GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Grace Casagrande, sr., Cardinal Mooney
To her credit: Casagrande finished fifth in the Class 1A state meet with an area-best time of 18 minutes, 36.11 seconds. She finished second in the Region 3 meet (18:19.53), won the inaugural Tri-County Meet (Manatee-Sarasota-Charlotte Counties) in 19:14.50 and won the District 10 title. During the regular season, she won all but two meets she entered. Casagrande considers her best accomplishment finishing third at the Florida Runners Invitational. Her personal best time is 18:07.
Fast fact: Casagrande is a vegetarian who enjoys eating veggie burgers after a run because she gives her protein. Her favorite subject in school is Spanish, and her long-range goal is to own her own company.
Up next: Considering several scholarship offers for cross country and track. At the top of her list now is St. Louis University; she also is considering Florida and Mississippi.
Manatee -- Katie Lanphere, sr.
Southeast -- Elsa Lopez, sr.
Lakewood Ranch -- Michelle Last, sr.; Andrea McDonald, frosh.; Julia Ortiz, soph.; Emily Perez, sr.; Katie Wray, jr.
Braden River -- Asia Borman, sr.
Out-of-Door Academy -- Chloe Ruppert, frosh.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Canaan Meester-Kitterman, senior, Bayshore
To his credit: A three-time Herald All-Area Athlete of the Year in his sport, Meester-Kitterman finished fifth in the Class 2A state meet with an area-best time of 16 minutes, 7.09 seconds. He finished second in the Class 2A-Region 3 meet (16:54.50) and won the 2A-District 10 meet with his personal best time (16:01.40). He won the Tri County Meet and IMG Invitational.
Fast fact: Meester-Kitterman says he is most proud of how Bayshore turned in its best performance of the season at the district meet and qualified for region. He lists olives as his favorite food, but says he will eat anything. His favorite subject is math because it's like a puzzle, and he loves doing puzzles. He likes horror movies and says he is a jumper and not a screamer when he goes to them.
Up next: Considering several athletic scholarship offers that include one Division I school so far. He would like to be a graphic designer and/or work in computer science and hopes to work in the video-game industry.
Southeast -- Dominic McCrae, soph.
Palmetto -- Josh Fleming, soph.
Lakewood Ranch -- Mitch Arnold, sr.; Read Corley, jr.; George Dabbiero, jr.; Brice Easton, frosh.; Josh Napier, sr., John Rivera, frosh.
Braden River -- R.J. Brown, soph.
Cardinal Mooney -- Cal Davidson-Turner, Jr.
Ellie Berdusco, jr., Saint Stephen's
To her credit: After winning her school's first state swimming title in the 500-yard freestyle as a sophomore, Berdusco settled for second place in the event at this year's Class 1A state meet. But any disappointment Berdusco felt at missing the repeat was tempered by her personal-best and school-record performance in the 200 freestyle. She entered the meet seeded fourth and finished second. Her times of 4 minutes, 48.62 seconds in the 500 and 1:48.03 in the 200 automatically qualified her for All-American status in the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association. Berdusco holds five individual school records and was a member of two record relay teams.
Fast fact: Berdusco doesn't have much time for life outside school and the pool. She trains with the Sarasota Sharks and practices twice a day three times per week and once the other two days. She enjoys drawing and likes studying math and science in school. Berdusco claims to dislike school, though she sports a 4.4 grade-point average.
Up next: Before next scholastic season, Berdusco will swim with the Sharks at the YMCA Nationals in April in Greensboro, N.C., and the Junior Nationals in Irvine, Calif. She has made one college visit, to Notre Dame, but is not close to making a final decision.
Lakewood Ranch -- Madison Jean, soph.; Sydney Panzarino, sr.; Courtney Chapin, frosh.
Braden River -- Paige Lewandrowski, frosh.
Out-of-Door Academy -- Joie Eckhard, jr.
Cardinal Mooney -- Paiton Krebs, sr.
Eric Erlenmeyer, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: Erlenmeyer surprised himself by placing second at the Class 3A state meet in the 100-yard backstroke. He was seeded sixth heading into the finals, but turned in a time of 52.39 seconds to capture a silver medal. Erlenmeyer also placed sixth in the 50 freestyle and swam on a 400 freestyle relay that finished fourth and a 200 medley relay that came in sixth. Lakewood Ranch came in fourth as a team, the top finish in school history for a boys team.
