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Steinbrenner boys win UF Relays 4x1,600, Plant boys and girls break school records

Posted Apr 7, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Apr 7, 2012 at 08:14 PM

In just the second time running the event, Steinbrenner’s boys 4x1,600-meter relay team captured first place at Saturday’s Florida Relays in Gainesville.

The foursome of Tyler Lima, Zach Lima, Tanner Biles and Matt Magee teamed up to run 18 minutes, 14.60 seconds to defeat Winter Park Trinity Prep by just under four seconds.

Tyler Lima had the fastest split time, running 4:26. Magee went 4:32, Zach Lima ran 4:34 and Biles split 4:41, Warriors coach Bobby McConnell said.

“They’ve been upping their miles and really working hard the last few weeks,” McConnell said. “I think it’s starting to pay off at the right time.”

Steinbrenner’s distance runners have been performing so well, former Leto cross country coach Bob Ennis, who guided the Falcons to seven state titles, has dubbed the group “The Boss Cross.” Ennis is now an assistant at Steinbrenner under McConnell, whom he once coached at Leto.

Taking third place in 18:30.50 was the Plant relay team of John Drawdy, Travis Christenberry, Jacob Montgomery and Curtis Foulsham. Panthers coach Mike Boza said the time broke the school’s four-year-old school record. Christenberry had the fastest split time at 4:31, Boza said.

Bloomingdale’s Andrew LeBlanc, Matt LeBlanc, Kevin Heron and Ryan Chadderton were 12th in 19:13.

In the girls 4x1,600, Plant’s girls eclipsed an even older school record. The foursome of Scarlett Fox, Kara Halfaker, Julia Rodriguez and Caroline Gibson ran 21:27 to earn third place in the race and beat the 1997 record of 21:36. One member of that ‘97 squad was four-time state cross country champion Caroline Annis.

Saturday, Fox led off with an impressive leg of 5:04 to put the Panthers out front. But the squad from Sarasota Springs, N.Y., went on to break the meet’s record in the event and lap much of the field with its winning time of 20:12. Estero, led by Olivia Ortiz, was second in 21:19. Bloomingdale was 16th in 23:46 and Freedom was 18th in 24:00.

Later in the meet Saturday, Fox and Gibson teamed up with Emory Pitisci and Caroline Bado to take sixth in the 4x800 in a season best of 9:34.45. They were chasing a school record of 9:30.21. Taking eighth in the 4x800 in a season best of 9:40. 65 was Wharton’s foursome of Erin Kocher, Mariah Henderson, Tyler Watson and Taylor Griffith.

Wharton’s girls 4x400 relay team of Kocher, Taylor Barber, Wtason and Henderson closed the meet with another season best, this time in the 4x400, running 3:59.36 for ninth place.

In the boys 4x400, Jefferson’s Josh Wyche, Jawuan Coffee, David White and Jonathan Moore grabbed fifth place in 3:22.58.

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