TAMPA — Wharton High’s girls track and field team “had a bad taste in their mouths,” after losing at last month’s Hillsborough County meet, Wildcats coach Anthony Triana said.
“When Steinbrenner beat us at the county meet, we developed a new intensity,” Triana said. “We looked toward the district meet and went to work. We had something to prove.”
With a team effort, the Wildcats earned redemption Wednesday, winning the Class 4A-District 6 meet with 179 points, 13.5 ahead of runner-up Steinbrenner.
The Steinbrenner boys made a statement of their own, running away with their second straight district title with 211 points, 82 ahead of Freedom.
Steinbrenner’s boys scored in every event and dominated the hurdle events, taking the top four spots in the 300 (with Alex Simmons winning in 41.24 seconds) and finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in the 110 hurdles, with Cody Burgess winning in 15.66.
To get an idea of Wharton’s girls deep effort, consider the Wildcats had only one two-event winner, Bryanna Rivers, who won the 1,600 meters (5 minutes, 23.49 seconds) and the 800 (2:22.44). Captain Kahlesha Gibson scored in four events: the pole vault, 100 and 200 meters and the 4x100.
Other two-event winners included Alonso’s Lynette Robertson in the long jump (17-11.75) and the triple jump (36-0), and Alonso’s Brandon Robinson in the long jump (21-9.75) and the triple jump (41-7).
Alonso’s Megan Wetzel almost assuredly would have been a two-event winner in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, but a scheduling conflict with a district softball game (Wetzel also plays for the Ravens’ softball team) led her to leave the meet before the 200, though her qualifying time was almost a second faster than anybody in the field.
“I think it’s horrible that a young lady should be forced to make a choice like that,” Alonso coach Roger Mills said. “(Wetzel) had a chance to be a district champion in three events (she won the 100 meters and helped the 4x100 relay to victory). But scheduling a softball game like that made it impossible.
“The team wished her the best in the softball game, but we are saddened that she couldn’t get that third medal and compete in the 200 (after districts).”
Wetzel’s times in the 200 indicate she had a strong chance to medal in the event at the state meet. Now, because she skipped Wednesday’s 200 final, she can only run in the 100 and the 4x100.
3A-9: Middleton’s Rhynes puts on show
TAMPA — Middleton junior Anthony Rhynes won the 100 and 200, edging Jefferson’s Deiondre Porter in both events at Wednesday’s Class 3A-District 9 track meet at Leto.
Rhynes finished the 100 in 10.99 and took the 200 in 22.42. Porter also advanced to the state meet in the long jump, winning with a mark of 22-3.75
Gaither’s Samson Moore won both hurdles events, finishing in 15.03 in the 110 and 38.85 in the 300.
Robinson’s Jack Rogers was another two-event winner, taking the 1,600 in 4:37.0 before coming back to win the 800 in 1:59.4.
On the girls’ side, Hillsborough’s Chloe Jones took first in the shot put (38-11) and discus (107-7). Jones’ mark in the discus was a personal best and gave her the win by nearly 17 feet over Victoria Huddleston from Jefferson.
Spoto sophomore Janae Caldwell won the 200 (25.71) and 400 (56.92) and helped her team to a second-place finish in the 4x400, which was won by Hillsborough in 4:09.17.
2A-3: Jesuit has strong showing
Jesuit advanced 13 athletes to the state meet — including shot put and discus winner Jack Taylor — on the way to 97 points and victory at the 2A Region 3 meet at Berkeley Prep.
Taylor finished with marks of 159-4 in the discus and 49-9 in the shot, where he edged teammate Vincent Jackson (46-1).
Dante Newberg scored 23 points for Jesuit, including a win in the high jump (6-2). He was one of four Tigers in the top five in the pole vault, which was won by teammate and defending state champion Nick Catchur.
“I can’t emphasize enough how proud I am of the coaching staff and the team,” Jesuit coach Andy Wood said. “It was a tremendous victory for our kids.”
Tampa Catholic, which was sixth with 47 points, got wins in the 400 from Nathan Nammour (49.64,) and T.J. Harrell in the 200 (22.25).
Academy of Holy Names took the girls’ title with 91.5 points. They were led by senior Claire Snyder, who was third in the 1,600 (5:24), second in the 3,200 (11:59), and helped the 4x800 to a second-place finish in 10:16.
Tampa Catholic’s Alise Davis won the shot put with a mark of 41-4 and threw 107-10 in the discus to finish second behind last year’s state runner-up, Addi Harden of Berkeley Prep (118-8). Harden also advanced to the state meet in the shot, placing third with a throw of 37-11.
3A-7: LOL sweeps
LECANTO — The Land O’ Lakes boys and girls swept the team titles at the Class 3A-District 7 meet at Lecanto High.
Mitchell High’s Emily Kerns proved she is one of the area’s top distance runners, winning the 1,600 in 5:27 and the 3,200 in 11:55.
Both the Land O’ Lakes boys and girls 4x800 teams won their races. The Gators girls had a time of 10:20. The boys were clocked at 8:29. Other first-place finishes for Land O’ Lakes: Victoria Cannata in the high jump (5-2); Jhade Hayes in the (108-2); Hallie Grimes in the 400 (59.56); Tyler Stahl in the 1,600 (4:31); and Jake Poore in the 3,200 (9:42.19).
Other Pasco County winners included: Mitchell’s Taylor Anderson in the pole vault; Zephyrhills’ Aaliyah Mckenzie in the triple jump and Zephyrhills’ Kara Young in the 100 (12.78).
2A-2: Pasco athletes perform well
ORLANDO — Several competitors out of Pasco County advanced out of the Class 2A-Region 2 meet.
Trinity Prep’s boys took the overall team title with 70 points and Ridgewood finished in second with 49.
The Lake Highland Prep girls won with 100.5 points. Pasco (62) came in third.
Among the boys qualifying for the 2A state finals: Ridgewood’s Brian Swanson (pole vault), Thomas Kernan (long jump, triple jump) and Chris Branfield, who finished second in the shot put.
Pasco sophomore Alfreda Steele won region titles in the long jump and the 100 meter dash (11.64). Steele also placed in second in the 200 (24.43). Also qualifying was Pasco freshman Lezarela Gilbert in the high jump.