High School Sports

Lakewood Ranch girls aiming for 8th straight trip to state cross country meet

LAKEWOOD -- The state meet has always been considered part of the schedule for the Lakewood Ranch girls cross country team.

The girls have qualified for seven straight state meets, and for the last three years, the Ranch boys joined them.

Things are not so set this season, as the two teams and two individuals from Manatee High get ready for the Class 4A-Region 2 meet Friday at Holloway Park in Lakeland.

Both teams are dealing with significant injuries and don't have as much depth as in recent years. The girls are healthier, but the region is stacked.

The top six teams and top 15 individuals qualify for the state meet next week in Tallahassee.

Sarasota, Wharton and Tampa Plant are considered locks to advance in the girls race. From there -- it's anybody's guess.

Lakewood Ranch is among six teams fighting for three spots that include Sarasota Riverview, North Port, George Jenkins, Steinbrenner and Newsome.

Sarah Fazio led the Lakewood Ranch girls at the Class 4A-District 8 meet and Katrina Trompke was second. The Mustangs are hoping they can get an extra push from Andrea McDonald now that shs's done with volleyball. The other runners for the Mustangs are Kailyn Scully and Emma

Fazio. Manatee High's Raquel Lespasio is competing as an individual.

The Lakewood Ranch boys suffered a devastating blow last week when they lost sophomore Kyle Wray to a leg injury and with top runner John Rivera also not at one-hundred percent it puts them in a bind.

Wray was the Mustangs top runner at last year's region meet when he finished 11tth overall and Rivera was 12th in helping the Lakewood Ranch boys finish fourth overall.

Brice Easton led Lakewood Ranch and finished first among Manatee County runners by placing 13th overall at last week's district meet.

The other Lakewood Ranch scorers were Jon Reid (17th), Matt Srolis (19th), Rivera (20th) and Skylar Mars (25th). Manatee High's Marcel Sanchez will be competing as an individual.

3A-Region 3

Info: Friday at Holloway Park (Lakeland)

The Palmetto High boys qualified, but it's going to be an extremely tough job for the Tigers to advance out of this region.

Josh Fleming led Palmetto by finishing ninth overall and the Tigers' Matt Connor placed 13th. For the girls, Palmetto senior Luz Olguin qualified as an individual by placing 12th overall.

Class 1A-Region 2

Info: Friday at Holloway Park (Lakeland)

Saint Stephens is considered a long shot to advance in the girls competition, but could sneak in for a sixth spot if it can get by Indian Rocks and Canterbury.

The Saint Stephen's girls finished third at the 1A-District 7 meet. The top five scorers for the Lady Falcons were Shreya Patel, Madelyn Popp, Katie Pierce, Baylee Barker and Sarah Schnur.

Individual qualifiers for the region were Terra Ehrhart from Out-of-Door-Academy who placed second overall and Cardinal Mooney's Tatum Weishaar of Cardinal Mooney (14th overall).

In the boys division, Saint Stephens placed second and Cardinal Mooney was third to qualify for regions. Henry Howell led the Falcons with a sixth-place finish. The next top scorers were Angus Chatham, Andrew Csubak, Dawson Hamilton and Curtis Stump.

Tyler Ross led Cardinal Mooney by finishing fourth. The other scorers were Adam Sage, Sebastian Lescano, Lian Hudson and Justin Ahlquist.

Saint Stephens and Cardinal Mooney can grab the last two qualifying spots if they perform up to expected standards.

2A-Region 3

Info: Saturday at Englewood Lemon Bay

The Southeast girls placed third at districts to qualify. The Lady Seminoles were led by Autumn MacRae (7th overall) and Emily Marie Marhold (8th). The other scorers were Katrina Hryck, Madelyn Kumar and Yosselin Linares-Gonz. Palmetto senior Luz Olguin qualified as an individual, placing 12th.

Southeast senior Dominic MacRae finished fifth and Bayshore junior Brandon Aaron placed 11th to qualify.