All-Area: Stephanie Schappert, girls cross-country Runner of the Year
Saturday, December 18, 2010
by Paul Ivice
A fall near the finish line of the Class 2A cross-country state final may have cost her a third consecutive title, but Pope John Paul II senior Stephanie Schappert took the disappointment in stride.
"Even if this year didn't turn out the way I wanted it, I'm really happy with the four years I had at Pope," Schappert said .
Schappert crossed the finish line in third place at the state meet. The only other race she lost all season was a seventh-place finish in the highly competitive Florida Runners invitational, which is not a school-related event.
"With about 500 meters to go, I made a move to try to end the race, but coming up on the final stretch, I kind of hit a wall, ran out of gas and kind of passed out." Schappert recalled of the state race at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City. "I'm not really sure. I think it was a combination of things."
She said her motto has become, "You get back up after you fall," because "I've done that quite a few times."
Her state time of 18:08.5 was 10 seconds off her 2009 winning time, but two seconds better than the time she recorded while winning in 2008.
"I think it got more competitive through the years, but I was disappointed because I know I can do better," Schappert said.
She said the usual distractions for a high school senior were amplified by the additional demands of college visits and scholarship decisions.
"I would like to have won it again, but I had to make a life decision for the next four years and I wasn't going to sacrifice that," she said.
Schappert will have a chance to continue improving while pursuing a business degree at Villanova, which recently won its second consecutive NCAA women's cross-country championship.
Pope John Paul II coach Jill Anderson expects Schappert to do well in college, although she said not being the No. 1 runner will be a new experience for Schappert, who was Pope's best runner even as a freshman when she was new to the sport.
GIRLS FIRST TEAM
Cali Gumpel, Wellington Christian, Eighth grade
Finished 15th at the state meet.
Kimberly Schmutz, St. Andrew's, Freshman
Third in district and seventh in regionals.
Ellyn Snider, Spaninsh River, Sophomore
Third in district and 11th at regionals.
Allie North, Spanish River, Senior
Won district, was 15th at regionals.
Meredith Anderson, Benjamin, Junior
Sixth in district and 18th at regionals.
Ashley Reback, Benjamin, Eighth grade
Eighth in district, 14th at regionals.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jill Anderson, Pope John Paul II
Coached Stephanie Schappert to third-at state. "Jill brings out the best not only in Stephanie but in all members of the team," Pope AD Scott Baker said.
GIRLS SECOND TEAM
Kaley Doyle, Park Vista, Freshman
Christina Sullivan, Pope John Paul II, Sophomore
Tia-Rose Raymond, Lincoln Park, Junior
Taylor Barnaby, South Fork, Senior
Katherine Roussin, Pope John Paul II, Sophomore
Laurie Scott, South Fork, Sophomore