WINTER PARK — The fleet upperclassmen who compose the Lakewood boys 4x100-meter relay team are as blunt as they are brisk.
On a humid central Florida evening, the Spartans quartet raced to a silver medal at Friday's Class 3A state meet in a personal-best 41.67 seconds.
Separating it from a gold? Practice, plain and simple.
"We don't practice our (4x100); we don't practice it at all," said junior Teddy West, who anchored the unit that finished slightly behind Miami Belen Jesuit (41.18) and also placed fourth in the individual 100. "We practice our handoffs in the prelims."
Attribute the rustiness to academics and not apathy.
According to assistant Anthony Snead, the Spartans' three seniors — Bernard Reedy, Andre Taylor and Jermeil Douse — are trying to shore up their classwork as graduation nears, resulting in little time when the four are at practice together.
"Their priorities, I think, was the right decision," Snead said. "As far as track and field, they wanted it as much as I wanted it but obviously we fell short."
The Spartans weren't the only locals who fell just short of the medal stand's top tier Friday.
Gibbs' Jarvis West finished second in the boys 100 (10.71), two-tenths of a second behind Punta Gorda Charlotte's Michael Bellamy. The pair also finished 1-2 in the Region 3 meet. Lakewood freshman Sharell Keys finished second in the girls 100.
Keys' effort helped propel the Spartans to an eighth-place team finish. Shavonda Sturgis (fifth, long jump) and Kala Funderburk (fourth, 400) also medaled, as did the 4x800 (seventh) and 4x400 (third) relay teams.
Only a handoff slipup in the 4x100 finals kept all three Spartan relay teams from medaling.
"We're a little upset about our 4x100 because we were confident about them winning," said Funderburk, who anchored the other two relay teams. "But overall I think we're happy about our performance."
Boca Ciega's Chaise Cook-Martin (sixth, triple jump) was Pinellas' other female medalist.
The other boys medalists: Largo's Michael Evens-Douglas (fourth, shot put), Rick Pluta (eighth, 1,600) and Jamarious Boatwright (seventh, 100 hurdles); Dunedin's Sharrod Harriell (sixth, high jump); Lakewood's Kelvin White (fifth, 110 hurdles) and Gibbs' Perry Joseph (fourth, 200).