TAMPA — At varying times Thursday, Wesley Chapel junior Ravin Gilbert carried a baton and her team with sleek proficiency.
With senior mentor Jazzmyn Love-Roberts’ upper right leg concealed by a thick Ace bandage, Gilbert led a valiant ensemble performance for the Wildcat girls, who finished third in the Class 2A, District 9 meet at Berkeley Prep.
By the end of the scorching day, Gilbert had won the 100 meters in a personal-best time (12.31 seconds), prevailed in the 200 and run on a 4x100 relay team that placed second.
“I came in with a strong mind,” Gilbert said. “I knew I wanted to PR. I knew I had to do it for my team because (Love-Roberts) is hurt, so I knew I had to do it for her and for my team.”
Also leading the Wildcats’ collaborative effort was Love-Roberts herself. Slowed the past month by a tweaked hamstring, Roberts ran anchor on the 4x100 team, and placed sixth in both the 100 and 200.
The relay’s third leg, Sarah Reamer, finished second to teammate Abigail Hudak in the pole vault. Another ’Cat, Courtney Prengaman, won the high jump (5 feet). Hernando’s Ebone Plummer (shot put) was the North Suncoast’s only other individual girls champ.
“I didn’t think I would run today because I was feeling it,” Love-Roberts said. “The 100 finals, I felt it a little bit but not too bad. In the 4x100, I guess I was so mad that we were in second, I didn’t really think about it or feel it.”
On the boys side, Pasco senior Anthony Plourde won the 3,200 in a school-record time (9:45.58) to lead the Pirates to a fifth-place finish.
Senior Hakeeme Ishmar was the big Pirates’ point scorer, winning the triple jump, placing second to teammate Janarion Grant in the long jump and running a leg on the 4x100 relay team that placed fourth.
Elsewhere, Wesley Chapel senior Hunter Joyer began his quest to defend his state shot put title with an overwhelming win in the event (59-4), as well as a runnerup finish in the discus.
Anclote senior Harry Laureano won the pole vault (12-6), while Fivay’s James Bullock won the high jump (6-2) to become the first boys district track champion in Falcons’ history.