By Kyle LoJacono
The Steinbrenner boys cross country team took Places 2 through 6 at the Class 3A-District 8 meet at Lake Park in Lutz Nov. 2.
The Warriors, also known as The Boss Cross, totaled 20 points to best Sickles by 23. Their top-five runners, who are all seniors, finished within 0.4 seconds of each other.
“It’s just like we do in workouts,” said Chris Cerreta. “We always stress running as a team. We weren’t thinking about who was going to win on the team. We’re just trying to get us all across the line together.”
Tanner Biles took second overall (17 minutes 17 seconds), followed by Tyler Lima, Cerreta, Matt Magee and Zach Lima in 0.1 second intervals, respectively.
“It brought a smile to my face seeing them all cross together,” said third-year Steinbrenner coach Bobby McConnell. “They really are a team and truly care about each other.”
Besides Biles, who transferred from Freedom as a junior, the top five have been with the program since it opened in 2009.
“They’ve matured so much the last four years,” McConnell said. “They’ve become students of the sport.”
A pair of area girls also advanced to regionals.
Gaither junior Rachel Cazares finished third by running a 20:39 after sitting out of the Hillsborough County meet in October because of pain in her left foot. She said she started feeling good again two days before districts.
“I was pretty much where I wanted to be,” Cazares said. “I was thinking second or maybe surprise people with a win, but I’m happy and ready to get them next time.”
Steinbrenner senior Lauren Garris is also working to overcome a physical setback. She had an appendectomy less than two months ago, but recovered enough to take 10th (21:27).
“I’m surprised, honestly, that I made it,” said Garris about putting up her best performance of the year. “It was really hard. I haven’t tried that hard all season. … It’s been a rough season. I wanted to make regionals for my dad (Paul) and for myself. I knew it could be my last race.”
Garris said it’s been frustrating to deal with the discomfort while pushing to improve.
“I feel like I should be better,” Garris said. “It’s not like my legs or I’m really tired. It’s just every time I push my stomach gets tight. … Hopefully by track season it’s better.”
Garris, Cazares and the Warriors boys will compete at regionals Nov. 10 at Lecanto High starting at 9:30 a.m.
—Follow Kyle LoJacono on Twitter: @Kyle_Laker
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.