HOLIDAY - Some day, Kenny Walker may be running a major cruise ship company.
On Saturday, the Fivay High senior was sweating out a 5K cross country race where he finished fifth in the Anclote Invitational with a time of 18:20. He was just behind Mitchell’s Troy Shea (18:18) and in sixth was Gulf’s James Raymond (18:24).
Turns out, Walker is one of those highly self-motivated young men, knowing that he wants to attend Florida International in Miami, wants to earn a master’s degree in international business and even carries a 3.1 grade-point average.
One day, Walker may be in the cruising business, but for now, sees running as a valuable tool.
“I think (running) a good life experience,’’ Walker said. “It teaches you respect. I think it teaches you good sportsmanship. We’re all pretty friendly here. … I motivate myself. I just enjoy running.”
Seminole Osceola won the boys race with 57 points, while Wiregrass Ranch was second with 105. Christian Suriel (13th, 18:51) was its top finisher. Mitchell was fourth with 134 points and Gulf eighth with 220 points. River Ridge, led by Antonio Sierra (25th, 19:48) was ninth and Sunlake was 11th and led by Stephen Brown (10th, 18:47).
Rounding out the rest of Pasco County was Wesley Chapel, led by Dominic Moreno (30th, 19:57), which finished 13th, Anclote, led by Stefanos Katsiopis (29th, 19:54) was 14th, Ridgewood, led by Bryan Dejesus (50th, 21:00), was 15th, Fivay was 17th, Hudson, led by Dylan Prahasky (100th, 23:22), was 21st, Bishop McLaughlin, led by Owen Clanahan (99th, 23:20) was 22nd and Academy of the Lakes competed, but had no team score, though Kyle Sartent ran a 27:02.
Kerns a winner for first time
Mitchell’s Emily Kerns won her first race Saturday, finishing at 21:08, just ahead of Gulf’s Kari Grippo (21:40). Grippo is recovering from a stress fracture in her right foot, but led the Gulf girls to a fourth-place finish.
“I probably took the lead with 200 yards left when we got out of the woods,’’ Kerns said. “I think I have improved but I haven’t seen it that much in my times.”
Palm Harbor University was the top girls team with 58 points, while the Buccaneers were Gulf top Pasco County team with 132 points.
“I’m happy, especially being the top Pasco team,” Gulf girls coach Val Lofton said. “I’m thrilled about it. I think it’s great. I’m really pleased with the way the girls ran. Kari had a fantastic race. Abigail Raymond (33rd, 24:16) finishing third for us was fantastic. I would like to say we are in contention for (the top girls team in Pasco County), but it isn’t definite.”
Mitchell was fifth with 133 points. Ridgewood with Cynthia Negron (11th, 23:00) was ninth. Wiregrass Ranch, with Rachel Baber leading (31st, 24:14) was 10th. Anclote with Perla Saucedo (36th, 24:36) was 11th.
Sunlake, with Alexsa Antonio (30th, 24:13) was 13th, and Wesley Chapel, with Amber Maxwell (42nd, 24:59) was 15th.
Teams such as River Ridge, Hudson, Academy at the Lakes and Fivay didn’t post team scores, but saw runners Montana Gottman (24:00), Alexa Germand (29:29), Chris Deromagna (27:15) and Alyssa Bennett (28:03) post times.
Correspondent Larry Bugg can be reached at [email protected]