Fast fact: Erlenmeyer started swimming at age 5 with the Sarasota Sharks and is still a member of the club. His father, Gary, swam at Bayshore High and USF and is a swimming official. Eric Erlenmeyer enjoys hanging out with friends and playing paintball. He said his favorite movie is "Forrest Gump" and his favorite subject in school is math.
Up next: Erlenmeyer hopes to swim in college and is looking at Florida Southern College and the University of Tampa. He plans to study to become an accountant.
Bayshore -- Theodore Smith, frosh.
Lakewood Ranch -- Luke Hanner, jr.; Daniel Erlenmeyer, soph.; Sang Cho, sr.; Kevin Berkenbusch, sr.
Braden River -- Ryan Walker, soph.
Out-of-Door Academy -- Joe Plechy, sr.
Cardinal Mooney -- Matthew Garcia, soph.; Austin Katz, frosh.
Ramsey Touchberry, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: Touchberry won two individual titles this past season for the Mustangs and routinely was slotted into the No. 1 spot in Lakewood Ranch's powerful lineup. The senior peeled off a share of the championship at the East Lake tournament with teammate Danny Walker. He also was the medalist in the region tournament with a 65. At the state tournament, he held the first-round lead following a 68 and ended up with a second-place showing and a 142 total. The 2013 season was his best after medaling for the Mustangs eight times and posting a career-low 70.625 stroke average.
Danny Walker, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: Walker had many individual accomplishments this past fall. In addition to sharing the title at the East Lake tourney with Touchberry, Walker won two other tournament titles (the Ida Baker Invitational and Vinoy Classic) to pair with his medalist performance at the Venetian Golf and River Club for the Class 3A-District 14 event. Walker also recorded the lowest score for his side seven times and finished his best season as a Mustang with a 70.8125 stroke average.
Lakewood Ranch -- Luke Miller, jr.; Kelly Sun, soph.; Charlie Sun, soph.
Braden River -- Andrew Hammett, jr., Brandon Pozzie, fr.; Max Everett, sr.
Bradenton Christian -- Philip Knowles, jr.; Landry Miller, soph.
Cardinal Mooney -- Jake LaMore, jr.
Out-of-Door Academy -- Max Coutsolioutsos, 8th grade.
Saint Stephen's -- Jack Cen, jr.
Gianna Tomeo, jr., Manatee
To her credit: Tomeo is the Herald's All-Area Athlete of the Year in girls golf for the third consecutive year, having breezed her way to yet another state tournament appearance. Tomeo won the prestigious Donald Ross Memorial Invitational at Sara Bay Country Club for the second straight year. She bettered her 2012 winning total by five shots when she carded a 1-under-par 71 this past October. That improvement was evident during the entire year as Tomeo's consistency allowed her to gain safe passage to the Class 3A state tournament following medalist honors at the region tourney. She was the lone area individual qualifier for the 3A state tournament.
Braden River -- Bianca Dean, sr.
Cardinal Mooney -- Stephanie See, sr., Caroline Warren, jr.
Lakewood Ranch -- Theresa Morrissey, frosh.
Palmetto -- Jessica McMillan, sr.
Saint Stephen's -- Michelle Yan, soph., Vanessa Yan, frosh., Natalie Pleyrova, jr., Phoebe Zhao, sr.
Ramsey Touchberry, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: Touchberry won two individual titles this past season for the Mustangs and routinely was slotted into the No. 1 spot in Lakewood Ranch's powerful lineup. The senior peeled off a share of the championship at the East Lake tournament with Walker. He also was the medalist in the region tournament with a 65. At the state tournament, he held the first-round lead following a 68 and ended up with a second-place showing and a 142 total. The 2013 season was his best after medaling for the Mustangs eight times and posting a career-low 70.625 stroke average.
-- Jason Dill, Herald sports writer
Danny Walker, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: Walker had many individual accomplishments this past fall. In addition to sharing the title at the East Lake tourney with Mustang teammate Ramsey Touchberry, Walker won two other tournament titles (the Ida Baker Invitational and Vinoy Classic) to pair with his medalist performance at the Venetian Golf and River Club for the Class 3A-District 14 event. Walker also recorded the lowest score for his side seven times and finished his best season as a Mustang with a 70.8125 stroke average.