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Monday, Oct 22, 2018
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Newsome’s depth on display in cross-country sweep

— Newsome brought almost 50 runners to the 30-team Don Bishop Invitational on Saturday. Then the Wolves ran away with the varsity and junior varsity titles in both the girls and boys divisions.

“We have depth,” said Newsome coach Orlando Greene, who even held out a few of his top runners, who he said were in need of rest. “We run in a pack and we go about 10 deep with the top runners who compete at about the same level.”

And not necessarily in the lead.

On Saturday, Newsome did not have an individual winner in either the girls or boys varsity races, which were respectively won by Riverview’s Bailey Hertenstein (18 minutes, 29 seconds) and Durant’s Haftom Fliegelman (16:41).

Newsome’s girls did, however, place five girls in the top 10 and finished with 29 points. Robinson was second with 79 and Sickles was third with 114.

The boys, meanwhile, won with 38 points, placing five runners in the top 11. Robinson was also second on the boys’ side with 87 points, four ahead of third-place Plant City.

For Hertenstein, ranked No. 1 overall in the state after running an 18:02 last week at the flrunners Invitational, Saturday was more of a workout than a competition.

“The plan today was to run each mile about 6:10 pace,” said Hertenstein, who won by a full 2 minutes on Saturday over runner-up Eliana Ochoa of Brandon. “After last week, we want to ease off the racing a little until I run the (region and state meets).”

In the boys’ race, Fliegelman won by almost 30 seconds over runner-up Daniel Dean of Middleton (17:12) and third-place finisher Dannys Marrero of Robinson (17:15).

Seffner Christian’s Noah Perkins, the state’s No. 1-ranked overall boy after last week’s 15:20 performance at the flrunners meet, didn’t compete with his team Saturday at the Don Bishop because he ran the pre-state meet on Friday in Tallahassee. Perkins finished fourth against the state’s best in Tallahassee, clocking 15:25.90.

Scott Purks

Wiregrass Ranch sweeps Weeki Wachee Invitational

— As forecast by the pre-race virtual meets, Wiregrass Ranch’s boys and girls teams easily swept the second Weeki Wachee Invitational.

On the boys’ side, the Bulls garnered their second crown — they also won the Gator Invitational at Crews Lake Park — by topping Brooksville Hernando, 41-95.

Rounding out the top five in the 15-team field were Springstead (125 points), Wesley Chapel (135) and Sunlake (141).

In the 133-runner field across the mostly lime rock and flat 3.1-mile course, Hernando sophomore Trevor Foley, who won the inaugural event last season while at Nature Coast Technical, repeated as individual medalist in 16:51.19.

It marked the fifth time in five meets that Foley placed among the top five and captured his third win of the season over Wiregrass Ranch junior Joseph Salerno’s runner-up time of 16:56.60.

“Today’s race was a lot of fun,” Foley said. “I felt great today. I came in wanting to get the win for the team; my time really didn’t matter.”

Salerno’s efforts melted 25 seconds off his previous seasonal best.

In the girls’ meet, Wiregrass Ranch duplicated the boys’ point total, topping runner-up Inverness Citrus, 41-116. The Lady Bulls also earned their second team title — they edged host Land O’ Lakes at the Gator Invite, 45-48.

In the 16-team race, Nature Coast Technical was third (139), followed by Lecanto-Seven Rivers Academy (141) and Sunlake (149).

Individually, for the fifth time in seven meets, Lecanto senior Claire Farnsworth bested the 121-runner field in a seasonal-best 19:24.13.

After finishing second at the Mitchell Invite at Jay B. Starkey Park last weekend, Farnsworth won Tuesday’s Citrus County Championship at Lecanto before repeating as Weeki Wachee Invite champion.

Sunlake sophomore Jamilla Cardwell was the runner-up to Farnsworth, shaving nearly 30 seconds off her previous seasonal best and finishing in 20:17.14.

Wiregrass Ranch was led by sophomore Brenna Moran, who placed fourth, just behind NCT senior Amelia Schmit, 20:28.03 to 20:33.09.

Moran set a seasonal best by slicing nearly 52 seconds off her previous best at the Ponte Vedra Invite.

Hudson freshman Amanda Bohm turned heads by placing 13th in a personal-best time of 22:15.27, or nearly 48 seconds faster than her previous best at the Shark Invite at NCT.

Tony Castro

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