District track: Steinbrenner on top as usual
TAMPA — At Thursday’s Class 4A, District 6 track meet, Steinbrenner’s girls and boys did what they’ve done pretty much all season.
The Warrior girls, for instance, won with 237 points, 76.5 ahead of runnerup Wharton. The Warrior boys, meantime, won with 194 points, 56 ahead of runnerup Wiregrass Ranch.
More importantly, the Warriors qualified a slew of athletes for next week’s region meet (top four finishers in each event advance). In that regard, the Warrior girls were nearly perfect, qualifying at least one athlete in 16 of the 17 events.
“That was goal, along with keeping everybody healthy,” Steinbrenner coach Ladd Baldwin said. “We accomplished just about everything we hoped we would accomplish.”
Double duty: Wharton senior Avonti Holt won the long jump with a leap of 5.26 meters (17-3.25 feet) and the 100-meter dash in 12.12 seconds.
Wharton senior Bryanna Rivers won the 1,600 meters in 5:13.68, and the 800 meters in 2:19.17.
Plant senior Zach Teate won the shot put with a throw of 15.11 meters (49-7 feet) and the discus with a throw of 41.55 meters (136-4 feet).
Steinbrenner’s Mason Young won the 1,600 meters in 4:37.63 and the 800 meters in 1:58.52.
4x800 faceoff: Two of the state’s best 4x800 girls relay teams are located a few miles apart in Hillsborough County: Steinbrenner and Wharton.
Only a few times this season has either put out their best four runners for the event, but when they have, the results have been in the 9:20 or under range.
At next week’s regionals, it could lead to a moment of truth when Steinbrenner and Wharton put their best four 800-meter runners forward.
On Thursday, neither team ran anywhere near their hardest because they knew that qualifying was in the bag with simply solid runs. Wharton won with a time of 9:52.89, about seven seconds faster than Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner, however, looks like the heavy favorite in future meets after the Warriors ran the 4x800 in a blazing 9:11.28 on April 1 at the Florida Relays.