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It's lonely in the front for Steier

The Berkeley Prep senior wins the Class A, District 3 title by 1:15 as the Bucs boys and girls teams advance to regionals.

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2001


The Berkeley Prep senior wins the Class A, District 3 title by 1:15 as the Bucs boys and girls teams advance to regionals.

LARGO -- Berkeley Prep's Rolf Steier crossed the finish line at Friday's district meet, tore off his number and handed it to an official, grabbed his first-place stick, kneeled behind a tree and then walked 50 feet back to the finish line to watch second-place Daniel Bedell of Walker Memorial finish his race. For Steier, the district meet was nothing more than a lonely jog in the park.

Steier finished in 14 minutes, 26 seconds, a personal best and 1:15 ahead of Bedell.

"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."

Steier's teammates did their part as Berkeley Prep finished third with 59 points to advance to Saturday's regional meet. Indian Rocks Christian won the boys event with 42 points. Frostproof was second with 56. Tampa Prep finished sixth with 164 points to claim the final spot at regionals. The top six teams and top 15 individuals advance. With Steier a lock for first place, the Buccaneers' success became simply a matter of where his teammates would finish. Daniel Neuwirth was the next teammate to cross the line in seventh. Adam Kerr (15th), John Kochalka (17th) and Scott Strickland (19th) also ran solid races.

Berkeley Prep's girls also advanced after finishing second with 59 points. Indian Rocks Christian also won the girls event with 56 points.

Academy of the Holy Names was third with 78 and Tampa Prep was sixth with 193.

Indian Rock Christian's Melissa Kotchman won the girls race in 17:49, also a personal best. Berkeley Prep's Farrah Elchahal was fourth in 18:59. America Deupree (sixth), Maggie Daly (seventh) and Suzanne Walter (19th) helped the Buccaneers.

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