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Preps

Kotchman, Quick can't catch King's Bowerman

By ANTHONY GAGLIANO
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 14, 2003

TAMPA - Sophomores Melissa Kotchman and Amanda Quick continue to duel.

Gaither's Quick got the better of Kotchman at last week's Gator Invitational when she won by five seconds. Indian Rock Christian's Kotchman couldn't get the better of Quick on Saturday in the elite race, as she finished fourth at the USF/Jesuit Invitational in 18:47.

Quick and Ocala Vanguard's Kelly Parrish battled for second, with Quick edging her out at the finish by less than a second.

However, neither of them were much competition for King's Laura Bowerman, who finished in 17:42. The defending 3A girls cross country champion knocked off Quick by 49 seconds. USF has been good to Bowerman, who won the event last year and posted her best 5K time in a road race there in August.

While IRC prevailed at the Gator Invitational, the Golden Eagles slipped to 10th on Saturday. Largo took over as the county's top team, thanks in large part to Layla Hall and Kaley Mathews.

Hall, a junior, finished in 20:41. Two places behind in 30th was Mathews, who had the third-best time by a freshman as the Packers placed fourth.

The boys open race also prominently featured county runners. Keswick Christian senior William Werly and Largo senior Karim Abdelbary had a tightly contested finish, which saw Werly eke out a victory by two seconds.

Largo sophomore Philip Brookins came in seventh at 17:13, 17 seconds behind Abdelbary. That gave Largo 198 points, but St. Petersburg Catholic was three points better to finish in third. The Barons were paced by seniors Sam Secord and Bobby Yevich, who placed 10th and 11th, respectively.

SPC also had a pair of girls in the top 20 of the open run. Sophomore Lauren Groh picked up the 12th fastest time, and classmate Jennifer Travis clocked in at 22:33, 12 seconds behind Groh.

IRC's Nathan Holden also couldn't match his performance in the Gator Invitational against a tougher field Saturday. The Golden Eagles senior was the fastest Pinellas runner at USF but had to settle for 12th after winning last week with a time of 17:05. Holden finished Saturday in 16:38.


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