Kristin Zarrella may have only finished eighth in the mile run at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville on Saturday, but she can now claim to be the best in Southern Mississipi history at the event.
Zarrella, who graduated from Lakewood Ranch in 2013 and was the Bradenton Herald's All-Area Girls Track Athlete of the Year for her final season, ran the mile in 4:49.98 during Southern Miss' second day at Vanderbilt University, beating her previous best time of 5:05.17 by more than 15 seconds. The previous school record was 4:51.24.
The Golden Eagles set three school records at the invitational.
"Kristin Zarrella really started off Day 2 with a bang, by breaking the school record in the mile," head coach Jon Stuart said to the school's athletic website. "There was a great deal more competition this week and our upperclassmen leaders really met the challenge."
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The junior also ran the third leg for USM in its 4000-meter relay, which won at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday with a time of 11:51.39. Zarrella was also a two-time Herald Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Year for the Mustangs.
DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE -- The former Lakewood Ranch defensive back finished an explosive season for the Giants on Sunday with an up-and-down performance for Team Irvin in the Pro Bowl.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromarie hauled in a pair of interceptions in Honolulu, Hawaii, although he fumbled one away in Irvin's 49-27 win against Team Rice. The defensive back also recorded two tackles.
Rodgers-Cromartie finished the regular season with 58 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a blocked kick, three interceptions and a defensive touchdown for New York, which missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
DANIELLE VALLEY -- Wisconsin swam on consecutive days last week in Auburn, Ala., and Athens, Ga., and despite a pair of losses Danielle Valley continued a strong season for the No. 17 Badgers.
UW began its busy weekend with a loss to No. 9 Auburn and win against Florida State on Friday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Alabama, and Valley was Wisconsin's top female performer. The former Lakewood Ranch swimmer won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:47.39, the 1000 freestyle in 9:45.44 and the 400 individual medley in 4:17.09.
Valley's time in the 1000 was about two seconds off her season best, set a week earlier.
"Danielle Valley is as tough of a swimmer as I've ever coached and that's saying a lot because I've been doing this a long time and I've seen national champions," head coach Whitney Hite told UWBadgers.com. "She is very, very tough."
Wisconsin's back-to-back concluded with a 172-123 loss to top-ranked Georgia on Saturday and Valley recorded a pair of third-place finishes.