NAPLES — After helping Jesuit win the Class 2A, District 9 championship last week, Miles Bennett was unable to practice leading up to regionals.
Bennett tweaked his hamstring at districts and wasn't able to run on the leg for nine days.
His performance at Tuesday's 2A-6 region meet at Golden Gate has to leave the standout junior wondering, "What if?"
Bennett qualified for state in three events. He finished second in the 200, third in the 100 and ran the second leg of Jesuit's second-place 4x400 relay. The performance guided the Tigers (57 points) to a second-place finish behind Titusville Astronaut (66.5 points).
"It's still kind of sore," Bennett said, gripping his hamstring after the 4x400. "I've just been icing it three times a day, getting treatment. I was hoping to do better, but I can only do what the body will let me."
For the girls, Steinbrenner sophomore Alexis Wright had a career day. She won a championship in the 300 hurdles, took second in the 100 hurdles and third in the triple jump. Wright set personal bests while qualifying for state in all three events. Not bad for a basketball player in her first year as a hurdler.
"Track used to not be what I loved, but this year it's changed because of the events I do," Wright said. "I've always had passion for basketball, but this year I grew passion for track. Next year I don't know if I'm going to hold on to both or let one go."
District 9 champ Wesley Chapel finished fifth in the girls team standings with 53 points. Holy Names (30 points) was eighth and Steinbrenner (27) 10th. District 10 champ St. Petersburg Catholic finished 16th (14).
For the boys, Pasco finished tied for eighth with 27 points, Berkeley Prep (26 points) tied for 10th and District 10 champ Lennard (21) tied for 16th.
Jesuit's Kyle Statz won the 300 hurdles. Also for the Tigers, Pat Beane took second in the pole vault, Isaac Edwards placed third in the discus and Blake Lopez was fourth in the 800.
Lennard senior De'Myco Winston won a championship in the 400, the closest race of the day. Winston trailed Golden Gate's Mackenson Timothee with 100 meters left, but used his 6-foot-5 frame to out-stride Timothee down the stretch. Winston won by 0.04 seconds.
"I promised my mom (Kelli) I would win for her on her birthday," Winston said. "I really didn't stride on the first 200 (meters) because everyone usually dies out on the last 200. The last 100 meters, though, I went all out."
SPC's Morgan Paul won a title in the girls long. Clearwater Central Catholic's Lindsey Cooper won the 400, and Holy Names' Amanda McWilliams was first in the 800.