Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4A-2 track: Runner Ritter's pluck helps Wharton girls win title

SEFFNER — When he reflects on his latest region title, veteran Wharton girls track coach Wes Newton will have plenty upon which to fondly dwell: His relay teams' depth, his pole vaulter's dominance, and Abby Ritter's determination.

The latter was particularly priceless Thursday at Armwood.

Ranked eighth and 10th, respectively, in the region in the 1600 and 3200 meters, the lean junior finished third in both races to help the Wildcats slip past Vero Beach in the Class 4A, Region 2 meet.

"The hero of the night has to be Abby Ritter," said Newton, whose team earned 79 points, 17 ahead of Vero Beach. "What a competitor. My hat goes off to her."

Moments after Bailey's 3200, the Wildcats' 4x400 team — Erin Kocher, Tyler Watson, Shannon Meggs and Stevondria Hardy — clinched things in the last race, winning in 3:58.10.

It provided a fitting bookend to the 'Cats' day.

Kocher and Meggs — a sophomore and senior captain, respectively — also ran on the victorious 4x800 team and finished second and third, respectively, in the 800.

Meantime, defending state champion pole vaulter London Enos matched her personal best of 11 feet to win her event after scratching on her first try of the day from 10 feet.

Other area girls winners: Plant underclassman Caroline Gibson in the 3200 (with a valiant late surge), and Tampa Bay Tech's Jasmyn Perry in the 400.

On the boys side, Plant's 4x100 team edged St. Petersburg despite what anchor man Allen Sampson called a day of "terrible handoffs."

Tony Posada (shot put) and Brian Baird (pole vault) also won titles for the Panthers, whose 59 points were third behind Port St. Lucie (68) and Countryside (114).

Chamberlain senior Mark Parrish held off Melbourne rival Brian Atkinson to win the 3200 in 9:22.40. Earlier, Parrish intentionally pulled up in the 1600 to save himself for the longer race.

Chiefs sophomore Max del Monte, who owns the nation's best 1600 time for 10th graders, was upset by Seminole's Chase Sutton, who made a nasty kick in the final 300 meters to win by five seconds in 4:21.11.

4A-2 track: Runner Ritter's pluck helps Wharton girls win title 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.