TAMPA — The Class 3A, Region 2 meet at Leto was paired with Class 4A on Wednesday, making for a 10 1/2-hour marathon.
While no Pasco or Hernando schools pushed for team titles, several athletes and a couple region champions will be attending state in Jacksonville next weekend.
The two region champions were Wiregrass Ranch junior miler Ermias Bireda and Zephyrhills sophomore Scarlett Lawhorne, who threw 12 feet, 6 inches in the adaptive shot put. Bireda broke his own personal record and a school record by finishing the 1,600 in 4:26.43.
“My goal today was just to make it to states,” Bireda said. “When I was close to first place at the end, I thought I should just go for it.”
Teammate and junior Nikita Shah grabbed second place in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, but accomplished what she set out to do by qualifying for state in both. Shah said she will probably focus on the 3200 at states.
“My approach is to get around that track eight times as fast as I can, always focus on moving forward,” she said.
Another Wiregrass Bull, junior Alisha Henry, finished second in the pole vault at 11 feet. Henry has jumped 11-3 before and is confident she can clear at least 11-6. Land O’Lakes boys are sending Ian McKenzie to Jacksonville, who cleared 13-6 in the pole vault to claim fourth place.
Springstead sophomore Bobby Harris cleared 6-2 to claim second in boys high jump on a bed that was too small and causing jumpers problems across the board.
Third-place finishers were sophomore Hallie Grimes of Land O’Lakes in the 400 meters (58.00), Springstead sophomore Wilena Little in the 200 (25.60), Springstead freshman Erin Blackwell in 800 (2:21.11), and junior Claudia Cancello of Mitchell in the 3,200 (11:40.35). Sunlake junior Travis Manecke grabbed third in the shot put (46-10) and fourth in discus (141-11).
Fourth-place qualifiers were Land O’Lakes sophomore Travis Nichols in the 3200, teammate and senior Chris Wilkinson in the 800, and Zephyrhills sophomore Kara Young, who gritted though a foot injury to qualify in the 100.
The Sunlake boys 4x100 team just missed qualifying by 0.67 seconds, while junior Eddie Burgos missed qualifying for the 100 by 0.11 seconds.
For complete results, click here.