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4A track: St. Petersburg vaulter at best in less-than-ideal conditions

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Sat. May 4, 2013 | Joey Knight | Email

4A track: St. Petersburg vaulter at best in less-than-ideal conditions

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JACKSONVILLE — As gusts of roughly 20 mph sent pellets of rain blowing horizontally across Hodges Stadium, St. Petersburg pole vaulter Cayman Ellis wondered if the atonement for which he had spent a year toiling would arrive.

“All the time we were waiting, I thought they were going to call (the event),” said Ellis, who fidgeted through two weather delays at Saturday’s Class 4A state meet.

When the event was green-lighted, Ellis sat shivering beneath an umbrella until the bar was raised to 13 feet, the height he failed to clear in three tries last season. Then, cold segued into gold.

Battling the wind and a slick runway, Ellis ultimately cleared 14 feet, 6 inches to tie Olympia senior Clayton Washburn for first place, earning Pinellas County’s lone gold medal.

“I wanted to keep jumping,” said Ellis, who will walk on at Florida State. “But they deemed it unsafe, so …”

Ellis’ redemption in wretched conditions highlighted a waterlogged meet condensed due to a sprawling cell of light rain and winds that also battered Friday’s 3A meet.

With conditions at their worst early Saturday afternoon, the Florida High School Athletic Association Games Committee Jury of

Appeals opted for timed running finals, eliminating prelims. Athletes in races and field events essentially received no break.

“Cold. Really cold,” Ellis said of the conditions. “Mental game. But you’ve just got to do what you’ve been doing and not let the weather affect you, which I did.”

While Ellis battled chills and wetness, Paul “Megadeth” McKenna navigated wind.

Mired in a heavy pack of runners early on, the Countryside senior made his move about three laps into the 3,200 meters en route to a fourth-place finish (9:36.31). Battling a cold all week, McKenna also ran a leg on the Cougars’ eighth-place 4x800 team.

“I ran basically my (personal record) in these horrible conditions,” McKenna said. “If you’re running out there with no one right in front of you, that wind’s hitting you headstrong and it’s just pushing you straight back and you’ve got to fight it.”

McKenna and Ellis were among a group of only five individual medalists from Pinellas County.

St. Petersburg senior Jeremy Kerr placed fifth in the boys shot put (49-10), Pinellas Park’s Jasmine Laska (110-10) was sixth in the girls discus, and East Lake’s Artavis Scott was eighth in the boys triple jump (44-4.25).

“I’m soaked,” Kerr said while waiting to pick up his medal in a room beneath the Hodges Stadium bleachers. “You slid (in the circle).  It was pretty bad, but everybody had to throw in it, so…”

Joey Knight can be reached at jknight@tampabay.com or on Twitter @JoeyHomeTeam.

4A meet at Jacksonville
Girls
Team results:
  1 St. Thomas Aquinas 92, 7  Plant 27, 11 Wharton 20, 14 Freedom 18, 19 Alonso 10, 28 Bloomingdale 5, 35 Pinellas Park 3  
Individual results: High jump: 1 Woodard (Fre) 5-06.00, 9 Robinson (Cou) 4-10.00, 9 Malizia (Pla) 4-10.00; pole vault: 1 Sergeant (LM) 11-06.00, 2 Goding (Pla) 11-00.00, 5 Smith (Wha) 11-00.00, 11 Arsenault (Pla) 9-06.00; long jump: 1 Morrison (Kil) 19-04.50, 2 Akachukwu (Fre) 18-05.25; triple jump: 1 Fantroy (Alo) 38-09.75, 12 Jackson (Cou) 35-01.50; discus: 1 Merrick (SarRiv) 120-07, 6 Laska (PP) 110-10, 13 Bush (PC) 93-08; shot put: 1 Atkins (Aqu) 42-11.50, 10 Bush (PC) 33-10.00, 14 Benninghoff (Alo) 31-05.50; 4x800: 1 St. Thomas Aquinas(Jean-Baptiste, Kalis, Cruz) 9:25.41, 5 Plant (Gibson, Bado, Pitisci, Fox) 9:35.64, 7 Bloomingdale (Clemmer, Wingfield, Roggeman, Barrett) 9:48.10, 11 Freedom (Mitchell, Arfaras, Ford, Veal) 9:57.95, 13 Newsome  (Cajas, Miller, Borgen, Jackson) 10:07.42; 100: 1 Davis-White (BA) 11.70, 11 Simpkins (PP) 12.59, 12 Akachukwu (Fre) 12.59, 16 Desormo (TBT) 12.97; 100 hurdles: 1 Morrison (Kil) 13.82, 7 Watson (Wha) 15.02, 11 Simpson (Plant) 15.60, 14 Carter (Riv) 16.74, 15 Barber (Wha) 16.76; 1,600: 1 Blake (DrP) 5:00.51, 4 Fox (Pla) 5:10.77, 7 Gibson (Pla) 5:15.67, 13 Barrett (Blo) 5:30.74; 4x100: 1 Boyd Anderson (Gordon, Davis-White, White, Gebor) 46.66, 12 St. Petersburg  (Fields, Bentley, Kirkland, Black) 50.98, 13 East Lake (Nichols, Vickers, Del Duca, Leggio) 51.95; 400: 1 Ellis (Aqu) 54.96, 12 Woodard (Fre) 58.86, 14 Hardy (Wha) 1:01.91, 15 Speicher (Riv) 1:02.35; 300 hurdles: 1 Gordon (BA) 42.16, 3 Barber (Wha) 44.35, 4 Watson (Wha) 45.26, 11 Simpson (Pla) 46.80; 800: 1 Howell (SR) 2:10.12, 6 Roggeman (Blo) 2:20.7, 13 Bado (Pla) 2:29.22, 14 Suski (Sem) 2:32.38, 15 Clemmer (Blo) 2:39.52; 200: 1 Davis-White (BA) 23.0, 10 Akachukwu (Fre) 25.12, 14 Simpkins (PP) 25.85; 3,200: 1 1 Blake (DrP) 10:58.43, 2 Rodriguez (Pla) 11:04.34, 12 Sullivan (Pla) 11:38.74, 13 Gibson (Pla) 11:50.31, 15 Montgomery (Pla) 11:54.29; 4x400: 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Sparling, Jean-Baptiste, Ellis, Lewis) 3:45.01, 6 Wharton (Hardy, Barber, Watson, Outen) 4:00.36, 11 Alonso (Torres, Floyd, Robertson, Stewart) 4:05.81, 14 Plant (Malizia, Pitisci, Asgedom, Hagan)  4:08.79, 15 Freedom (Smith, Woodard, Mitchell, Cru) 4:09.10

