Pasco's Eble challenged in her 2A-3 victory

Published October 30, 2005

BROOKSVILLE - There were no surprises at the Class 2A, District 3 cross country meet Saturday at Hernando High's football field.

Pasco freshman Leeann Eble won the girls' race in 19:35. Lecanto's girls won with 53 points. The Hernando girls were second with 59.

Eble beat Lecanto's Tara Haddock but felt weak at the end.

"It was not there when I finished," Eble said. "Cold and the hill (affected her). It means a lot (to win the district). She (Haddock) started coming up (around three miles) and I started sprinting."

Lecanto's girls coach said several of Hernando's girls were battling injuries.

"I honestly think it would have been closer if Hernando was sound," coach Dan Epstein said. "I had a lot of runners that stepped up. Taylor (Cooke) and Jillian (Swartz) came back from a swimming meet yesterday. Jillian ran very well for being injured. She's running against my will. What helped today was our depth. It's going to be a tough region."

Hernando High's boys dominated their race. Ben Martucci won the race in 16:07. His twin brother, Andrew, was second with 16:22. Jacob Bess ran a personal-best 16:25 to give the Leopards the first three finishers and the team title with 22 points. Crystal River was second with 67.

"It (the cold) works for me," said Ben Martucci, who took an early lead and held on. "We were trying to get top three, and we did. I just had the mile markers pushing me."

Hernando coach Ernie Chatman's team claimed its 10th district title.

"We ran pretty well today," Hernando coach Ernie Chatman said. "There were good conditions. Bishop Moore and Cocoa Beach are the top two teams to run against us at regional."

The top six teams and top 15 individuals not on those teams advance to the Class 2A region meet Nov. 5 at Lecanto High.