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2012 All Area Boys Cross Country Tyler Bennett
2012 All Area Boys Cross Country Tyler Bennett: Tyler Bennett was selected as the 2012 News-Press All Area Boys Cross Country player of the year.
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Fort Myers High's Tyler Bennett and Emily Edwards / Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com

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Tyler Bennett - Wave junior places second at 3A state meet

This award could have gone two ways with Bennett and teammate Aesop Brown dueling in the postseason.

Bennett finished first in the county (16:00.76) and first in his district (15:44.90), but came in third at the Region 3A-3 meet in 16:18.40. Brown finished second and rival Carlos Miranda of Palmetto Ridge took first.

The Green Wave won the 3A-3 title for the second year in a row but Bennett wasn’t happy with his individual performance.

“After that race I knew I needed to work harder,” Bennett said. “I really didn’t try my hardest that race and I knew I had a chance to be top three at state and that’s what my goal was.”

The junior was able to bounce back at the Class 3A state meet crossing the finish line in 15:30.38 for second place, leading Fort Myers to a third-place finish in the team title hunt. Bennett ran a PR of 15:22 at the Foot Locker South Regional for 20th place overall to conclude his season.

Emily Edwards - Edwards leads the way for Green Wave in 2012

The Green Wave junior returns as a familiar face to The News-Press Runner of the Year selection, unseating two-time selection Kacy Smith of Estero.

Edwards was Runner of the Year in 2009 as an eighth-grader but takes home the award this year after being the top runner for the Fort Myers Green Wave in 2012.

“I feel like it’s more of an accomplishment now,” Edwards said of being named Runner of the Year for the second time. “I think just to get it again is a great honor and I was really excited that I was able to get it this year.”

Edwards was pretty much unbeatable in the area, placing first in the county meet (18:34.02), first in the district (18:19.84) and first in Region 3A-3 (18:37.30).

Her lone hiccup came at the state meet as she finished in fifth place in 18:30.30 but she bounced back one week later at the Foot Locker South Regional. She placed 18th out of 321 runners with a time of 17:58, a finish good for second among Florida runners.

Boys First Team

Aesop Brown

• School: Fort Myers

• Year: Senior

Known as “Ace” by his teammates, Brown placed third in the county (16:26.22), second in the district (15:58.76) and second in a loaded Region 3A-3 meet in 16:13.90. He was the top Florida finisher at the Foot Locker South Regional in 15:21.00, for 19th place overall.

Jose Cartagena

• School: Estero

• Year:Senior

Cartagena was the top runner for a team that lost key runners due to graduation, placing sixth at the county meet (16:59.51) and finishing second overall at the District 3A-11 meet in 16:43.20. He finished seventh in his region (16:48.50) and placed 25th overall in 16:10.19.

Dean McGregor

• School: Fort Myers

• Year: Sophomore

McGregor made for a formidable No. 3 runner for the Green Wave, placing fourth at the LCAC meet (16:33.03), fifth in his district (16:10.84) and 10th at the Region 3A-3 meet in 17:04.10. He placed 26th overall at the 3A state meet in 16.11.89.

Erick Medina

• School: LaBelle

• Year: Senior

Medina was the Cowboys’ top runner, finishing fourth in Region 2A-3 in 17:02.25. He placed second overall in District 2A-11 (16:55.07) and won the Sebring Blue Streak Invitational with a PR of 16:16. Medina placed 20th overall at the Class 2A meet (16:45.18).

Robert Ormsby

• School:Cypress Lake

• Year: Senior

Ormsby was the lone boys’ representative for the Panthers at the Class 3A meet. He was second in the county (16:06.94), first in District 3A-11 (16:28.90) and fourth in his region in 16:29.90. Ormsby was third among Lee County runners at the Class 3A meet and sixth overall in 15:44.60.

Christian Vazquez

• School:Lehigh

• Year: Senior

Vazquez was the No.1 runner for a Lehigh team that sent two runners to the state meet. He was seventh at the LCAC meet (17:03.09) and placed first in District 2A-10 in 16:58.35. The senior finished seventh in Region 2A-3 (17:17.37) and finished his career with a 25th place finish at the Class 2A state meet in 16:52.51.

