthers take the boys team title with 32 points, 31 ahead of Sickles.
Wiregrass Ranch was third with 64.
Steinbrenner earned the final team regional qualifying spot with 81.
Plant also took the girls team championship with 42 points, 37 ahead of Freedom.
Wiregrass Ranch also took third in the girls team race with 80, seven ahead of Sickles, which claimed the final team qualifying position.
Overall, Plant's girls appear poised to run well at next week's regional and earn a 26th consecutive trip to the state cross country meet.
“We didn't want to overwork our legs (at the district race),” Montgomery said.
“We're getting ready (for regional and state).”
Robinson boys, girls earn 3A-9 crowns
TAMPA — Robinson not only won its first district cross country title Wednesday at Pebble Creek Country Club, but the Knights also did it twice, taking both the girls and boys Class 3A-District 9 team titles.
The boys won with 31 points, 19 in front of Armwood.
Brandon was third with 87.
Chamberlain finished fourth with 122 to earn the final qualifying position for next week's regional.
Robinson's girls won with 54, just six ahead of Chamberlain.
King and Brandon were third and fourth with 73 and 93 respectively.
“We are all feeling really good,” Robinson coach Mark Altimari said. “We had a lot of great performances throughout our team.”
On the boys side, Knight Jack Rogers won in 16:48.70, pushing past runner-up Daniel Dean of Middleton in the last half of the race.
Dean finished in 17:01.20.
In the girls race, Brandon's Eliana Ochoa won the individual title in 19:42.90, followed by Robinson's Julia DeYoung in 19:34.80, her best performance of the season.
“Julia ran huge today,” Altimari said.
“She got up this race. She ended up having a great breakthrough.”
King's Sneha Sathish was third in 19:44.20 and Maggie Parrish was fourth in 19:57.40.