TITUSVILLE — Tim “T.J.” Holmes advanced, winning both his hurdles races.
The Griffin twins, Shaquem and Shaquill, advanced in the long and triple jumps and helped the 4x100 and 4x400 relays through.
Devontae Persha (800), Deandre Boykins (200) and Lidell Golden Jr. did their jobs.
If the goal at Thursday’s Class 2A, Region 3 meet at Titusville was to win the meet, advance enough athletes to make a serious run at the state championship next week and, perhaps, enter as the team to beat then, mission accomplished.
The Spartans scored 96 points, outdistancing second-place Immokalee (64) and setting the stage for what promises to be one of the most exciting state meets in recent memory.
The Spartans are armed for gold.
Holmes easily won his races, blasting the field in the 110 hurdles in 14.17, not far off his personal best (14.06). In the 300, he clocked a 38.01 to win by almost three seconds.
Shaquem Griffin went 23 feet, 1 inch on his final long jump to win that event, and brother Shaquem finished third with a 22-11. In the triple jump, Shaquill (49-1) and Shaquem (48-4) finished 1-2.
With Golden filling in on the 4x100 for injured anchor Marquez Valdes, and Persha (third in the 800) leading off on the 4x400, the Spartans posted two more impressive wins, giving them six golds.
Boykins, who didn’t even run last year, was somewhat of a surprise with his second-place finish in the 200 despite a lingering hamstring injury, running a personal-best 21.91, a half-second better than his previous best.
The Spartans girls also advanced runners to state.
Erika Allen was third in the 200 for the second straight year, and Sharell Keys, running in the outside lane, surprisingly finished third in the 100.
Keys’ time of 12.27 was her best this season.
The girls 4x100 team ran a 49.84 to finish third and move on as well.
A-3: AFA's McGee earns four titles
Individual efforts for Pinellas County athletes were tremendous at the Class A, Region 3 meet at Shorecrest, none more so than Admiral Farragut sophomore Brittany McGee.
McGee won all four events she entered. The Class A state runnerup in the long jump started off by jumping 18 feet, 1/4 inch and winning that title. Then she won the high jump (5-2). Later in the day, she won the 100-meter hurdles (14.53 seconds), resetting her meet mark from a year ago. McGee also finished more than two seconds ahead of the field.
In the evening, McGee shattered the meet record in the 300 hurdles set by Northside Christian’s Victoria Goodwin a year ago, finishing in 44.89.
“I do heptathlons in the summer so I like to incorporate events (in the heptathlon) into what I do for high school,” McGee said.
AFA alumni and former school record holder Erica Bolline was on hand to see the feat.
“I just came to see her (McGee), see this amazing athlete that broke all my records,” Bolline said. “And I just like track meets.”
Admiral Farragut girls placed fourth as a team with 46 points. Holy Trinity won with 106.
The St. Petersburg Catholic boys, who took fourth place (47.5), put together more of an ensemble to score points. Michael Rusnak set a meet and personal record with 49.17 in the 400. Connor Cureton won the 800 in 1:58.37. Nick Muth added a second-place finish in the pole vault (13-0).
Moore Haven won the boys title.
Clearwater Central Catholic’s Ben Kieler took center stage as he cleared 6-5 to win the boys high jump. He was the only jumper to surpass 6-2.
Shorecrest finished with 23 points for the girls and 18 for the boys.
In the most spirited race of the day, the Chargers boys 4x100 relay team beat out First Baptist by five-hundredths of a second for the fourth qualifying spot and broke the school record in 44.14. Luke Peterson added a third-place finish in the boys 1,600 (4:35.00), Assata Trader placed third in the 100 (12.95) and Alex Eaton added a third-place finish in the 3,200 (11:49.26).
Chris Olson of Canterbury added a monstrous throw in discus of 155-10 to take the regional title.
A-2: Calvary girls tie for first
Calvary Christian’s girls relied on their relay teams and distance runners to score 77 points to finish in a tie with Lake Mary Prep for the team title at the Class A, Region 2 meet in Orlando.
The Warriors won the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Hannah Brookover was team’s lone individual champion, taking first in the mile.
Calvary’s boys were fourth overall. The Warriors won the 4x400 and took second in the 4x100. Chris Robin was first in 800 in 1:59.
“We had a real strong meet, and we were able to get through in the events I thought we had a chance,” Calvary coach Rollin Mohler said. “I’d have to see the results from everywhere else, but I feel like we could place top-five overall among the girls at state.”
Staff writer Bob Putnam and correspondent Andy Warrener contributed to this report.