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A handful of North Suncoast athletes will take their shot at state track and field titles this weekend.
Battling through the rigors of a lengthy season usually determines the good and the great.
For these competitors, it comes down to this final meet. What are their chances of claiming state titles?
Any one of them could have that special jump, run or throw deep within that rockets them to the top of the leader board.
Here’s a glance at what the North Suncoast can expect.
Wesley Chapel’s girls had hopes of seriously challenging for medals in every relay. Those hopes took a serious dent after Dana Cannon was arrested last week in Tampa for shoplifting at University Mall, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Cannon, 18, was charged with misdemeanor petty theft of $100 or less.
Cannon must serve a minimum 20-day suspension from extracurricular activities mandated by Pasco County Schools. Cannon qualified for state in the 400-meter dash, the 4x400 and the 4x800.
The dazzling acrobatics of Hakeeme Ishmar and Chaise Dunn were a common sight on the football field as both Pasco wide receivers typically used their leaping ability to make catches.
This weekend, they’ll simply go for distance. Dunn took second at regionals last week in the triple jump (44 feet, 4.5 inches). Ishmar took third in the long jump (21 feet, 4.75 inches). Ishmar also runs the third leg of Pasco’s 4x100 relay, which qualified for state. After taking the top preliminary time last week, the Pirates, including Clifford Phillips, Janarion Grant and Marcus Hicks, finished fourth in 43.34.
She’s only a freshman
For the first time in recent memory, Wesley Chapel has a bona fide high jumper in Courtney Prengaman. The freshman phenom was second at regionals (5-2), and Frye couldn’t be more excited, anticipating the future of her young star.
Wesley Chapel seniors Ray Nixon and Shantel Houston already left their marks in other sports. Nixon was one of the area’s top offensive linemen; Houston one of the area’s best guards on the basketball court. Now they’ll compete for state medals in a pair of events. Nixon finished fourth at regionals in the shot put (50 feet). Houston was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.89).
When: Friday, Class A; Saturday, Class 2A
Where: Showalter Field, Winter Park
Schedule: Field events and 4x800 final, 1. Running finals, 6:30. Team awards, 9:10.
Additional area qualifiers: Bishop McLaughlin: Tori Harris (girls discus), Shane Mendoza (boys shot put); Wesley Chapel girls (all running in relays): Ravi Gilbert, Ashley Hinds, Adele Lashley, Renee Vaughns, Jessica Furst, Sarah Richter.
Class 3A, Region 2
Where: St. Cloud Harmony
When: Thursday, 1 p.m.
At stake: The top four competitors in each event advance to the Class 3A state meet May 7.
Skinny: Any hopes for team titles went away with the presence of state powerhouse Oak Ridge. That said, there were plenty of solid performances at districts from North Suncoast athletes, and the aim for most coaches at this point is simply to advance as many athletes as possible to state. Ridgewood’s Karissa Bertling stood out after winning four events last week. Also of note was the strong outing by Nature Coast’s boys team, which flourished in the sprints.