CLEARWATER — During the past few seasons, the Pinellas County Athletic Conference boys meet has become as repetitive as those airport announcements reminding travelers the white zone is for loading and unloading only.
Front-runner status is for Countryside only. Season after season, the Cougars are installed as the favorite.
This year was no different as the Cougars won their third straight conference title, scoring 138 points to beat Lakewood by 40.
Countryside's Rashard Young won the long jump (21 feet, 4 inches), Brian Gaputis won the shot put (47 feet), and Zach Christianson won the 1,600 (4 minutes, 26 seconds). The Cougars' other title came in the 4x800-meter relay, where Matt Worner, Jake Herrmann, Derek Messmore, Kosta Fotopoulos won in 8:18.
"We're still battling some injuries and tweaked the lineup," Countryside coach Eileen Givens said. "Fortunately, we still had enough for the three-peat."
The Spartans kept pace by taking control of the sprints. Frank Minton was the big winner, taking first in the 100 (11.15) and 200 (22.81).
In the girls field, Lakewood beat Palm Harbor University 91-82 for the team title.
Kiona Anderson led the Spartans, winning the 100 hurdles (16.40) and 300 hurdles (47.70). Other Lakewood individual champions were Brittany Jenkins in the triple jump (33-81/2) and Kala Funderburke in the 400 (59.22).
Palm Harbor University's Madison McNary, running in her big meet of the season, defended her titles in the 100 (12.08) and 200 (24.78). And she won the long jump with a leap of 18-7.
Bob Putnam can be reached at