Approximately 80 teams and eight reigning individual state champions converge on USF's campus Saturday for one of the state's showcase events of the track and field regular season.
The fourth annual USF/George M. Steinbrenner Invitational will be staged at the USF Track & Field Stadium. Action begins at 9 a.m. with the field events and 4x800-meter relay. Running finals are set to begin at 2 p.m. Admission is $5.
The meet has mushroomed in popularity since its origination in 2010. Fifteen counties are expected to be represented Saturday. Fort Myers and Lakewood Ranch, the 2012 boys and girls team champions, respectively, return to defend their titles.
Among the most anticipated events will be the boys triple jump, where defending state champs Jeremiah Green of Hillsborough (Class 3A) and Shaquem Griffin of Lakewood (pictured, 2A) lead a sparkling field.
The entry list includes five of the nation's 11 best efforts of the 2013 outdoor season according to milesplit.us. East Lake's Artavis Scott currently is ranked No. 2 nationally (48 feet, 0.5 inches), but Green jumped 51-6.5 last week to win the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City. Each of his efforts, in fact, eclipsed 50 feet.
The reigning individual state champs expected to compete:
Bridget Blake, Orlando Dr. Phillips (4A 1,600 and 3,200); Sabria Hadley, Lake Wales (2A 200); Courtney Prengaman, Wesley Chapel (2A high jump); Faith Woodard, Freedom (4A high jump)
Derrick Calloway, Manatee (4A shot put); Janarion Grant, Pasco (2A long jump); Jeremiah Green, Hillsborough (3A triple jump); Shaquem Griffin, Lakewood (2A triple jump)