Photos by Jeff Adams/FLRUNNERS.COM
Video Interview with Rachel Petrik
BY RAY ROMERO
BY RAY ROMERO
A runner couldn't ask for better conditions. it was low 70s breezy and overcast (with little to no chance of rain). A 99% trails / grass course, though I think given all the discussion room chatter we should add about .2 seconds to the times for the 4m of road you had to cross (darn you Jason Means). The girls race seemed to be between Ft. Myers and the host Sarasota Riverview, as Lakewood Ranch had their A Team at Disney. The meet is pretty friendly for coaches to see their runners at each of the miles. The first mile being the longest, and a nice shortcut for the 2 and finishline spots. As we made it to the mile it was Ft. Myers Petrik and Edwards 1 and 2 in about 5:51, and a several Sarasota Riverview in quite the pack. As I got to the 2 mile ( i did not know the shortcut on the first race) I was able to catch Petrik with about 150m lead on Witing (Sefner), Irwin (osceola), and Hagan (Sarasota Riverview). Edwards had fallen to about 6th. Petrik did not let up much on her way to a course record, but the team fell short by 1 point to the host Sarsota Riverview thanks to the help of their pack of 4 in the top 15.
The boys race was far more competitive on the individuals side as it was a 3 man race from the gun. Brendan Shearman of Ft. Myers would take the pack out in 5:11 trailing behind were Courtland (Sarasota), Hudek (Seminole). It played out the same as the 2 mile was approaching (thank goodness I found the shortcut), Shearman and Coutland with a new face that was not up front at the mile Meester-Kitterman (Osceola). They would come through about 10:37 with a strong push towards the top from semi-injured Ace Brown of Ft. Myers who was nowhere to be found at mile 1. Coming into the finish is when it got interesting as Meester-Kitterman made his move to pass Shearman he ran under a roped off area (from sheer momentum) cut about 3m of the course and passed Shearman to go on to the win. Initially Meester-Kitterman was to be DQ'd but thanks to Shearman, who stated that Meester-Kitterman was coming strong and would have won anyway the Judges allowed it to go on. This is the kind of good will and sportsmanship our little old sport is about. I could not have been prouder to have graduated myself from Ft. Myers Senior High as I heard of his selfless act. The team title would wind up going to Seminole with a slight edge over Sarasota and Ft. Myers in 3rd. I was unable to watch most of the rest of the meet as i was assisting a wounded runner. This is a meet I will definitely be back at though, great host, great course, and great competition.