St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Bulls senior bides her time, gets in shape

Amber Littleton isn't winning now. But she will be a contender by state.


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 7, 2000

BRANDON -- Amber Littleton laughs at her schedule, doesn't think it's a big deal.

To outsiders, however, it might seem brutal, particularly on the shins: fall cross country, winter soccer, spring track, summer club soccer.

Littleton's father, Steve, has watched the Bloomingdale senior follow the schedule for almost three years, and he said he knows it's rough.

"She's had some serious bruises after some of those games," Steve said. "We've taken her to the chiropractor some weeks just to get her put back into shape. And then after that, you try to plan a running workout? Yeah, you bet it's tough."

That's why Littleton, the 1998 state cross country champion as a sophomore, has followed a trend the past year and a half. Unable to get in much preseason running, she starts the track and cross country seasons relatively slowly and then makes up ground as the state meet approaches.

This is not to say Littleton is way back in the pack. It's just that you won't see her winning many of the early races, especially when the county's other top two runners, East Bay's Lindsey Moffenbier and Riverview's Dee Dee Haefling, are in the hunt.

Littleton said she doesn't like it that way, but she is keeping her perspective.

"When I get in shape, then it's all about winning," she said. "Right now, it's about getting through the races with the best effort I can have. And if I'm near the front and have a chance to win, then I'll go for it.

"Winning the races, that's the fun part of running."

Today at the Raider Invitational at Plant City's Walden Lake (start time is 5:30), Littleton is expected to be near the lead pack but is not the favorite.

Haefling, after a strong summer of workouts and winning her first two races (East Hillsborough meet and the Winter Haven Invitational), is considered the front-runner with Moffenbier a likely runner-up.

In a little more than a month, however, let's see where Littleton is finishing.

"I'm going to concentrate more this year on running (as opposed to soccer) because I know running is my chance to get a college scholarship," said Littleton, who is being recruited by Florida State, South Florida, University of Tampa and Florida. "I love playing soccer, but running is my ticket."

Steve Littleton, an NCAA cross country and track All-American for Pittsburgh in the mid-1970s, organizes his daughter's workouts. He said he knows she's behind, but she still has the talent to make up a lot of ground.

"If we had trained on the running all summer, it would be a completely different story," he said. "But that wouldn't have been the best thing for Amber.

"I think she'll be fine. She has the speed and strength to do some great things. It's just a matter of how much she wants it."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • Olympics always prove memorable
  • Rays' slide hits six
  • Culpepper is getting used to feeling like a Bear
  • He's not just a jock 'scooting through'
  • Lindsay's sweet revenge
  • Captain's corner
  • College basketball coaches on move
  • Cleaves officially a Piston
  • Rays shift to silent
  • Citing family, Agassi bows out
  • Aikman will sit against Cardinals
  • Green has extra info on 1 Bears receiver
  • Brooks named NFC Defensive Player of Week
  • Pruett experiences major turnaround
  • Lions QB Batch gets $31-million deal, may start
  • Injury ends season, but not career
  • Martin endears crowd with marathon victory
  • Ludzik enjoys this camp's impending competition
  • Tampa Bay Downs to again raise its purses
  • Cougars enter 2000 with lots of depth
  • Off-season leagues now united
  • Packer has come a very long way in three years
  • Ex-Bogie star's future hinges on test score
  • Class of the County
  • Golf district breakdown
  • Players to watch
  • Ridgewood rolls past Zephyrhills to stay perfect
  • Bulls senior bides her time, gets in shape
  • Wesley Chapel doubles its fun against Citrus
  • Woods aims at rare triple
  • USGA goes distance in clubs debate
  • Metal woods carrying a heavy market share

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts