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Track: Pasco star bolts to top finishes at USF/Steinbrenner Invite

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Sat. March 15, 2014 | Bob Putnam | Email

TAMPA — Knowing she would be sprinting and jumping under a blazing sun for nearly eight hours, Pasco’s Alfreda Steele was not thinking about meet records in her three events Saturday at the USF/Steinbrenner Invitational track meet.

“I was more worried about crossing the finish line first,” Steele said. “I was doing too much to think about anything else.”

Steele did that with ease in the sprints, finishing first in the 100 in 12.13 seconds and the 200 in a personal-record 24.23 seconds. She also finished third in the long jump with a personal record of 18 feet, 4 inches.

“I pretty much accomplished what I wanted to do,” Steele said. “Two personal records is pretty good. In the sprints, I was focused on the drive phase and just let that carry me through to the end.”

Pasco’s girls team finished sixth (30 1/2 points) behind winner Hallandale (78). Land O’Lakes was the top-finishing North Suncoast girls team, in fifth (36).

In the girls 4x100 relay, Zephyrhills’ team of Aaliyah McKenzie, Ja’Kayla Jones, Mya Neal and Kara Young took first in 48.56. The Bulldogs foursome set a season record in the preliminaries in 48.25 but were unable to lower that time in the finals because of sloppy handoffs with the baton.

“We just have to work on a few things, but we’ll be okay,” McKenzie said.

Zephyrhills sprinters did well in individual events with Jones taking second in the 100 (12.54) and eighth in the 200 (28.26), and Young finishing fourth in the 100 (12.60). The Bulldogs were eighth (24) as a team.

Anclote’s Emily Gauvey cleared 5 feet, 6 inches to win the high jump, and Land O’Lakes’ Hallie Grimes won the 400 (55.51).

In the boys meet, Springstead’s Bobby Harris defended his title in high jump by clearing 6 feet, 8 inches to break his own meet record by an inch. The North Florida signee just missed at 6-10.

Land O’Lakes Jake Poore won the 3,200 in 9:35.26. He also teamed with Andy Dowler, Travis Nichols and Ethan Weilant to take third in the 4x800 relay (8:09.49). Another Gator, Tyler Stahl, took second in the 1,600 (4:21.69).

Land O’Lakes (42) was the top-finishing North Suncoast boys team, in third behind winner Hallandale (54).

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