Gulf senior Kari Grippo ended her high school cross country career with a fifth place showing at the 2A Cross Country Finals and will trade her green and white for green and gold as she joins the Saint Leo University program in the fall of 2014. The school is NCAA Division 2 and just a 40 minute drive from New Port Richey. Grippo who received both academic and athletic scholarships and plans to major in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Leadership says the Lions felt like the perfect fit.
When I first saw the name of this meet’s location—Crews Lake Wilderness Park--I figured I’d wear my buckskins, and bring my birch bark canoe and axe. But that idea was tempered by what appeared on their website, where Pasco County Parks proudly announced its highlights as being a(n) “observation tower, bird houses, bike path, nature trail, botanical garden, playground (and not just any kind, but a BIG one), outdoor amphitheater, free rides on the Central Pasco and Gulf Railroad, and even primitive camping....Well, maybe I’d just bring the axe (in case it turned into a “Camp-o-runna”).
There are some followers of Pasco County high school cross country who insist that Gulf's Kari Grippo isn't that good of a runner. Actually, she is that good. If the recent Gator Invitational is any indication, the sophomore runner is the real deal. Grippo ran the shady course in 18:09. Belleview's Anne-Marie Blaney was second with 18:28, 19 seconds behind Grippo. (via TBO.com)
Gulf High School
sophomore Kari Grippo, is tearing through the local XC competition in her first season of cross-country running at the high school level. In fact, all the first-year XC runner wanted going into the FSU Invitational in Tallahassee on Saturday, September 24, was a little competition. (via New Port Richey Patch)
Colonial junior Andres Arroyo continued his junior season with another impressive performance. For the second straight week Arroyo ran stride for stride with Belen Jesuit standout and Foot Locker finalist Elliot Clemente this time at the UF Mt. Dew Invitational finishing second in a season best 15:37.81. Gulf sophomore Kari Grippo proves she can hang with some of the best runners in the state by posting and 18:13.30 at the FSU Seminole Invitational finishing third behind Chiles senior Lily Williams and Holy Trinity freshman Julie Wollrath.
Check out this awesome video that introduces the 2011 Gulf High School Cross Country Team. The video was produced by sophomore Kari Grippo's father, Scott.
Kari Grippo is glad to be running for Gulf High School. She transferred there midway through the year last year from Fivay High School so that she could attend their Health Careers Academy, a program that helps prepare students to enter the medical field. The FHSAA saw the move as one for athletic purposes and a recruiting violation. As a result they ruled her ineligible to participate in track and cross country for the Buccaneers. It was a decision the Grippo's fought, but lost on the regional and state level. She looks at the whole process as a blessing in disguise.