3A-7 district track: Wiregrass Ranch teams stay out front

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Fri. April 22, 2011 | Andy Villamarzo

WESLEY CHAPEL — All week  the Wiregrass Ranch girls  track squad knew it  had a great opportunity to earn a three-peat at  Thursday’s Class 3A, District 7 meet.

With Ridgewood  on the Bulls’ heels  all evening , Wiregrass’ distance runners proved to be the difference in the end. Sophomore Nikita Shah and senior Ariel Gray finished in the top four in the 1600 and 3200 meters  to help Wiregrass earn 137 points and finish 31.5 points ahead of the Rams .

“We knew it was going to be a battle between us and Ridgewood,” Wiregrass coach Don Howard said. “We had some girls come through for us in the pole vault, where we finished second third and fifth, and distance girls came through for us again.

“I was very happy with the way the girls competed today.”

Gray and Shah finished second (5:30) and third (5:41) in the 1600  and Shah was  first in the 3200 (12:12), with Gray finishing second (12:34). Ridgewood’s Karissa Bertling qualified for regionals by taking the 200  (25.52) and 300  hurdles (46.86).

Wiregrass boys kept their  impressive run going as they fed off winning the SAC championships a couple weeks ago and outpointed  Mitchell by 83.5 points.

The Bulls received steady performances from the usuals, with Ryan Pulsifer winning a district title in the 3200 (10:01) and Josh Reilly taking the 1600 (4:34). Mitchell’s Tyler Ross will move onto regionals after claiming first in the 800  (2:01).

“Our field events really came on and gave us a good start,” Wiregrass coach Phil Kerr said. “I think we scored in every event, which we didn’t do at conference.

“We really showed up as a team and  were motivated all week.”

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