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Warhawks finally get second

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000


TITUSVILLE -- Seminole took a second-place finish away from the Class 3A boys state cross country meet, but it had to wait, and politic, for it.

Seminole, third in the state last year, finished with 180 points, 60 behind state champ Jacksonville Bishop Kenny and 20 ahead of third-place Fort Myers Cypress Lake.

The Warhawks did not know that for sure, however, until after an hour-long conference among officials determined the Warhawks' Matthew Morton had been illegally passed in the chute and Seminole's team score totalled incorrectly.

After crossing the finish line, runners are supposed to proceed in order of finish down a chute until their numbered tags are taken by officials. By passing Morton in the chute, the offending runners dropped the Warhawks to fifth.

"(Morton) said something to the officials, and I said something," assistant coach Eric Milholland said. "Me and (head coach) Bruce Calhoun issued a protest. And by the time we did that, other people had protested also."

Milholland said the delay in upholding the protest occurred because officials had to review videotape to determined the order of finish. It only confirmed a feeling Milholland was getting as he watched Gordon Redshaw finish 23rd (16 minutes, 13.66 seconds), Anthony Espaillat 35th (16:32.17), Nathan Holden 47th (16:41.83) and Kenneth Magee 49th (16:45.12).

Largo's Daniel Bauer finished 22nd in 16:11.69.

CLASS 2A: St. Petersburg Catholic finished ninth with 234 points. Senior Mike Craig led the Barons with a 12th-place finish in 16:01.56 and was followed by teammates Tony Cormier (18th, 16:21.48), Brian Sullivan (48th, 16:46.15) and Ben Shimko (53rd, 16:52.50).

Clearwater Central Catholic's Kevin Lyons finished 14th in 16:08.65. CLASS A: If Admiral Farragut sophomore John Biffar makes the same quantum improvement next year as this year, they should just give him his state championship medal now. Biffar followed up a 71st-place finish as a freshman with a third-place showing, finishing in 15:46.54.

"I used last year for experience," he said. "I learned I had to run inside myself."

Biffar's performance was the highlight for Admiral Farragut, which finished 18th with 407 points.

Shorecrest, behind Matt Mosby (12th, 16:43.27) and Keith Evanouskas (25th, 17:05.06), led the county schools with a sixth-place finish (206). Keswick Christian (347) was 14th in its first trip to state, and Indian Rocks Christian (372) was 16th.

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