Boys
Team results:
1 Olympia 49, 12 Bloomingdale 19, 20 Newsome 13, 20 St. Petersburg 13, 28 Countryside 8, 31 Alonso 6.50, 32 Tampa Bay 6, 36 Durant , 45 Plant 3, 45 Riverview 3, 51 East Lake, 1, 51 Northeast 1
Individual results: High jump: 1 Williams (Ame) 6-06.00, 8 Taylor-Haynes (Alo); pole vault: 1 Washburn (Oly) 14-06.00, 1 Ellis (StP) 14-06.00, 7 Dalton (Cou) 12-06.00; long jump: 1 Collins (WP) 22-10.00, 4 Trott (Blo) 21-04.50, 9 Thompson (TBT) 20-07.50, 10 Robinson (Alo) 20-04.00, 11 Scott (EL) 20-03.25; triple jump: 1 Clark (CR) 46-09.5, 8 Scott (EL) 44-04.25; discus: 1 Delgado (CP) 160-06, 10 Caldwell (Wha) 124-05,  11 Webb (Pla) 124-00, 15 Kerr (StP) 83-03; shot put: 1 Calloway (Man) 58-05.00, 5 Kerr (StP) 49-10.00, 13 Steinberg (New) 44-11.75; 4x800: 1 Bloomingdale  (Bryant, Chadderton, Heron, LeBlanc) 8:04.84, 8 Countryside (Bennett, Fitch, Llewellyn, McKenna) 8:18.03, 12 Newsome (Jackson, Bolduc, Benner, Martinez) 8:25.89, 13 Freedom (Vollmer, Glover, Monts, Harvey) 8:26.10; 110 hurdles: 1 Grinley (PV) 13.93, 3 Taylor-Haynes (Alo) 14.17, 8 Chambliss (TBT) 14.97; 100: 1 Rasul (Col) 10.81, 6 McCoy (Riv) 10.94, 7 Williams (TBT) 10.94; 1,600: 1 Arroyo (Col) 4:15.50, 13 Llewellyn (Cou) 4:39.73, 15 LeBlanc (Blo) 4:43.70, 16 Guyton (Pla) 4:44.68; 4x100: 1 South Plantation (Thomas, Archer, Alexander, Franklin) 41.98, 14 Newsome  (Jackson, Bryant, Smith, Anderson) 44.99; 400: 1 Glover (DrP) 48.62, 4 Jackson (New) 49.49, 10 Davis (Cou) 50.86, 14 Lawrence (Alo) 51.73; 300 hurdles: 1 Grinley (PV) 37.47, 6 Kelly (Dur) 39.81; 800: 1 Arroyo (Col) 1:54.09, 5 Heron (Blo) 1:58.62, 6 Groh (Pla) 1:59.39, 7 Martinez (New) 1:59.44, 12 LeBlanc (Blo) 2:01.33; 200: 1 Henderson (SBr) 21.20, 6 Williams (TBT) 21.80, 7 Watson (Dur) 21.89, 8 Colebrook (Ne) 21.92; 3,200: 1 Arroyo (Col) 9:30.75, 3 Benner (New) 9:34.90, 4 McKenna (Cou) 9:36.31, 12 Chandler (StP) 10:02.15, 14 Weaver (Pla) 10:09.49; 4x400: 1 Dr. Phillips (Bryant, Smith, Thomas, Glover) 3:18.62, 12 Countryside (Santa-Maria, Bennett, Fitch, Davis) 3:32.00, 13 Riverview (Carolina, Harris, Poole, Williams) 3:32.64, 14 Freedom (Glover, Hendry, Smith, Davis) 3:34.11

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