Pulling away with a furious kick in the final 300 meters, Seminole junior Chase Sutton upset nationally touted Chamberlain sophomore Max del Monte to win the 1,600 meters this evening at the Class 4A, Region 2 meet in Seffner.
del Monte, who owns the nation's fastest time in the event for sophomores (4:16.42), led slightly at the final bell signaling the last lap. A hundred meters later, Sutton abruptly pulled away by about 10 meters and never looked back.
His final time -- a personal-best 4:21.11, nearly five seconds ahead of del Monte. Sutton and del Monte will stage a rematch at next weekend's Class 4A state meet in Winter Park.
"I knew going into the race that Max was a pretty fast dude," Sutton said. "I knew my main thing was to just stick on him, stick on him, because I knew that last 400 meters it could go (my way) if I was just in the race."
Through 11 boys events, Countryside owns a 20-point lead against Port St. Lucie in the team standings. Ricky Brown (long jump), Derek Messmore (400) and the Cougars' 4x800 relay team have won region titles.
Tampa Bay Tech's girls have a six-point lead on Vero Beach through 13 girls events.