TRINITY — It trailed after the field events, fell behind even further after Largo took three of the first four spots in the first track final of the night and after 11 events was down 41 points.
But Countryside finished right where it expected to be.
Drenching coach Eileen Givens with water and chanting Four-Peat, Four-Peat, the Cougars celebrated their fourth consecutive district title Wednesday night at the Class 4A, District 5 meet at Mitchell.
"I'm speechless. Excited. Overwhelmed," said Givens, whose squad outscored runnerup Largo 177.75-151.75.
That wasn't all for the Cougars. The girls also won, despite a baton mishap in the final race that could have cost them but didn't as Mitchell finished five points behind, 103-98.
The Pinellas contingent, Countryside, Largo, St. Petersburg, East Lake, Palm Harbor University and Pinellas Park, turned in a number of winning performances:
East Lake's Leah Fisher may have been the outstanding female at the meet, winning the 100 (in 12.85 seconds), 200 (26.54) and long jump (17 feet, 4 inches) while giving the Eagles a huge lead on their winning 4x400 relay. Teammates Krystina Caufield (triple jump in 32-8) and Alicia Aldridge (800 in 2:26.04) won their respective races.
Largo's Ryan Eppes won the long jump (21-1) and was second in the 100 hurdles.
East Lake's Krystina Caufield won the triple jump (32-8), with Countryside's Hillary Bowman and Dakota Dudley taking second and third.
St. Petersburg's Jordan Phillips won the triple jump (44-7).
Pinellas Park's Jessica Maggio (16.48) and Christina Quay (16.51) went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles, and Maggio added a second in the 300 hurdles.
Countryside's Dawrence Roberts won the 100 in 11.11.
PHU's Alyssa Nelson won the 400 in 1:02.51.
Countryside's Thea Linkfield won the 300 hurdles in 46.89, while teammate Wylam Bernett won the boys race in 39.83.
Countryside's Paige Schmidt coasted to first in the 3200, winning in 12:41.39 to beat the second-place finisher by 19 seconds.