Lely, Neumann headed to state cross country meet

Lely High and St. John Neumann High are sending their boys and girls cross country teams to the state championships.

Lely High's Tito Serrata and Marco Island's Jordan Sorrenti, keep pace with runners in Class 3A, Region 3 competition at Buckingham Park on Friday. The Lely boys placed sixth, qualify for the state 3A championship Saturday.

Courtesy of Chris Black

Lely High's Tito Serrata and Marco Island's Jordan Sorrenti, keep pace with runners in Class 3A, Region 3 competition at Buckingham Park on Friday. The Lely boys placed sixth, qualify for the state 3A championship Saturday.

Both schools will travel to Dade City on Saturday.

To qualify for state, teams had to finish in the top six in the regional meet.

Lely raced in Class 3A, Region 3 competition at Buckingham Park, while St. John Neumann competed in 1A, Region 3 at Pinellas Park on Friday.

The Lely teams will compete in the Class 3A championship meet, while St. John Neumann will race in the Class A championship.

Marco Island's Amber Imm led the Lely girls to a fourth-place finish, while Maynard St. Cyr led the boys to the last qualifying spot, finishing sixth, putting Barron Collier on the sidelines.

McGarrity was happy for both teams, but particularly pleased with the boys' finish.

"They definitely were on the bubble when they started, with a couple other teams having a shot," McGarrity said.

Marco Island's Gina Young moves swiftly by runners in the Class 3A, Region 3 girls cross country race. Young helped the Lely girls finish fourth and qualify for the Class 3A state championship on Saturday.

Courtesy of Chris Black

Marco Island's Gina Young moves swiftly by runners in the Class 3A, Region 3 girls cross country race. Young helped the Lely girls finish fourth and qualify for the Class 3A state championship on Saturday.

The boys were seeded 10th entering the race.

St. Cyr improved his three-mile time from his district race. Finishing 12th, St. Cyr recorded a time of 17:31 — 21 seconds faster than his district finish.

Marco Island's Stephen Buckley was next, in 21st place in 18:10, followed by teammates Brandon Fisher, 30th in 18:29, Samuel Walker, 45th in 18:50, Tito Serrata, 47th in 18:62, Jordan Sorrenti of Marco Island, 49th in 18:55 and Daryl Townsend, 64th in 19:35.

Imm followed her first-place finish in the district meet by racing fifth at the regional competition in 20:15.

Helping Lely's team total was Margarette Laurent in 20th place in 21:51, Gina Young of Marco Island, 27th in 22:19, Heather Chairez, 32nd in 22:33, Jade Dworkin of Marco Island, 38th in 22:52, Samantha Spinuzzi, 55th in 23:50 and Sarah Stacey, 73rd in 25:36.

For St. John Neumann, the boys finished fifth and the girls sixth to qualify for state.

The boys were led with top-20 finishes by Andrew Nichols, 16th, Taylor Peliska, 18th and Kevin Crowley, 19th.

The Celtics' Victoria McCaffrey, battling a strained arch, ran to fourth place and Stephanie Bolognese came in 15th to lead the girls.

Celtics coach Mike Olayos said both teams had their best races.

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