Cross-country: Ellyn Snider leads Spanish River girls to runner-up regional finish
Saturday, November 10, 2012
by Steve Dorsey
The emotions of the moment overcame Spanish River senior Ellyn Snider on Saturday at Saturday's Region 3-4A cross-country meet.
"My big goal was to get to state," Snider said, wiping away tears after she placed third in the girls 5K race at South County Regional Park. "My dad lives in Texas and he hasn't seen me run this year. Now he can."
Snider explained that her father, a law professor at Baylor University, promised her that if she qualified for the state meet, he would be there to watch her run. Dad can pack his bags and book that flight from Waco to Tallahassee because his daughter is headed to the state meet.
Snider's third-place finish helped Spanish River earn the runner-up team trophy and a trip to the state championships Saturday at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. Her time of 18:36.28 was 40 seconds faster than her previous personal record.
"I felt really good with my training coming in, but I didn't expect to beat it by so much," Snider said of her personal-record time.
Three of Snider's teammates also clocked personal-record times, with Catherine Vianale also placing among the top 10 finishers. Their performance was not enough to overcome an exceptional effort by Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas, which placed its top five runners in the top seven to capture the girls team title with 21 points, only six points short of a perfect score.
"They ran when they had to," Spanish River coach Rothman said. "Our top three did a tremendous job. Last year, we didn't qualify for state for the first time in 20 years, so this is very satisfying. We had three girls under 20 minutes, and we haven't had that since 2003, the last time we won state."
Sal Medrano of John I. Leonard had another strong performance, finishing runner-up to Anthony Deleva of Coral Glades, who won the boys race in 15:48.77. Deleva had a strong finish, passing Medrano about 700 yards from the finish line. Medrano clocked a personal-record 15:53.25, about 8 seconds faster than his previous best time.
"I'm not good on hills and he pulled away on that final hill," Medrano said of Deleva.
Spanish River's Caleb Rader placed third in 16:08.26. Leonard's Charlie Bengston was fourth in 16:14.01 to help the Lancers earn the boys runner-up trophy with 94 points.
St. Thomas Aquinas made it a Raiders sweep by taking the boys team title with 55 points. The top six teams and top 15 individuals qualified for the Class 4A state meet. Park Vista's girls and boys teams, along with the Dwyer girls and Spanish River boys also will send their teams to state.