PUNTA GORDA — The Hillsborough boys track team has long jumpers that can defy gravity, triple jumpers that can rise with remarkable power and shot putters that heave throws.
The field events are the Terriers' strength. They went 1-2-3 in the triple jump, had two of the top four place-winners in the long jump and a runnerup finish in the shot put. In all, Hillsborough scored 58 points in the field events in Thursday's Class 3A, Region 3 meet.
And the Terriers needed every one of those points to win their fourth straight region team title. In the running finals, Hillsborough's lead dwindled to only 7½ points entering the final event. To stay on top, the Terriers had to finish at least sixth in the 4x400 relay.
They took fifth, which was enough to beat host Punta Gorda Charlotte 87-85½.
"The field events is where we knew we could do really well," Terriers coach Joe Sipp said. "That helped us get out front."
As usual, Terrence Mitchell led Hillsborough with wins in the long jump (23 feet, 4½ inches) and triple jump (47-0½). He also took third in the 100. Then before the 400 final he tweaked his hamstring, Sipp said, adding: "We're not sure of his status for next week's state meet."
Other Hillsborough County boys winners were Plant City's Alex Delfino in the pole vault (13-6), Sickles' Julian Giles in the 1600 (4:26.28) and Armwood's Richard Jules in the 300 hurdles (38.21).
King's girls (43 points) finished fourth, best among county teams. Hillsborough girls winners were East Bay's Nakia Love (long jump, 17-8¼), Hillsborough's Narricka Williams (300 hurdles, 45.76) and Plant City's Erika Kolakowski (800, 2:14.88).
Lakewood won the girls title, beating Fort Myers 91-69.