SEMINOLE — A year ago, Osceola’s girls team’s first district title in school history came about unexpectedly as the Warriors eked out a one-point victory over Lakewood. This season, the collection of converted sports stars approached the Class 3A-10 district meet with a sense of assured purpose and came away with a comfortable victory, compiling 215 points to Lakewood’s 143.
Freshman Jeanna Cube helped set the tone early for the Warriors as she placed second in the long jump and fourth in the high and triple jumps. The Warriors never looked back after holding a 70-point lead at the midday break thanks to strong performances in the shot put, discus and pole vault, including Cayla Collins’ win in that event.
“Jeanna was our MVP for the day,” Osceola coach Peter Eagleson said. “She has really done well for us and has given us a boost in the field events.”
Alexis Irwin, soccer player most of her life, shined in the distance events, placing second to Memphis recruit Kala Funderburk, finishing first in the mile and teaming with Tara Thomas, Angelina Kincey and Kayley Murphy for a win in the 4x800 relay.
Funderburk won the 400 and 800, placed second in the high jump and teamed with Gincy Marcelin, Alexis Goodridge and her sister, Ashley, in the 4x400 for a first-place finish.
“I believe I’m a lot more prepared for this year’s states because of my training in cross country (for the first time) in the fall,” said Funderburk, who placed fourth in the 400 at last year’s state meet. “It (cross country) teaches you a lot about mental toughness more than anything else.”
Boca Ciega finished in third with 92 points.
On the boys side, Lakewood’s Xavier Harrison won the 100 and 200 and teamed with Shaquem Griffin, Shaquill Griffin and Jevaris Little for a win in the 4x100 as the Spartans captured the title with 168 points to best Dunedin, which finished with 153.
“I was injured at last season’s districts with tightness in my hamstring so I only ran in the 200 (finishing fifth),” Harrison said. “I made a commitment to work extra hard to get back here healthy and set a goal to win my events.”
Dennis Pugh won the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles for Lakewood, while Dunedin’s Zachary Maciolek took first in the 1600 and 3200.