PUNTA GORDA — Lakewood’s girls had trouble breaking away from Osceola in dual meets and districts because they didn’t have enough depth in the distance events.
But the Warriors’ depth thinned out in Thursday’s Class 3A, Region 3 meet at Punta Gorda Charlotte. After having the top four place winners in the 1,600 meters and three of the top four in the 3,200 at districts, Osceola had just one runner place in the top eight in either event.
The Spartans, meanwhile, showed their star power, winning three individual titles and taking second in three others. That was enough to win the region with 75 points.
As expected, Kala Funderburk was the top point-scorer for Lakewood with first-place finishes in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches) and the 400 (55.24 seconds). She also ran first leg on the 4x400 relay team that was runnerup in 3:58.
“We knew we had a lot of sprinters and could make top four and get to state,” Funderburk said. “I was pleased with what I was able to do. I had a great time in the 400, and that was a personal best in the high jump for me.”
The only event Funderburk was not able to qualify for state in was the 800. She finished last despite winning the event at districts and coming in seeded second.
“I had 10 minutes to recover before running the 800,” Funderburk said. “I thought I could run it and do well. I was just beat.”
Funderburk’s teammate, Sharell Keys, also did well, taking second in the 100 (12.45) and 200 (25.75) and running a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team (47.65).
Largo’s Daisha Brown was the county’s other girls champion, finishing first in the long jump (17-11/4).
On the boys side, Lakewood was fourth with 56 points.
The Spartans’ Dennis Pugh was second in the 300 hurdles (38.54) and third in the 110 hurdles (14.61). Teammate Xavier Harrison was second in the 100 (11.03). Lakewood’s 4x100 (42.36) an 4x400 relay team (3:22) each took fourth.