By RODNEY PAGE and MIKE READLING
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 12, 2000
CLEARWATER -- Usually, on a cool, sunny Saturday, Clearwater Central Catholic's Apryl Wall is playing soccer for her club team, the Clearwater Chargers.
Luckily for the Marauders' cross country squad, club soccer season ended last weekend. That meant Wall could compete in the Class 2A, Region 3 meet at CCC.
It was the first time Wall raced in a weekend event, and she made the most of it with a victory in 19 minutes, 21 seconds -- 18 seconds ahead of Tampa Catholic's Glenna Dickman.
Wall's teammates also ran well, and the Marauders finished third overall with 138 points to qualify for the state meet Saturday at Brevard Community College in Titusville. Academy of the Holy Names won the meet with 53 points, and Bradenton Lakewood Ranch was second with 106.
Bradenton Southeast (181), Frostproof (186) and LaBelle (206) are the other state qualifiers. The top six teams and 15 individuals advanced.
For Wall, a freshman, this will be her first state appearance.
"I felt pretty good today," Wall said. "I kind of laid back for a while and kept my eye on the girl in green (Dickman). Then on the back part of trail, I made my move. I'm a sprinter. I love to sprint."
St. Petersburg Catholic missed a state berth by three points. The Barons finished seventh with 209 points. Lakewood (273) was 12th.
On the boys side, Jesuit was the top team with 57 points. St. Petersburg Catholic (84) finished second. Lakewood qualified for state -- barely. With a score of 188, the Spartans were one point ahead of seventh-place Frostproof.
Individually, Sebring's Chase Travers won in 15:59.
CCC's Kevin Lyons was second in 16:13, and SPC's Mike Craig was third in 16:26. For Lyons, the regional was much better than the district meet, in which he struggled with his asthma medication and finished 13th.
"This happened to me this time last year, so I was disappointed," Lyons said. "I went to the doctor, and he gave me some new medication. I could tell right away that I felt better. I was able to run much better."
SPC's Tony Cormier (sixth, 16:42) and Brian Sullivan (12th, 16:55) finished in the top 15. Senior Deven Patel led Lakewood's state-qualifying effort with a 14th-place finish, 17:05. -- RODNEY PAGE
ORLANDO -- Palm Harbor University was looking to use thecross meet at Cypress Grove Park as a tuneup for this week's state championship.
That's exactly what it did.
The Hurricanes, paced by three runners in the top 15, recorded a score of 131 that was good enough for fifth place and a state berth. PHU was led by Kerrie Savery, who finished ninth with a 3-mile time of 19:15. She was followed by teammates Rebekah Lindsey (12th, 19:37) and Laura McKinley (14th, 19:39).
Savery beat her personal best by a minute while Lindsey also set a personal best. -- MIKE READLING