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FHSAA awards Tampa state championships

The meets for all four classifications will be held at Ed Radice Park, just north of Citrus Park.

By MIKE READLING

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 13, 2001


The meets for all four classifications will be held at Ed Radice Park, just north of Citrus Park.

TAMPA -- Bay area teams no longer will have to endure long bus rides and overnight stays in hotel rooms before the state cross country meet.

Thursday, the Florida High School Activities Association awarded Tampa the state cross country meets for the next two years, fulfilling a goal set by numerous Hillsborough County coaches and Vernon Korhn, the county athletic director.

The meet, which has been held in Titusville for the past two years and Jacksonville prior to that, attracts 192 teams and more than 1,400 participants annually.

It will be held at Ed Radice Park, a 138-acre all-natural running surface just north of Citrus Park.

"This is real big," Korhn said. "It will have a big impact financially on the community; 190 teams, more than 1,400 competitors in four classifications. It's big.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to host this."

The Gasparilla Distance Classic, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Tampa Bay Sports Commission helped bring the meet to Tampa.

Former Leto boys coach Bobby Ennis will serve as host of the meet, which was swayed to Tampa in part due to the USF/Jesuit Invitational and Leto Pre-State meet, which attract teams from around the state before the state meet.

Ed Radice Park allows parking for 800 vehicles and "an additional expanse for overflow parking and a spectator-friendly view that allows easy access to the start/finish line as well as walking distance to the 1-mile and 2-mile marks," Ennis wrote in a memo to Korhn.

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