TAMPA — For the second year in a row, Alonso sprinter Brandon Holloway heard two quick shots from the starter’s pistol — signaling a false start — crackle in the Carrollwood night.
Only this time, he knew for sure the discharge wasn’t to his detriment.
Disqualified from the 200 meters — his specialty — at last year’s Class 4A, District 6 meet, Holloway watched one foe false start Thursday, then burst to a convincing triumph (personal-best 21.28 seconds) in his district do-over at Gaither High.
“I knew (the false start) wasn’t me,” said Holloway, who shapes up as a dark horse state title candidate in the 200. “I was listening to the gun really well. I didn’t want them to even think I did anything wrong.”
Holloway, who also won the 100 and ran the anchor leg on the winning 4x400 team, was among several multiple-event winners in this minuscule (six teams) meet. The top four finishers in each event qualified for Wednesday’s Region 2 championships at Leto.
Others included sophomore Kyle Groh, among a throng of athletes that helped the Panthers secure their second consecutive team title and sixth in coach Shawn Balow’s eight seasons.
Groh won the 800, ran a leg on the winning 4x800 team, and ran another on the third-place 4x400 team. Other Panther winners: shot putter Tony Posada, pole vaulter Brian Baird and the 4x100 relay team.
“It was a team effort across the board,” Balow said. “I don’t want to slight anybody. It was an awesome effort.”
Other multiple male champions included Chamberlain junior Neil MacInnes (discus, long jump, triple jump) and Gaither junior Paul Barrett, who prevailed in the high jump (6-foot-2) after reigning champ Gigi Petion of Alonso sprained his knee in the triple jump and had to bow out.
Barrett also won the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
On the girls side, Wharton’s astounding depth led to a 40-point win against Plant for the title. The Wildcats finished first, second and fourth in both hurdles events, and claimed three of the top five spots in the 800.
The big individual performance was delivered by Alonso sophomore Quatasia Fantroy, who won the long jump, 200 and 400.
Wharton senior Nicole Saxton won both hurdles events, while Chamberlain sophomore Andrea Aaron won both throwing events.