Indian Rocks Christian's boys and girls teams capture the Class A, District 3 titles.
By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2001
LARGO -- Indian Rocks Christian ran away with the girls and boys championships Friday at Taylor Park.
The Golden Eagles girls, paced by Melissa Kotchman's personal best of 17 minutes, 49 seconds, edged Berkeley Prep 56-59. Indian Rocks Christian also benefitted from strong performances by Christa Carpenter (11th), Megan Montzka (13th) and Rheannon Bagley (15th).
Kotchman, who led throughout, finished ahead of Frostproof's Angelica Gutierrez by 25 seconds. "I was hoping to set a personal best because this is a fast course," Kotchman said. "I figured that the girl from Frostproof would be behind me, so I kept looking back for her. I figured I could use my kick at the end if it was close."
The top six teams and top 15 individuals advance to the regional meet on Nov. 10. Berkeley Prep, Academy of the Holy Names, Frostproof, Lakeland Christian and Tampa Prep will join Indian Rocks there. On the boys side, Indian Rocks Christian didn't have the fastest runners, but placed enough in the top 20 to beat second-place Frostproof by 14 points. Berkeley Prep's Rolf Steier smoked the field with a time of 14:26.
But the Eagles' team effort secured the title, placing six runners in the top 14, led by Nathan Holden (third), Jeremy Meyer (sixth), Michael Mayleben (ninth), Zachary Rousonelous (11th), Kevin Hynds (13th) and Matthew Kotchman (14th).
Berkeley Prep was third, Lakeland Christian was fourth, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic was fifth and Tampa Prep was sixth.
Steier's time was a personal best.
"I wanted to run hard in the first mile," Steier said. "This is the point in the season when I want to be running my best, so I wanted to see how well I could run."