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Area players join world action on U-17 soccer team

By Times Staff
Published September 15, 2005

A pair of Hillsborough soccer standouts recently were named to the under-17 national team that will compete in the FIFA World Championships in Peru.

Former HC United players Blake Wagner and Jeremy Hall will represent the United States - which is the only country to reach all previous 10 world championships in this age group - in the 16-team tournament that takes place every two years.

The national team touched down in Peru on Tuesday in preparation for its opening match Saturday against North Korea. The United States then plays Italy on Tuesday before rounding out group play against Ivory Coast Sept.16. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals.

The Unites States' best finish at worlds came in 1999 at New Zealand. Led by future national team members Landon Donovan , DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey , the United States finished fourth.

Galavision will air the match against North Korea live at 1:30 p.m. an d Fox Soccer Channel will do the same for the Italy and Ivory Coast matches, both of which begin at 3:30 p.m.

--BRANDON WRIGHT,Times staff writer

Cross country

Jesuit, the defending Class 2A champion, opened its season Friday with a 55-76 victory over Orlando Colonial in the USF/Jesuit Invitational at the Idlewild Baptist Church athletic complex.

Tiger James Osborne won the individual in 15 minutes, 22 seconds, 18 seconds ahead runnerup Alex Willis of Colonial.

On the girls side, Wharton placed second with 80 points, just eight behind defending Class 4A champion Sarasota Riverview. Plant's Brigithe Moreno won the individual title in 18:22 and East Bay's Paige Williams was second in 18:57.

--SCOTT PURKS, Times staff writer

Swimming

The Jesuit and Academy of Holy Names swim teams came up big over the weekend at the City Relays, with the Tigers handling the boys competition and the Jaguars taking the girls title at Bobby Hicks Pool on Saturday.

Jesuit dominated the 22-school field, winning the title by 58 points.

"We're at a better point this year than we were last year," Jesuit coach Bill Shaffer said.

That's saying something about a team that finished fourth in the state a year ago. Jesuit has won the Relays seven years in a row.

Academy edged Berkeley Prep and Sickles for its second straight Relays title.

With the meet taking a new format, Academy coach Mara Schultz said she wasn't sure how other schools would strategize, but she thought her best plan would be to spread her talent around to acquire the most possible points.

"It came down to the last relay," Schultz said. "We didn't stack any one particular relay, hoping to place well in a lot of events."

UP NEXT: Academy and Jesuit take on Plant today in a dual meet. While Jesuit is heavily favored to win on the boys side, girls action should be competitive.

"We kind of go back and forth every year," Schultz said. "They are always a team we look at on our schedule."

Schultz said there are meets during the year where she will tell her team how important it is and she said this is one of them.

"We consider Plant one of our big meets," Schultz said. "It's always fun. It's a good competitive rivalry. I know my girls are looking forward to it."

Plant coach Gil Gonzalez said while the teams have gone back and forth over the years, this year will be especially tough against the Jaguars.

"This year it's going to be a challenge," Gonzalez said. "I think they beat Tampa Prep the other day - that's saying something."

Academy has a tough schedule next week as well with Sickles on Tuesday and Berkeley on Thursday.

--THOMAS SIMONETTI, Times correspondent

[Last modified September 15, 2005, 01:06:09]


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