PUNTA GORDA — There was not much anyone could say to make Lakewood's girls track team feel better about last week's performance at districts.
It was no use noting the Spartans dominated the regular season. Lakewood fell short at the Class 3A, District 10 meet by 2½ points to Osceola.
That painful memory served as a powerful motivator in Thursday's 3A, Region 3 meet.
The Spartans returned to their dominant ways, winning the region title with 91 points, 22 more than Fort Myers.
"To be honest, the biggest thing we were worried about was getting as many kids qualified for states," Lakewood coach Anthony Snead said. "But the girls were focused at practice this week. They knew they weren't No. 1 anymore."
Through eight events Thursday, the Spartans were clinging to an eight-point lead. Then came the sprints and relays and Lakewood left its competitors breathlessly behind.
Sharell Keys led Lakewood with wins at 100 (12.37 seconds) and 200 meters. Kala Funderburk won the 400 (57.56) for the Spartans. And Lakewood's 4x100 (48.17) and 4x400 (3:58.35) took gold.
"I had a feeling we could be there at the end and have a chance to win," Snead said. "I'll take a region title over a district title."
The only other Pinellas County girl to win an individual title was Largo's Shanice Akins in the triple jump (36 feet, 4½ inches).
For the boys, Hillsborough won its fourth straight region title. Terrence Mitchell won his two signature events, the long jump and triple jump. But he tweaked his hamstring before the 400 and his status is uncertain for next week's state meet, Terriers coach Joey Sipp said.
Pinellas individual winners were Dunedin's Sharrod Harriel in the high jump (6-6) and Largo's Mike Douglas in the shot put (50-10). Lakewood also was first in the 4x100 relay (41.90).