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Falcon's run for two titles ends in final

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 25, 2001


JACKSONVILLE -- Just two days ago, Erin Heeder talked confidently of winning state championships in tennis and track.

With one no longer a possibility, the Dunedin sophomore said she might not even attempt the other.

Heeder's run through the Class 2A individual girls tournament ended with a 6-1, 6-4 loss to top-seeded Krystin Lucas of Miami Gulliver Prep in the final Tuesday at the University of North Florida.

Afterward, Heeder, seeded second in the state in the 800 meters, said she might not finish the track season because it takes away from her tennis.

"It's really hard to focus on two things," she said.

Heeder, ranked 186th in the country in girls 16s, cruised to straight-set victories in her first three matches, including a 6-2, 6-3 win over Orlando Bishop Moore's Natalie Arcario in the semifinals.

But she met her match in Lucas, who is ranked among the top 100 in girls 18s.

After dropping the first set 6-1, Heeder fell behind 4-1 in the second before battling back to tie at 4-4. However, Lucas fought off several game points before winning the next game, which turned the match back in her favor.

"I had to win that game," Heeder said.

In boys action, second-seeded Haley Dodson and Jimmy McFarland of Clearwater Central Catholic trailed 5-2 in the first set and 5-1 in the tiebreaker before rallying to beat Fort Pierce Lincoln Park Academy 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 in the doubles semifinals.

Dodson and McFarland advanced to today's doubles final, where they will face Miami Gulliver Prep's Rory Heggie and John Grunow.

"They just hung in there," CCC coach Scott Kroeger said.

"Jimmy is used to it. He had to come back both times in his singles matches at districts. They just stayed cool and kept a positive attitude."

Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons won the boys team tournament for the seventh consecutive year and 13th overall. The Redskins girls team claimed their sixth title in seven years and 10th overall.

A: Crusader, Charger win

Jon Brett of Canterbury and Shorecrest's Kelly Nelson won No. 1 singles quarterfinal matches to advance to today's semifinals at Hillsborough Community College.

Brett defeated Orlando First Academy's Charlie Kirben 6-4, 6-3. Nelson beat Allie Nichols 6-4, 6-4. -- STEVE LEE

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