Boys Coach

of the Year

Yancey Palmer

• School: Fort Myers

In his fifth year with the Green Wave, Palmer guided the team to Lee County Athletic Conference and Region 3A-3 championships for the second consecutive season. Fort Myers also finished third in the Class 3A state meet, its best showing under Palmer.

Boys Second Team

Boys Second Team

• Alyx Gonzalez, Gateway Charter

• Miguel Casiano, Lehigh

• Brendan McGonagle, Fort Myers

• Alexander Hernandez, Estero

• Dillon Vallete, Estero

• Anthony Milana, Baker

Boys Honorable Mention

Boys Honorable Mention

• Baker: Brandon Walker, Kenny Hernandez

• Bishop Verot: Jared Arnold

• Canterbury: Santiago Rivera

• Cypress Lake: Colten Thomas

• East Lee County: Brandon Acevedo

• Estero: Adam Sommer, Ricky Ledesma

• ECS: William Lunsford

• Fort Myers: Stephen Fedec, Hamdi Alhaddad

• Island Coast: Edward Santiago

• LaBelle: Joel Chairez, Carlos Suarez

• Mariner: Shawn Hasten

• Riverdale: Alex Camacho

Girls First Team

Sarah Candiano

• School: ECS

• Year: Sophomore

Candiano placed first in her district (19:33.85) and third in her region with a time of 18:28.84. She also placed second at the Class 1A state meet (18:30.66) and placed 41st at the Foot Locker South Regional (18:29), sixth among Florida girls.

Bethany Jenkins

• School: Estero

• Year: Junior

Jenkins placed fourth at the county meet (20:25.32) and fifth at the district meet in 20:00.90. She followed with a 13th place finish at the region meet (20:29.40). Jenkins had a season’s best time of 18:48.75 for 13th place overall.

Breeana Salcedo

• School: Cypress Lake

• Year: Freshman

Salcedo placed seventh at the county meet in 20:48.39, ninth in her district (20:35.20) and ninth in the region (20:10.20). She was a part of a two-member contingent at the Class 3A state meet for Cypress Lake, placing 21st in 19:18.64. She competed at the Foot Locker South Regional in the freshman division placing 14th, third among Florida freshmen, in 19:17.00.

Katherine Slater

• School:Estero

• Year: Junior

Slater placed eighth at the county meet (20:52.26), fourth in her district (19:49.60) and seventh in her region in 19:56.50. Slater turned in her final top 15 performance at the state meet, placing 12th in Class 3A in 18:45.97. Slater finished 38th at the Foot Locker South Regional (18:26), fifth among Florida runners.

Katy G. Solis

• School: Estero

• Year: Senior

Solis edged teammate Kacy Smith at the Class 3A state meet in 17:58.70. She was third at the county meet (20:07.99), second in the district (19:28.20) and third in the region in 19:15.40. Solis placed 64th at Foot Locker South Regional in 18:46.00. She is verbally committed to Ole Miss.

Kacy Smith

• School:Estero

• Year: Senior

The two-time All-Area Runner of the Year, Smith finished first in her district (18:55.80), second in the county (19:33.21) and second in her region in 19:07. Smith finished third overall at the 3A state meet in 17:58.97. Smith is verbally committed to Ole Miss.

Girls Coach

of the Year

Jeff Sommer

• School: Estero

Sommer led the Estero girls to their third straight state championship. He was named the 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Girls Coach of the Year and is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s award. He will be honored June 26 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Girls Second Team

Girls Second Team

• Daley Cline, Estero

• Megan Slater, Estero

• Jillian Richter, Fort Myers

• Chelsea Manning, Cypress Lake

• Sarah McBeath, ECS

• Mallory Towe, Fort Myers

Girls Honorable Mention

Girls Honorable Mention

• Baker: Keschel Hernandez, Jessica Polendo

• Bishop Verot: Katie Avery

• Canterbury: Kendall Flaharty, Katie Flaharty

• Cape Coral: Melanie Lugo

• Cypress Lake: Heidi Churchill, Julia Roedding

• East Lee County: Vivian Mendoza, Sarah Hill

• Estero: Antonella Valencia

• Fort Myers: Victoria Cook

• Island Coast: Leanne Ellis

• LaBelle: Ana Figueroa, Ana Arreola

• Mariner: Isabelle Foy

• North Fort Myers: Ciera Hall

• Riverdale: Miranda Zemble

• SFCA: Maria Swiersz

- Tariq Lee

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