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Wildcats expect more of the same

Wesley Chapel needs another banner year from distance runner Kirsten Fee.

By DEREK LARIVIERE
Published February 23, 2007


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WESLEY CHAPEL - Wesley Chapel has become the track powerhouse in Pasco County. The Wildcats have depth and every season a new star seems to rise.

Last season, one of those stars was Kirsten Fee. Then a sophomore, she cemented her reputation as Wesley Chapel's top female distance runner by qualifying for the state cross country meet. She finished 41st overall and was the top Pasco County finisher in Class 3A.

"Kirsten's first real season as a runner was last year," Wesley Chapel coach Kristi Frye said. "She ran a little as a freshman, but in 10th grade, she really learned how to run."

That led to a breakthrough campaign on the track. Qualifying for state in both an individual event and as a part of the 4x800-meter relay team, she had strong finishes. In the 3,200 meters, she crossed the line in 14th.

The Wildcats' 4x800 relay squad took 15th in Class 3A. With three-fourths of that group returning this season, Wesley Chapel is a definite favorite to return as a state qualifier.

Fee, along with juniors Shelby DeLoach and Desiree Vizcaino, should anchor a repeat performance. Brenda Padilla graduated from the foursome.

"My main goal for this season is to see our girls up there on the (state) medal stand in the (4x800)," Frye said. "With Kirsten leading the way, we know we are going to be very strong there."

Fee, the school record holder in the 800 meters, attracted enough attention as a sophomore to enter her junior season with high expectations. During cross country season, she did nothing but deliver.

Again qualifying for state, Fee finished the 5-kilometer course in 21:15, six seconds better than her time the year before. She also bettered her overall finish, crossing the line in 35th.

Competing in the 1,600 in addition to the 3,200 and 4x800 relay, Fee could qualify for state in three events.

It comes as no surprise to those who know how dedicated an athlete she can be. An avid bicycle rider, Fee cross trains to keep in shape year round.

[Last modified February 22, 2007, 23:14:41]


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