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State track | Class 3A

3A: Wharton twins earn emotional victory

Wharton senior Kathia Skinner, left, hugs a teammate after finishing fifth in the 4x400-meter relay. Skinner and her twin, Katrina, won gold as part of the 4x800 team.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Wharton senior Kathia Skinner, left, hugs a teammate after finishing fifth in the 4x400-meter relay. Skinner and her twin, Katrina, won gold as part of the 4x800 team.

WINTER PARK — Twins Kathia and Katrina Skinner of Wharton waited four seasons to win a gold medal, so when it finally happened Friday in the 4x800-meter relay at the Class 3A state track and field meet — their last high school event — the two were brought to tears.

"It's very special," Katrina Skinner said. "To get it together meant the most."

Behind the sisters' efforts, the Wharton girls placed second in the team standings, the best finish by a county team. On the boys side, Hillsborough had several solid efforts but came up short, finishing fourth.

In the 4x800, Katrina Skinner typically anchored the team and Kathia ran first in the season. But the sisters switched spots Friday, and it paid off. Both ran excellent legs, as did teammates Shannon Meggs and Erin Bailey, and the Wildcats posted a school-record time of 9:22.43 to beat Satellite by more than two seconds.

"The boys soccer team won (state), and the boys tennis team won," Katrina Skinner said. "Seeing my friends walking around with rings motivated me."

Wharton, which had 48 points (champion Orlando Oak Ridge had 89 to three-peat), got another gold from junior Amani Bryant. Not long after being disqualified in the 100 hurdles after she hit a hurdle and fell off the course, Bryant rallied to claim the 300 hurdles in 42.92 seconds.

LaShae White of Tampa Bay Tech had the county's next best finish by a girl. She was second in the 400 in 56.51. Katrina Skinner was third in the 1,600 and 3,200.

On the boys side, Jefferson's Darrell Young was second in the long jump after leaping 23-10.50. Several county athletes placed third: LaVaughn King of TBT (triple jump), Colby Walden of Hillsborough (400), Terrence Mitchell of Hillsborough (long jump) and the 4x100 from Hillsborough and 4x800 from Wharton.

Hillsborough sprinter Lindsey Lamar was fourth in the main event, finishing in 10.86 seconds.

3A: Wharton twins earn emotional victory 05/02/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2008 11:43pm]
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