Boys win at Chiefland; girls get top individual slots

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By Jenna McKenna

Cedar Key's Joseph Bishop got another second place finish in a Levy County cross country meet - this time at Chiefland, behind Ft. White's Matthew Waddington, whom he'd beaten at Williston two weeks before.

Bishop grouched for a few minutes, complained that Waddington "had a better stride," then allowed as how this was his best race ever.

Alex Travis of Williston, who finished just behind Bishop, said he, too, had run his best race on the shady course.

"It was nice and cool under the trees," he said.

Two letters - PR - were heard again and again at Chiefland Thursday, and it wasn't because the course was just three miles long. These rural cross-country competitors, who train and race - oddly enough - mostly on pavement, found they loved the soft footing and shady course that looped around the Chiefland campus. Even extrapolating the last tenth of a mile, many runners reported their best 5k times ever.

Bishop's 18:34 felt great to him, and he was clearly running better after recovering from the sprained ankle that slowed him in Williston. Waddington, at 18:33, just had an even better day.

Zo and Megan Stuber, also of Cedar Key, had outstanding times on the course. Megan, winning for middle school girls, also had the top girls' time overall with 23:24. Zo won the varsity girls' race in 23:33.

"I tried to pace on the Chiefland girls," Zo said, "and then I just started picking people off."

She drafted on Chiefland's Amy Biehl, who has beaten her all season, for much of the race, finally taking the lead. Biehl, who finished second in 23:50, led a pack of Chiefland, girls into the chute with JaRobyn Rome and Beth Warren on her heels.

"I thought I ran a pretty good race, but my partner left me," said Rome, teasing Biehl, with whom she normally paces.

Sarah Jones and Amber Trapnell, first in for Williston, enjoyed the looping course that was so different from the asphalt rectangle of their home turf.

"I was worried about running in the sand, but I liked not knowing what was coming next - all the different things to see," Jones said.

As enjoyable and fast as this race was, it seemed the bucolic course stirred the ambitious competitor in each runner's heart.

Rome and Geiger said that running cross country has changed even their academic lives.

"Coach Anderson tells us to run until we're uncomfortable and believe me, I do," said Rome.

"When you can do this, you know you can do anything," said Geiger.

Stuber said she felt like she was finally onto something, after losing twice to Biehl and cramping up at Bradford last week.

"I had a bad start to the season, but I had a PR today and I think I'm running better," she said.

Even Bishop felt like he was making progress.

"I'm going to win the county race," he said.

Travis, of Williston, considers that a challenge.

"We'll have to practice a lot harder," he said. "We'll just see what happens."

Finish times

Varsity girls

1 Zo Stuber, CK, 23:33

2 Amie Biehl, Ch, 23:50

3 JaRobyn Rome, Ch, 24:15

4 Beth Warren, Ch, 24:37

5 April Geiger, Ch, 24:38

6 Mariah Mather, Ch, 25:54

7 Skyler Horne, Ch, 25:59

8 Sara Jones, Wil, 26:11

9 Amber Trapnell, Wil, 26:13

10 Christine Waddel, FW, 27:19

11 Cameo Lance, FW, 27:31

12 Chelsea Wright, Wil, 28:35

13 Cassandra Hughes, Wil, 28:35

14 Caely Hibbits, CK, 29:05

15 Megan Martin, CK, 29:57

16 Tiffany English, Ch, 30:22

17 Brittany Smith, Ch, 31:52

18 Breanna Yates, Ch, 32:02

19 Kyra Fitzgerald, Wil, 33:06

20 Katelyn Jones, FW, 33:13

21 Katie Elliot, FW, 33:31

22 Theresa Wyant, Wil, 35:35

23 Toni Romagnolo, Wil, 35:36

Varsity boys

1 Matt Waddington, FW, 18:33

2 Joseph Bishop, CK, 18:34

3 Alex Travis, Wil, 19:09

4 Aaron Esposito, CK, 19:18

5 Thomas Benefield, CK, 19:33

6 Josh Loyd, CK, 19:38

7 Frankie Beckham, CK, 19:48

8 Norman Hussey, Wil, 20:17

9 Mathew Coram, Wil, 20:22

10 Austin Moore, Wil, 20:23

11 Jacob Crosby, CK, 20:39

12 Franscisco Olivera, Wil, 20:41

13 Josh Lumley, CK, 20:46

14 Maurice Nelson, FW, 21:29

15 Davie Richardson, FW, 21:32

16 Bobby Hosier, FW, 22

17 James Peace, FW, 22:55

18 Evan Lyons, CK, 23:02

19 Henry Gonzalez, FW, 23:04

20 Robert Hanson, Wil, 23:27

21 Brandon Lam, FW, 23:28

22 Brandon Sharp, FW, 23:39

23 Dustin Cason, FW, 24:28

24 Justin Williams, FW, 24:29

25 Chauncey Primous, Wil, 24:51

26 Johnny Espildora, Wil, 24:53

27 Kien Cade, FW, 25:14

28 Richard Brown, FW, 25:59

29 Brandon Hartman, Wil, 28:22

Middle school girls

1 Megan Stuber, CK, 23:24

2 Sierra Andrews, Ch, 24:12

3 Myriah Kranz, Ch, 24:16

4 Lauren Bartholemy, CK, 26:20

5 Eliza Renaud, Ch, 26:22

6 Erin Hoopaugh, Wil, 26:29

7 Dallas Carter, Ch, 26:58

8 Savannah Plummer, Ch, 28:19

9 Caitlin Goss, CK, 28:28

10 Kelsi Deas, Ch, 28:29

11 Michaela Melton, Wil, 30:29

12 Sarah Bartholemy, CK, 30:39

13 Shabree Porter, Wil, 32:52

14 Olana Osborn, Wil, 32:58

15 Madison Deer, Ch, 37:54

16 Jeni Ruden, Ch, 38:09

Middle school boys

1 Austin Pope, CK, 20:51

2 Josh Berger, CK, 20:56

3 Thurman Bailey, Ch, 21:35

4 Frankie Mederos, Wil, 21:41

5 Kevin Hillary, Wil, 23:08

6 John Fradella, CK, 23:17

7 Brandon Banaccorso, Wil, 24:37

8 Cole McCormick, Wil, 24:39

9 Austin Davis, Ch, 25:01

10 Carl Staton, Ch, 25:05

11 Kalen Moreno, Wil, 25:19

12 Amos Shirey, CK, 25:29

13 Cameron Edwards, Wil, 26:02

14 Christian Harlson, Ch, 29:01

15 Cameron Coffey, Wil, 29:57

16 Manny Rosales, Ch, 31:02

Team winners:

Varsity girls, Chiefland, 20

Varsity boys, Cedar Key, 24

Middle school girls, Chiefland, 25

Middle school boys, Williston, 35