Shorecrest girls finish a happy third

Seventh-grader Sarah Evans leads the way for the Chargers, who turn in the best finish by a girls team in the county.

Published November 13, 2005

DADE CITY - Shorecrest coach Jeff Raab had a plan for his girls. He said he was hoping for a top 10 finish at state, maybe even top five.

But Raab soon realized he would have to modify those goals. The girls ran so well this season the sights were set higher.

They were aiming for the top three and got it.

The Chargers scored 176 points to finish third in the Class A state meet at Little Everglades Ranch. It was the highest finish by a county girls team.

"They certainly exceeded my expectations," Raab said.

Leading the way was Sarah Evans, a seventh-grader who recovered from the flu and last week's sub-par performance at regionals to place 17th in 20 minutes, 48 seconds. Teammates Pavendeep Birk (27th), Lindsey Evans (30th), Samantha Specht (43rd) and Casey Evans (59th) were in the top 60.

In the 3A girls race, Seminole's Heather Nicolosi was fifth. She ran 19:15, well below the 18:36 she turned in at the flrunners.com race two months ago on the same course. But she said she was happy to be in the top five after being seeded sixth.

"Of course I would have liked to run faster, but I'm not too upset," Nicolosi said. "I was able to stay with the top three girls for most of the race."

Palm Harbor University's girls were sixth in 4A. Stephanie Rancich (16th), Sarah Wilkerson (19th), Laura Levin (21st), Stephanie Boyd (73rd) and Jackie Sullivan (83rd) were the top five scorers for the Hurricanes.

Kerry Allen capped her high school career by taking eighth in the 4A race. The St. Petersburg senior finished in 19:32.