Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Newsome newcomer Jackson wins County Championships

LUTZ — Newsome freshman Brianna Jackson remembers her introduction to Florida humidity. It was her first training run — a mere seven-minute warmup — with her new teammates at a Lithia sports complex this past summer.

"I was like, 'Man, I'm really not conditioned for this,' " recalled Jackson, who moved from Illinois last winter. "It felt like I was running into a wall."

Several months later, Jackson's aversion to moisture and mugginess has dissipated. So have her running times.

On an overcast, late October evening that reeked of August, Jackson continued her splash onto the local scene with a one-second victory over Plant freshman Caroline Gibson in the Hillsborough County Championships at Lutz's Lake Park. Despite missing at least one turn on the course of grass and shell-sand paths, Jackson notched a personal-best time of 19 minutes, 37 seconds.

Despite that feeble first impression in the offseason, Wolves coach Orlando Greene saw Jackson's breakthrough coming.

"I saw the ability to handle workloads once she got comfortable with the weather," he said. "She was always willing to push the envelope. She was running with the top runners from the first day out. So right away, I turned to my assistant coach and was like, 'I think we've got something here.' "

Behind the 2-3 finish of Gibson and classmate Julia Rodriguez (19:43), Plant won the team title with 45 points — 49 fewer than runnerup Wharton. Six Panthers, none seniors, finished in the top 17.

On the boys side, Chamberlain senior Mark Parrish, the 2008 runnerup in this race, coasted to the individual title in 15:53. Robinson senior Bryan Garcia was second, 24 seconds behind.

Plant also captured the boys team title (77 points), thanks in part to the return of defending region champ Trenor Wilkins. Sidelined until Tuesday while recovering from stress fractures in his shins, Wilkins finished 11th (17:08) in his 2009 debut while helping pace teammate Travis Christenberry (13th, 17:12). Junior Bo Nalsen (seventh, 16:43) was the Panthers' top finisher.

"I feel good," said Wilkins, a senior bound for a foreign-exchange program in New Zealand in January. "I've probably only run like, 15 to 20 miles the past two weeks. I'm definitely happy with it, but my goal is to get to states, so this is just kind of a warmup for it."

Newsome newcomer Jackson wins County Championships 10/27/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)