Spongers stars finish in top 15

By MARTIN BATER, Times Correspondent
Published September 30, 2007

TAMPA - Going up against 12 of the top 20 teams in the state, Tarpon Springs' Kailand Cosgrove and East Lake's Katherine McMeekin proved themselves to be part of the elite at the Southern Stars Invitational at Ed Radice.

When it was all said and done, both McMeekin and Cosgrove finished among the top 20 runners overall in the girls Stars race.

McMeekin had the opportunity to prove herself against the best, and she took advantage of it. She finished 13th overall in 17 minutes, 45 seconds.

"It was good to have faced quality competition like this. It motivated me," said McMeekin, who was satisfied with the way she performed but looked to become even better in the near future.

Cosgrove, who finished 15th overall in 17:48, was consistent throughout the race and accomplished her objective.

"I'm feeling better than I expected (at this point of the season)," Cosgrove said. "This race inspired me to work even harder.

"It was scary to run against the best in the state, but I was also very excited about it."

Cosgrove, a triathlete, is arguably the county's best runner. She finished third overall at the 2006 state meet, the best finish from the Pinellas runners.

In the Little Dipper girls race, Keswick Christian seventh-grader Hannah Palm finished 10th in 22:04. Keswick Christian also won the Little Dipper as a team.

"I've been injured for the past week, so it feels good to be able to come back strong," Palm said.

In the boys' Little Dipper, Indian Rocks Cristian's Josh Johnson finished fifth overall in 17:53.

"I could have finished in the top three if I had started off with the first pack," Johnson said.

Northeast won the boys' Big Dipper race.