Several Beach Runs among Activities in the Coming Days

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Byline: Brian Kosoy, Times-Union sports correspondent

February has begun with a bang in Beaches sports and activities. Local high school athletes signed on for college sports this week, area high school soccer teams are making surges through the playoffs, and several young athletes have chopped, kicked, and swum their way to regional recognition.

There are also plenty of road races and other activities going on for weekend warriors out there. Here are this week's highlights and headliners:

Race time : Lace up your running shoes; several runs are taking the beach this weekend and next.

The American Cancer Society's 13th annual Making Strides Against Cancer charity walk will be at 11 a.m. today at the SeaWalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach, heading north to the Sea Turtle Inn in Atlantic Beach. Registration begins at 10 a.m. For more information, call 249-0022.

The Jacksonville Track Club will present two races this month: tomorrow's 28th annual Winter Beach Run and the Ginger Fannin King Couples Relay on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The Winter Beach Run includes 5- and 10-mile races, both beginning on Jacksonville Beach at 3 p.m. (low tide). The races will start and finish at the Comfort Inn, 1515 First St. N. Long-sleeved sweatshirts will be given to all entrants.

The Couples Relay will begin at 4 p.m. at the Sea Turtle Inn. Each male and female team member will run a 5K relay on the beach. A new event this year will be the Wife Carrying Race at 1:30 p.m., modeled after the popular European race format. (Those crazy Europeans!)

Registration and additional information are available at www.jacksonvilletrackclub.com or by calling Doug Alred at 731-1900.

PVAA baseball: Because of rain last weekend, the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association Babe Ruth League evaluations will be at 11 a.m. today at the PVAA baseball fields at New Beginnings Baptist Church on Florida A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The Babe Ruth league is open to players ages 13-15 (as of Aug. 1), and late registration opportunities will be available. Coaches are still needed for this league. For more information, call Stuart Blackwell at 280-1353.

The PVAA is also sponsoring a pre-season baseball clinic this weekend, also at the baseball fields behind New Beginnings. Former professional baseball players Joel Davis, Tim Lee, Joe Morela and Rick Wilkins will lead the clinic.

Today's session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday's will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. The registration cost is $95 per player, and spaces are limited. For more information, contact Tim Lee at 543-9649.

Soccer update: The Fletcher High girls' soccer team took home top awards from the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) as the Senators won all-district, all-state, player of the year, MVP and coach of the year honors in District 6, which encompasses all classifications of schools in Duval, Nassau, Baker and Columbia counties.

Senior Ali Bolles was named the District 6 MVP, the top award given. She was also named the FACA District 6-5A player of the year and was an all-state and all-district selection.

Fellow senior Jennifer Hays was also named to the all-state and all-district teams. Other Senators selected to the all-district 6-5A team were Mollie Alteri, Katey Appleman, Erin Shelton, Annie Whitley and Caitlin Ross. Coach Mike Levine was named the 5A coach of the year.

The Fletcher girls' and boys' soccer teams are dominating in district competition.

The girls' team took home the district championship Jan. 30 with an impressive 4-0 win over Bartram Trail in the finals. Bolles scored two goals, including her 30th of the season, and Alteri and Ross added goals.

Levine called the win the team's "strongest showing this year." The win was the team's 20th shutout of the year. The girls have allowed goals in only three games.

The victory qualified the Senators for the regional quarterfinals, in which they hosted Fort Walton Beach on Thursday night. …