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CCC girls, Largo boys run strong

The Packers finish second and the Marauders third at the Gator Invitational.

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 8, 2002

The Packers finish second and the Marauders third at the Gator Invitational.

SHADY HILLS -- The Largo boys finished second and the Clearwater Central Catholic girls third at Saturday morning's sixth annual Gator Invitational at Crews Lake Park in Pasco County.

After the graduation of Dan Bauer and the return of just four runners from a team that finished 19th at state, Largo coach Dave Koehler was unsure how good his team, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A by, could be this season.

Saturday, he learned they can be as good as standouts Matt Timm and Brian McClymont want them to be.

Timm finished fifth with a time of 16 minutes, 4 seconds and McClymont was right behind him in sixth in 16:09.

Mitchell's Jeff Masterson won the boys division in 15:09, and the Mustangs took first place with 42 points, beating the runner-up Packers by 20.

"We're very happy," Koehler said. "Anything better than third is better than we thought. I didn't know if they could place in the top 10 of a big meet, but obviously they can."

"I think they will be a twosome to be reckoned with."

Largo also placed Nate Berry 11th (16:30), Dan Patterson 20th (17:14), Karin Abdelbary 24th (17:28) and Chris O'Neil (17:29).

Clearwater Central Catholic's Apryl Wall led all Pinellas County girls, finishing sixth (20:34). Teammates Danielle Harris placed 10th (20:59), Maggie Dewberry 36th (22:55) and Amanda Strickland 37th (23:00). The Marauders scored 125 points.

Mitchell's Nicole Guercio won the girls race, taking the lead early and keeping it en route to a time of 19:38 -- 15 seconds better than runner-up Stephanie Amerman of Wesley Chapel.

Wharton, a late entrant, won the meet with 101 points. Second-place Mitchell finished just four points behind thanks to Erica Sloms (21:35), Brianna Dougherty (21:37) and Nicole Twombly (22:30).

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