Track: Hillsborough boys, Plant girls take titles
Plant’s girls and Hillsborough’s boys won team titles at Tuesday’s Vernon Korhn Track Championships, but the Panthers and Terriers did it in decidedly different ways — Plant more through the distance events and Hillsborough in sprints and jumps.
In the end, Plant’s girls won with 92 points, eight ahead of second-place Wharton. Freedom was third with 75 points, followed by Hillsborough with 63. Hillsborough’s boys, meantime, won with 68 points, 13 ahead of runner-up Jefferson.
The overall star of the meet was Hillsborough’s Jeremiah Green, who won four events: the triple jump (48 feet), long jump (23-91/4), 100 meters (10.64) and 200 meters (21.45).
Following are more highlights from the distance, sprints and field events:
Field Events Chamberlain’s Andrea Aaron continued her dominance in the discus and shot put, winning both with throws of 121-41/2 and 41-3 respectively, while Britainy Smith again won the girls pole vault by clearing 10 feet, 6 inches.
The usual suspects were also prevalent in the high jump, where defending state champion Faith Woodard won with a leap of 5-9, followed by teammate Sandra Akachukwa at 5-6.
On the boys’ side, Green, who owns the nation’s longest triple jump at 52 feet, 1 inch, made only one attempt at the triple jump and one at the long jump before sitting down to rest for the sprints.
“In a meet like this, we don’t want his legs to get tired by jumping a whole bunch,” Hillsborough coach Joe Sipp said. “We want him to be as fresh as possible for the sprints, and he sure was today.”
Green’s 100 and 200 times were personal bests.
Distances Plant dominated the girls’ distance events, placing first and second in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Scarlett Fox won the 1,600 in 5:13.92 and teammate Caroline Gibson was second in 5:17.65, outleaning Bloomingdale’s Annie Barrett, who was third in 5:17.66.
Gibson came back to take another second in the 3,200, won by Bailey Sullivan in 11:49.85. Sullivan opened a lead on the pack early in the second mile and cruised to victory.
“The first mile felt good, and then I just felt like I needed to go with three laps left,” Sullivan said.
Overall, Plant coach Roy Harrison was pleased with his distance runners, who filled in some needed points after a few Panthers struggled in earlier events.
“It wasn’t a perfect meet, but we found a way to get it done,” Harrison said.
In one of the closest races of the day, Steinbrenner’s Matt Magee took the boys 1,600 in 4:31.01, holding off a fast-closing Lars Benner of Newsome, winning in 4:31.01. Benner, who crashed to the track on the final lean, ran 4:31.02.
Magee’s teammate, Tyler Bess-Lima, won the 3,200 in 9:46.57. Abdin Fator was second in 9:59.75.
Earlier in the day, Magee and Bess-Lima combined to help Steinbrenner the win in the 4x800 relay in 8:02.09.
Jonathan Moore of Jefferson won the 800 in 1:57.
Sprints After Green’s dominance, Deontae Williams of Tampa Bay Tech shined, placing second in both the 100 in 200 in times of 10.73 and 21.81, respectively.
Alonso’s William Taylor-Haynes ran an impressive 13.98 in the 110 hurdles. He won by nearly a second over Caleb Chambliss of Tampa Bay Tech, who was second in 14.94. The time was a personal best for Taylor-Haynes.
On the girls’ side, Hillsborough’s Jorian Ordway won the 200 and 400. In the 200, she edged another multi-event performer, Freedom’s Akachukwu.
Ordway won the 400 in 55.59. She returned to run on Hillsborough’s second-place 4x400 team. They were edged out by Wharton — 3:55.71 to 3:55.79.
Wharton’s anchor, Kiana Outen, said, “last meet they beat us, and the girl passed me in the last 20 meters, so I’m glad I did that.”
King’s Carrol Hardy won the 100 in 11.78, beating Akachukwu, who ran 11.86. Tribune correspondent Lars Steier contributed to this report.