GIBSONTON — Plant’s distance runners struck once again at Thursday’s Class 4A-District 7 track meet and pretty much ran away from Newsome with the team title.
The most devastating race was the second to last of the meet, the 3,200-meter run, where Plant’s girls finished first, second, third and sixth for 27 of their final 128 points, or four ahead of Newsome.
“I really thought Newsome was going to outscore us today,” Plant coach Roy Harrison said. “But we got some great performances from a lot of girls. It all came down to the 3,200, but there is a lot of credit to go around.”
Besides Bailey Sullivan and Anna Montgomery, who finished first and second and in the 1,600, and second and first in the 3,200, Plant got another one-two finish in the pole vault from Rachel Goding and Angela Baird (10-feet and 9-feet respectively), and another victory from Anna Malizia in the high jump (5-0).
On the boys side, Newsome captured the title with 155 points, 26.5 ahead of Riverview.
The Wolves did it with yeoman’s efforts up and down its lineup, perhaps none more impressive than Aaron Wade and Todd Jackson, who scored in four events: Wade finished with a third-place in the 100 meters (11.26) and a fourth in the 200 (22.75), and Jackson finished with a victory in the 400 (49.28) and a third-place in the 200 (22.74). Both Wade and Jackson also ran on the 4x100 relay (second in 43.77) and on the 4x400 relay (fourth, 3:31.26).
“Coach asked me to step up today and help the team and I said, ‘I’m ready,’ ” Jackson said. “I wanted us to get this district title, and it feels good to get it.”
Individually, Thursday’s two-event winners were Riverview’s Maia Carter in the 100 hurdles (15.00) and 300 hurdles (46.80); Riverview’s J’Nai Taylor in the 100 meters (12.66) and 200 meters (25.51); and East Bay’s James Hambrick in the long jump (22-2) and 200 meters (21.9).
Bloomingdale’s stable of 800-meter runners — including Matt Butler, Kevin Heron, Andrew LeBlanc, John Bryant and Elijah Beauzile — also proved impressive, beginning with a victory in the 4x800 and then following with a first-, third- and fifth-place finish in the open 800.
1A-3: Several locals qualify for state
CLEARWATER — Three local standouts won individual events at the Class 1A-Region 3 meet at Calvary Christian. Seffner Christian’s Robbie Shell won the long jump, Cambridge Christian’s Josh Wolcott took the triple jump and Bishop McLaughlin’s Desiree Nathee won the high jump.
Other girls advancing to the state meet were Cambridge Christian’s Madison Cox in the 400 (third) and the 200 (fourth), and Bishop McLaughlin’s Rachel Verscharen in the discus (fourth).
In addition to Shell, Seffner Christian teammate Jamari Johnson qualified for the state meet in the discus (second) and shot put (fourth). Tampa Prep’s 4x400 relay team (second) of Tyler Lawrence, Oscar Skjaerpe, Blake Dorman and Qaseem Wajd, and the 4x800 team (third) of Wajd, Dorman, Skjaerpe and Jordan Payne both qualified. In addition, Skjaerpe and Wajd qualified in the 800 by finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Other boys to qualify for the state meet were Bishop McLaughlin’s Will Beatty in the shot put (second) and Carrollwood Day’s Elias Earley in the 200 (second).