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Road Sharks get tuned up at first meet

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By Jenna McKenna

Cedar Key girls' cross country hosted Branford in a dual meet Monday that served both as a shakedown for today's bigger race at Williston and a first race ever for the Buccaneers, in their first year with a team.

Branford head coach Eric Rodriguez said his team was a little tentative about the unfamiliar route, particularly the hill by the cemetery, but didn't think the heat would be a factor.

It wasn't. Buccaneer runners took four of the top five slots, with sixth-grader Ashley Horn coming in first overall with a time of 26:31. Megan Stuber placed first for the Sharks with a 27:06 finish, good for fourth overall.

Zo Stuber finished second for Cedar Key, seventh overall, with a time of 29:03, and Caitlin Goss was next in for the Sharks at 31:35.

Rodriguez said afterward he felt the team did well.

"We could have had a little better times, I think, but they were kind of timid on this unfamiliar course," he said.

"For a first race, though, we did well."

Sharks' head coach Brad Penney liked his team's work on the day, noting that this relatively novice team only returns two veterans each to varsity and middle school.

"I'm pleased with our performance," he said. "It's better than two weeks ago - everyone has improved their times."

Sharks look forward to today's race at Williston, on the flat, shady course that begins at Peggy O'Neill Basham Nature Park.

Finish times:

Ashley Horn, Br, 26:31

Lauren Kholer, Br, 26:32

Ashliana Desposito, Br, 26:42

Megan Stuber, CK, 27:06

Brittany Cramer, Br, 27:41

Heather Woodman, Br, 25:24

Zo Stuber,CK, 29:03

Katlin Clark, Br, 30:13

Caitlin Goss, CK, 31:35

Sarah Keast, Br, 32:22

Brooke Johnson, Br, 32:27

Traci Baldeo, Br, 32:54

Lauren Bartholomy, CK, 33:04

Lauren Smith, Br, 35:27

Sarah Bartholomy, 35:44

Caely Hibbits, CK, 36:15