TAMPA — Wharton High’s Bryanna Rivers is a 15-year-old freshman, but at Wednesday’s Class 4A-Region 2 track meet, she showed all those older girls a thing or two … or three.
Let’s see, Rivers won the 1,600 meters in 5 minutes, 15.04 seconds, won the 800 in 2:18.98 and helped the Wildcats 4x800 relay take second in 9:37.19 while running a sub-2:20 leg.
“Yes, I’m a little tired, but I feel great,” Rivers said. “I have to say it’s the best meet I’ve ever had. It’s great to help the team.”
Oh yes, Rivers and the Wildcats also ran away with the team title with 86.5 points, 28.5 ahead of runner-up Steinbrenner. Lakeland George Jenkins was third with 56, followed by Riverview at 54.
“To be a freshman and qualify for the state meet (next week in Jacksonville) is something I am so grateful for,” said Rivers, who was the only girl from Hillsborough County to win two events at that Class 4A meet. “I’ll thank God every day.”
On the boys’ side, Riverview was the highest team finisher from Hillsborough County in fourth place with 44.5 points, 15.83 behind the winners, North Port. Countryside was the runner-up with 59 and Kissimmee Osceola was third with 47.16.
Individually, several impressive performances from Hillsborough County included Plant’s Jack Guyton, who won the 1,600 meters with a personal-best 4:16.52, and finished second to Sickles James Zentmeyer in the 3200 in a furious battle. Zentmeyer won in 9:37.93 and Guyton was just behind at 9:38.61.
Alonso’s Lynette Robertson took a first and second in the long jump (17-10.5) and triple jump (39-5), and Riverview hurdler Maia Carter also had a first (100 hurdles, 14.64) and a second (300 hurdles, 45.97). Freedom’s Anel Smith won the 300 hurdles in 45.65.
Other event winners from Hillsborough County: Steinbrenner’s 4x800 relay (9:33.10); Freedom’s Ashley Wilson in the discus (119-1); Plant’s Bailey Sullivan in the 3200 meters (11:37.36); Plant’s Anna Peyton Malizia in the high jump (5-4); Wharton’s Jasmine Robinson in the 400 meters (56.99); and Alonso’s 4x400 relay, which featured a dramatic last-leg surge by Megan Wetzel, who helped the Ravens crack the 4-minute barrier in 3:59.47.
Class 3A-Region 3
Gaither junior Samson Moore has been battling back from a torn hamstring for almost two months — an injury that’s made him limp, and rehab, and “sit around a lot.”
It’s also made him huff and puff a bit more the past few weeks, as he’s finally stepped it up in the 110 and 300 hurdles, events he won at Wednesday’s Class 3A-Region 3 meet. Moore took the 110 hurdles in 14.28 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 37.34.
“But it’s still a little frustrating because I feel rusty and I’m breathing heavy through the races,” Moore said. “But I’m getting back in shape and I feel good (heading to next week’s state meet).”
Besides Samson, Wednesday’s other two event winners from Hillsborough County included Spoto’s Janae Caldwell in the 400 meters (56.21) and the 200 meters (24.67), and Middleton’s Anthony Rhynes in the 100 meters (10.37) and the 200 meters (21.57). In both the boys’ 100- and 200-meter races, Rhynes edged Jefferson’s Deiondre Porter, who won the long jump at 23-3.
Single event winners from Hillsborough County included: Hillsborough’s Dwayne Lawson in the high jump (6-4); Armwood’s Byron Cowart in the shot put (55-2.50); King’s boys 4x100 relay (42.12); Blake’s Jermal Wiley in the 400 meters (49.94); Hillsborough’s Chloe Jones in the discus (38-9.75); Middleton’s Deja Rogers in the 100 meters (11.91); Jefferson’s girls 4x100 relay (48.18).
In the boys’ team race, Jefferson, Hillsborough and Armwood took it down to the wire before finishing in a tie for third with 37 points. Sarasota ended up winning with 40 points, followed by Baker High at 39.
On the girls’ side, Lakewood Ranch won with 77 points. Golden Gate was second with 44, followed by Estero at 40 and Hillsborough with 37.