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Cedar Key's Joseph Bishop got another second place finish in a Levy County cross country meet - this time at Chiefland, behind Ft. White's Matthew Waddington, whom he'd beaten at Williston two weeks before.
Bishop grouched for a few minutes, complained that Waddington "had a better stride," then allowed as how this was his best race ever.
Alex Travis of Williston, who finished just behind Bishop, said he, too, had run his best race on the shady course.
"It was nice and cool under the trees," he said.
Two letters - PR - were heard again and again at Chiefland Thursday, and it wasn't because the course was just three miles long. These rural cross-country competitors, who train and race - oddly enough - mostly on pavement, found they loved the soft footing and shady course that looped around the Chiefland campus. Even extrapolating the last tenth of a mile, many runners reported their best 5k times ever.
Bishop's 18:34 felt great to him, and he was clearly running better after recovering from the sprained ankle that slowed him in Williston. Waddington, at 18:33, just had an even better day.
Zo and Megan Stuber, also of Cedar Key, had outstanding times on the course. Megan, winning for middle school girls, also had the top girls' time overall with 23:24. Zo won the varsity girls' race in 23:33.
"I tried to pace on the Chiefland girls," Zo said, "and then I just started picking people off."
She drafted on Chiefland's Amy Biehl, who has beaten her all season, for much of the race, finally taking the lead. Biehl, who finished second in 23:50, led a pack of Chiefland, girls into the chute with JaRobyn Rome and Beth Warren on her heels.
"I thought I ran a pretty good race, but my partner left me," said Rome, teasing Biehl, with whom she normally paces.
Sarah Jones and Amber Trapnell, first in for Williston, enjoyed the looping course that was so different from the asphalt rectangle of their home turf.
"I was worried about running in the sand, but I liked not knowing what was coming next - all the different things to see," Jones said.
As enjoyable and fast as this race was, it seemed the bucolic course stirred the ambitious competitor in each runner's heart.
Rome and Geiger said that running cross country has changed even their academic lives.
"Coach Anderson tells us to run until we're uncomfortable and believe me, I do," said Rome.
"When you can do this, you know you can do anything," said Geiger.
Stuber said she felt like she was finally onto something, after losing twice to Biehl and cramping up at Bradford last week.
"I had a bad start to the season, but I had a PR today and I think I'm running better," she said.
Even Bishop felt like he was making progress.
"I'm going to win the county race," he said.
Travis, of Williston, considers that a challenge.
"We'll have to practice a lot harder," he said. "We'll just see what happens."
1 Zo Stuber, Cedar Key, 23:33
2 Amie Biehl, Chiefland, 23:50
3 JaRobyn Rome, Chiefland, 24:15
4 Beth Warren, Chiefland, 24:37
5 April Geiger, Chiefland, 24:38
6 Mariah Mather, Chiefland, 25:54
7 Skyler Horne, Chiefland, 25:59
8 Sara Jones, Williston, 26:11
9 Amber Trapnell, Williston, 26:13
10 Christine Waddel, Fort White, 27:19
11 Cameo Lance, Fort White, 27:31
12 Chelsea Wright, Williston, 28:35
13 Cassandra Hughes, Williston, 28:35
14 Caely Hibbits, Cedar Key, 29:05
15 Megan Martin, Cedar Key, 29:57
16 Tiffany English, Chiefland, 30:22
17 Brittany Smith, Chiefland, 31:52
18 Breanna Yates, Chiefland, 32:02
19 Kyra Fitzgerald, Williston, 33:06
20 Katelyn Jones, Fort White, 33:13
21 Katie Elliot, Fort White, 33:31
22 Theresa Wyant, Williston, 35:35
23 Toni Romagnolo, Williston, 35:36
1 Matt Waddington, Fort White, 18:33
2 Joseph Bishop, Cedar Key, 18:34
3 Alex Travis, Williston, 19:09
4 Aaron Esposito, Cedar Key, 19:18
5 Thomas Benefield, Cedar Key, 19:33
6 Josh Loyd, Cedar Key, 19:38
7 Frankie Beckham, Cedar Key, 19:48
8 Norman Hussey, Williston, 20:17
9 Mathew Coram, Williston, 20:22
10 Austin Moore, Williston, 20:23
11 Jacob Crosby, Cedar Key, 20:39
12 Franscisco Olivera, Williston, 20:41
13 Josh Lumley, Cedar Key, 20:46
14 Maurice Nelson, Fort White, 21:29
15 Davie Richardson, Fort White, 21:32
16 Bobby Hosier, Fort White, 22
17 James Peace, Fort White, 22:55
18 Evan Lyons, Cedar Key, 23:02
19 Henry Gonzalez, Fort White, 23:04
20 Robert Hanson, Williston, 23:27
21 Brandon Lam, Fort White, 23:28
22 Brandon Sharp, Fort White, 23:39
23 Dustin Cason, Fort White, 24:28
24 Justin Williams, Fort White, 24:29
25 Chauncey Primous, Williston, 24:51
26 Johnny Espildora, Williston, 24:53
27 Kien Cade, Fort White, 25:14
28 Richard Brown, Fort White, 25:59
29 Brandon Hartman, Williston, 28:22
Middle school girls
1 Megan Stuber, Cedar Key, 23:24
2 Sierra Andrews, Chiefland, 24:12
3 Myriah Kranz, Chiefland, 24:16
4 Lauren Bartholemy, Cedar Key, 26:20
5 Eliza Renaud, Chiefland, 26:22
6 Erin Hoopaugh, Williston, 26:29
7 Dallas Carter, Chiefland, 26:58
8 Savannah Plummer, Chiefland, 28:19
9 Caitlin Goss, Cedar Key, 28:28
10 Kelsi Deas, Chiefland, 28:29
11 Michaela Melton, Williston, 30:29
12 Sarah Bartholemy, Cedar Key, 30:39
13 Shabree Porter, Williston, 32:52
14 Olana Osborn, Williston, 32:58
15 Madison Deer, Chiefland, 37:54
16 Jeni Ruden, Chiefland, 38:09
Middle school boys
1 Austin Pope, Cedar Key, 20:51
2 Josh Berger, Cedar Key, 20:56
3 Thurman Bailey, Chiefland, 21:35
4 Frankie Mederos, Williston, 21:41
5 Kevin Hillary, Williston, 23:08
6 John Fradella, Cedar Key, 23:17
7 Brandon Banaccorso, Williston, 24:37
8 Cole McCormick, Williston, 24:39
9 Austin Davis, Chiefland, 25:01
10 Carl Staton, Chiefland, 25:05
11 Kalen Moreno, Williston, 25:19
12 Amos Shirey, Cedar Key, 25:29
13 Cameron Edwards, Williston, 26:02
14 Christian Harlson, Chiefland, 29:01
15 Cameron Coffey, Williston, 29:57
16 Manny Rosales, Chiefland, 31:02
Varsity girls, Chiefland, 20
Varsity boys, Cedar Key, 24
Middle school girls, Chiefland, 25
Middle school boys, Williston, 35