Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Cross-Country Athletes Get Ready for State Title Run

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Cross-Country Athletes Get Ready for State Title Run

Article excerpt

Byline: Thomas Petrucci, Times-Union staff writer

While football garners most of the attention during the fall, two Clay County high school athletes have quietly made names for themselves in another sport -- cross-country.

Keystone Heights' Enoch Nadler and Ridgeview's Scott Hans both have expectations of challenging for cross-country state titles this season, Nadler in Class 2A and Hans in 3A.

Cross-country district competition concludes today, with the 3A district at Middleburg and Class 2A at Bishop Kenny in Jacksonville. Regional competition is Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1, while the state finals are at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in Tampa on Saturday, Nov. 8.

In their effort to achieve success, the seniors also have developed what can be regarded as a healthy rivalry -- one that came to a head in last year's postseason competition.

In 2002, Hans outdid Nadler in the 3A, Region I meet. Both runners then qualified for the state finals, but Hans got the best of his county rival with a second-place finish while Nadler was seventh.

"They are both exceptional athletes," said Paul Nowicki, former cross-country and track coach at Wolfson High School, one of the top programs in North Florida last year. "I couldn't pick one over the other."

Running for Clay High School at the time, Nadler avenged his regional performance by taking fifth in the 2002 3A cross-country state final, 28 places higher than Hans.

Both runners set high goals for themselves this year.

"Win state," Nadler said. "There are a lot of good guys out there, but I think I have a shot."

Hans, too, has his eye on a lofty achievement.

"We set goals at the beginning of the season," Hans said. "Mine was to place at the top three in state."

Nadler attended Keystone Heights as a freshman and sophomore, but transferred to Clay his junior year. After spending a year as a Blue Devil, he decided to return to Keystone for his senior year.

Aside from his passion for running, the nature of the sport's competition was an additional factor that drew Nadler to cross-country. …

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