tampabay.com

Seminole dominates at Viking Invitational

By JOE SMITH
Published October 5, 2006


ST. PETERSBURG - Seminole senior Aaron Thomas, far ahead of the Viking Invitational field, cruised along the paved path adjacent to Crescent Lake on Wednesday.

Ten seconds later, his teammate, Christian Homme, arrived at the same curve.

"What are they feeding those (Seminole) guys?" quipped St. Petersburg sophomore Melody Kepto.

The Warhawks, the defending district and regional champs, seem undeterred by the graduation of three of their top five runners from last season.

Seminole swept the boys and girls races at the Viking Invite. On the boys side, however, the Warhawks (48) are finding some stiff county competition. Right on their tail is Northeast (54), which had its top three runners record personal bests for the second time in five days. The Vikings, coming off an impressive third-place finish on Friday in the large-school race at the flrunners.com Invitational, put three in the top 8 on Wednesday. Then there's St. Petersburg (70), which hopes to have No. 3 runner, junior Kevin Gates (broken foot), back soon.

The girls race, however, wasn't so close. Lakewood star senior Ali Crabb (19:01) pulled away from Seminole freshman phenom Katie Homme (19:55) in the third mile to record the county's top time this season.

Crabb, a 4-foot-11 senior, pushed it early with a 5:43 first mile and held on strong to best her previous top time this season by 49 seconds. Team-wise, Seminole (33) beat St. Petersburg (61) and Northeast (92).

Said Crabb: "I felt great, so you might as well go for it -- and make it hurt."

BABY STEPS: Times runner of the year Heather Nicolosi, who hasn't competed this year because of a stress fracture, ran for the first time last week. She's running just a mile a day, saying a comeback for track season appears more likely.