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Young Jaguars finish fourth

By KEITH NIEBUHR

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000


TITUSVILLE -- Academy of the Holy Names fell short in its bid for the Class 2A state cross country title, but it did show why many feel it will be a favorite in 2001.

The Jaguars placed fourth with 164 points as Jacksonville Bolles won with 93 points. Holy Names, which had three top-25 finishes, had two eighth-graders, two ninth-graders, one junior and one senior running.

"We're really young and have a lot of athletic ability," said Holy Names ninth-grader Rachel Gillman. "We have a lot of athletic ability, and we're really close as a team."

Gillman placed seventh, finishing in 19 minutes, 9 seconds. The time was four seconds shy of her personal best.

"I felt pretty strong," Gillman said. "I really wanted to break 19 minutes, but I came close. There's always next year."

Sara Petrick of Holy Names finished 16th while Danielle Darby was 21st.

CLASS 4A: Bloomingdale, led by Amber Littleton's 27th-place finish, placed 15th. Desiree LaChance, also of Bloomingdale, was 47th.

Amanda Wells of Gaither, an individual qualifier, was 32nd after finishing in 19:40.

Boca Raton Spanish River, which had four top-25 finishes, including three in the top 10, won the title, its fourth overall and second in a row.

CLASS 3A: Two Hillsborough County runners -- Dee Dee Haefling of Riverview and Lindsey Moffenbier of East Bay -- had top-five finishes while Plant finished seventh. Haefling's second-place run helped lead the Sharks to a 15th-place finish. She finished in 18:17, six seconds behind individual champion Jennifer Gomez of Miami Lourdes. Haefling's time was the fifth-best time of the day among the four classifications.

Moffenbier, who took fifth, finished in 18:29.

"I ran pretty well," Moffenbier said. "I ran my best, and that's all that matters."

Mallory Giordano led Plant by finishing 12th in 18:55. Tabitha Cooney was next at 33rd.

Jacksonville Bishop Kenny continued its dominance by winning its seventh consecutive title, extending a state record. Bishop Kenny had five top-25 finishes.

CLASS A: Jacksonville Episcopal claimed the state title as Berkeley Prep, behind three top-20 finishes, placed eighth.

Farrah Elchahal led the Bucs with an 11th-place finish in in 19:47. Maggie Daly was 16th (19:59) and Megha Pansara was 17th (20:00).

Episcopal had three top-10 finishes, four in the top 20.

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