By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
ENGLEWOOD — A fifth straight district title was pretty much a formality for the Lemon Bay High School girls cross country team Saturday morning.
But breaking a school record for Kelsi Ogilvie? That was the added luster to a fantastic morning for Ogilvie and her teammates.
Ogilvie took home the individual crown with a time of 18 minutes, 48 seconds on the 5-kilometer course — shattering the school mark of Nicole Mis of 19:01.68 that she set at the 2012 state meet. The senior led the girls to a total of 20 points, 35 ahead of second-place Clearwater Central Catholic in very windy conditions at Lemon Bay High School.
“I knew it would be close but I didn’t know how close it would be because times vary with different races,” Ogilvie said. “My goal, I knew I wanted to get in the 18s this race because our regional course is a little tougher and this is the last chance before state so I wanted to go into state in the 18s.”
Ogilvie’s teammates Kristen Robinson (19:35.00) and Maddison Welch (19:53.00) finished third and fourth, respectively, and Megan Carley (22:12.00) came in sixth. But it was Ogilvie who stole the show, finishing 25 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Hannah McAuliffe from Lakewood High School.
“[Mis] once ran an 18:53 but the problem with that record is that was set on a course that we don’t believe was a 5K so the fastest time we know is a legit 5K course was Mis at state in 2012,” Lemon Bay coach Joe Casale said. “We’re going to consider this to be a school record because we did it on a course that is 5K.
“We wanted to go after and break 19 (minutes). Our goal was to try and break 19. That was our objective.” Lemon Bay’s boys team failed to repeat as district champions but finished in third place with a total of 68 points, just squeaking past Sarasota Military
Academy by three points to still advance to next week’s regional. Thanks to three top-10 finishes, Lakewood won the boys title with 51 points, 12 ahead of runner-up Clearwater Central Catholic. Alan Romero from Sarasota Military Academy won the individual title with a time of 17:32, 16 seconds ahead of Gibbs High School’s Ragene Smith. Henry Finck was Lemon Bay’s top finisher, taking fourth (18:10), 13 seconds behind Lakewood’s Mohammed Haitham.
“The boys, time-wise, ran really well,” Casale said. “If you look at the boys times, they were the best times all year for all of them so they really stepped up. They ran well and we got that last spot.”
Sarasota Military Academy actually had four runners finish in the top-18 to only three for Lemon Bay, but the Manta Rays were able to jump past the Eagles in the standings when two runners finished 46th and 47th. For the Manta Rays, there was definitely some anxiety.
“We thought it was going to come down to us and Clearwater Central Catholic,” Casale said. “We didn’t think it was going to be Sarasota Military Academy because they’re a top program but their fifth guy was 46th. Because their fifth guy was so far back, that’s what cost them. It really came down to that fifth runner because it’s a full-team effort.”
Lemon Bay’s girls and boys will run at the Region 3A-2 meet Friday morning at Holloway Park in Lakeland.
DISTRICT 11-2A CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Lemon Bay High School
1. Lemon Bay 20; 2. Clearwater Central Catholic 55; 3. Southeast 58; Top individuals
1. Kelsi Ogilvie (LB) 18:48.00; 2. Hannah McAuliffe (LW) 19:13.00; 3. Kristen Robinson (LB) 19:35.00; 4. Maddison Welch (LB) 19:53.00; 5. Rachel Whitlach (CCC) 21:41.00; 6. Megan Carley (LB) 22.12.00; 7. Autumn Macrae (SE) 22.20.00; 8. Athena Pantazes (G) 22.33.00; 9. Elizabeth Wichlacz (CCC) 22.36.00; 10. Emily Mari Marhold (SE) 22.37.00.
Lemon Bay competitors: 1. Kelsi Ogilvie 18:48.00; 3. Kristen Robinson 19:35.00; 4. Maddison Welch 19:53.00; 6. Megan Carley 22.12.00; 11. Chole Mitchell 23:15.00; 12. Audrey Werden 23.24.00; 14. Shannon Futch 24:15.00; 17. Oakley Maki 24:34.00; 24. Josalynn Smith 26:27.00.
1. Lakewood 51; 2. Clearwater Catholic 63; 3. Lemon Bay 68; 4. Sarasota Military Academy 71; 5. Bayshore 106; 6. Southeast 158.
1. Alan Romero (SMA) 17:32.00; 2. Ragene Smith (G) 17:48.00; 3. Mohammed Haitham (LW) 17:57.00; 4. Henry Finck (LB) 18:10.00; 5. Charles Oliff (CCC) 18:12.00; 6. David Douglas (LW) 18:19.00; 7. Lucas Sheridon (LW) 18:32.00; 8. Connor Wozniak (BOOK) 18:39.00; 9. Mark-Elliot Finley (SMA) 18:59.00; 10. Adan Lopez (BS) 19:08.00.
Lemon Bay competitors: 4. Henry Finck 18:10.00; 12. Tyler Morgan 19:12.00; 17. Harley Rusher 19:21.00; 21. Joshua Steelman 19:39.00; 26. Anthony Mellor 20:21.00; 27. Colton Montgomery 20:28.00; 29. John Blount 20:34.00; 35. Aleja Carabes Mora 21:09.00; 38. Ameer Diab 21.17.00; 44. Aldyn Craft 22:06.00.