Wesley Chapel's David Forry wins the title ahead of teammate Kurt Able.
By FRANK PASTOR
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 6, 2002
BROOKSVILLE -- After agreeing to work together, teammates David Forry and Kurt Able of Wesley Chapel exchanged leads during the first 2 miles of the Bear Invitational Saturday at Central.
But with 1 mile to go, Able, who had been sick all week, decided to make a last, desperate push. He surged with everything he had, but Forry only moved further ahead, winning in 16 minutes, 56 seconds.
Able was second in 17:12, collapsing as he crossed the finish line. Central's Kurt Lee took fourth in 17:29.
"I knew I was sick and I knew I wasn't looking to do my best (Saturday)," said Able, a junior. "But the last 800 meters, as sick as I was, I threw on a big surge to break David, and it didn't work."
The victory was Forry's second over Able this season. He also finished ahead of Wesley Chapel's top runner at the flrunners.com Invitational.
"For me, it's real important, because Kurt's a big rivalry of mine and we go back and forth throughout the season," said Forry, a junior. "It was mainly to say that I could win."
Ocala Vanguard won the team title despite the absence of Steve Hassen. Hassen, ranked first in Class 3A by flrunners.com, was visiting Notre Dame.
Hernando, paced by sixth-place Mike Laird and 11th-place Logan Emerson, was third. Wesley Chapel, missing injured Stephen Halczyn and Micah Scanga, finished sixth.
Junior Lavera Morris of Orlando Oak Ridge won the girls race in 20:31, leading the Pioneers to the team title.
Wesley Chapel's Stephanie Amerman was second in 21:22, followed by Central's Magen Loew (21:47).
Morris, the state runner-up in 4A last season, went out fast and settled in behind Amerman. She moved ahead to stay near the 1-mile mark.
Morris said she was surprised to find so much sand on the course. She sustained a foot injury while running in sand last season.
"I just ran on the outside where the grass was most of the time," she said.
Central placed three runners among the top 12 to finish second, 41 points behind Oak Ridge.
Loew lowered her personal best for the third consecutive week. Kerri Costanzo (sixth in 22:07) and Amanda Adams (12th in 22:32) followed her across the finish line.
The Bears were missing No. 5 runner Felicia Fritz, who had a family emergency. Fritz typically runs under 23 minutes.
"I'm very excited," Central coach Juliann Davila said. "We did well. We're missing some of our girls from varsity, which would have helped us."