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Class A state track: Tampa Prep runner comes up just short

WINTER PARK — Stephen Warner did not want to just medal in an individual event for the first time.

He wanted to close out his high school career as a state champion.

The Tampa Prep senior had his chance in the 800 meters. Stalking the leaders through the first lap, Warner unleashed his kick and took the lead with 250 meters remaining.

But Warner did not have enough left to maintain it and was swallowed by the pack on the backstretch, finishing sixth in 2 minutes, 1.09 seconds.

"I just went for it," he said. "The 800 was my best shot, and I was going for the win. I made the move but just tightened up on the last lap."

Warner had medaled as part of the 4x800 relay, taking fifth as a freshman and second as a sophomore. His sixth-place finish at Friday's Class A meet at Showalter Field in Winter Park was the highest among participants from Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

On the girls side, Bishop McLaughlin's Tori Harris was seventh in the discus with a throw of 111 feet, 6 inches.

Two Pinellas County athletes, Gem Runyan and Rayshwan Jenkins from Admiral Farragut, each won state titles in individual events.

Runyan took first in the pole vault with a leap of 14-6. Jenkins won the 110 hurdles in 14.93 seconds and was second in the 300 hurdles (40.02).

Both winners helped the Blue Jackets finish fifth overall with 36 points.

Calvary Christian's Pierce Hutcheson was the defending state champion in the 300 hurdles and was the only participant to run under 40 seconds at regionals.

But in the preliminaries, he fell on the final hurdle and struggled to finish fourth in his heat. He was ninth overall, just missing the cut for the final.

On the web

Check out photos from Friday's Class A meet in a gallery at tampabay.com/hometeam.

Class A state track: Tampa Prep runner comes up just short 04/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 1, 2010 12:49am]

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