Prep cross country | Bayshore's Meester-Kitterman eases way to district title

Bayshore star wins by nearly a minute; Bruins girls cut race short

jlembo@bradenton.comOctober 31, 2012 

DOVER -- Canaan Meester-Kitterman is in a funk.

Bayshore's junior cross country star said so himself.

He said it, however, after cruising to the Class 3A-District 9 title Tuesday at Dover Horse Trails.

So the term "funk" is relative. And if Meester-Kitterman considers himself funk-free at any point this postseason, the rest of the Class 3A field better be on high alert.

Meester-Kitterman finished the course in 17 minutes, 4 seconds, easily beating Seffner Armwood's Mohammed Tamari (17:59).

"I knew this course is a slow course," Meester-Kitterman said. "Lots and lots of sugar sand -- fine sand that isn't compact. You put your foot in it and it sucks it in, and there is nothing to push off against."

Though he won last Saturday's county meet, Meester-Kitterman placed 12th during the Manasota Track Club Invitational on Oct. 13th.

So he took a few days off prior to Tuesday's district meet. He wound up winning the district for a second straight year and clinched a berth in the Region 3 meet Nov. 9 in Estero.

There he will look to make state for the second time in as many years.

"I don't really quite know," Meester-Kitterman said, about whether he was out of his funk. "I raced this course, which is really hard, and my county's course (G.T. Bray park), it's a faster course, but I was by myself. There was nobody to push me. So I don't know if I'm still in it or not.

"I have my fingers crossed to not be in it, because I'm going to need to get out of this to get to state, eventually."

Not that he was complaining about Tuesday's race, however.

"I'm moving to regionals," he said with a smile.

He is the only Bruin to do so. Bayshore placed sixth with 114 points and its next-best finisher was Josh Freeman, who was 19th with a time of 19:15.

Things were a tad more complicated on the girls side. Two of Bayshore's runners, Jaclyn Rivera and Aury Martinez, placed in the top seven after slicing five minutes off their regular times.

Bruins girls coach Kim Cook spoke to the girls, and it turned out they crossed the finish line before completing the entire course because of a mix-up with one of the volunteers on the trail.

"What happened was they got mixed into the front pack, so (the volunteer) assumed they were in the front pack, and she told them to go that way," Cook said. "When we had seen them coming around, the times didn't match where they were at. We talked to the girls. ... and then we went and told the official, because if we were the other way around, I wouldn't want my kid to not qualify because of something like that."

Both runners were disqualified.

"It's bad one way or another," Cook said. "But in fairness to the other runners, that's what we had to do."

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