Saint Stephen’s boys cross country team did just enough to qualify for the Class 1A state finals, held at Dade City’s Little Everglades Ranch on Saturday, Nov. 19.
The Falcons earned the sixth and final qualifying position as a team but not without some help from their sixth-man runner at the 1A-Region 3 meet at Largo’s Taylor Park on Thursday. Saint Stephen’s were tied on points with St. Petersburg Northside Christian after using the top five finishes as dictated by FHSAA rules. So the tiebreaker meant using the sixth runner from both teams. That meant Saint Stephen’s Nathan Carr’s time of 19:40.89 was used to separate the Falcons from Northside Christian, which had to use Glenn Dorsey II’s time of 22:27.79. The top 15 individuals also advanced. The only area boys runner to progress was Out-of-Door Academy sophomore Peter Runge, who clocked in at 16:58.61.
There were no girls teams competing. On the individual side, Cardinal Mooney sophomore Grace Casagrande missed advancing to states by 11 seconds. Saint Stephen’s junior Hannah Howell also missed after she finished in 22nd.
LAKEWOOD RANCH 3, PUNTA GORDA CHARLOTTE 2 -- The Mustangs remained unbeaten in district play after escaping Charlotte with the victory. Ian Nolan netted the game-winner with five minutes left to lift Lakewood Ranch to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in Class 4A-District 11. Jason Ferguson (goal, assist), Tyler Norris (goal) and Billy Lamberti (assist) chipped in on the scoreline. Joe Black snagged 10 saves.
SAINT STEPHEN’S 8, ST. PETERSBURG CANTERBURY 0 -- The Falcons opened up their 2011 campaign with a lopsided shutout. Felipe Rezende notched a hat trick and added an assist for Saint Stephen’s (1-0). Colin Yates (goal), Matthew Jones (goal, assist), Brett Messieh (goal, two assists), Jorge Zavala (goal, two assists), Josh Ruckdeschel (goal) and Sam Lynch (two assists) also powered the offense. J.J. Byrnes grabbed one save to preserve the clean sheet.
SAINT STEPHEN’S 6, BAYSHORE 0 -- The visiting Falcons (3-0) ran roughshod over the Bruins in non-district action. Shannon Morrish (goal, two assists), Hannah Howell (goal, assist), Alexis Sedillo (goal), Lindsay Leskinen (goal), Kayla Hayes (goal), Jacqueline Perron (goal), Amber Falkner (assist) and Michelle Benz (two assists) paced Saint Stephen’s. First-time keepers’ Jenna Turner and Gabrielle Woodruff combined on the clean sheet as the Falcons’ regular keeper, Morrish, was used as a field player. Howell’s goal and assist capped a long day that included running in the 1A-Region 3 cross country meet.
-- Herald staff reports