TAMPA — Some of the top Class 3A and 4A track athletes in Hillsborough County spent the past few weeks trekking around the state to the Florida Relays and the FSU Relays. Others have been itching since the county championships late last month. But this week the wait is over. They'll all come together again at the district meets to make that first step toward state. And the field is heavy with talent — from the sprints to the distance events to the field events.
Five boys to watch
Dentarius Locke, Chamberlain: The Tennessee-bound senior is one of the top sprinters in the nation. He owns the top times in the state in the 100 meters (10.35 seconds) and 200 (20.99), both set at the Hillsborough County championships. He also won the 100 at the Florida Relays (10.57).
Terrence Mitchell, Hillsborough: The Terriers senior won the long jump (23 feet, 6 inches) and triple jump (46-6) at the county championships.
Desmond McGill, Brandon: The Eagles senior won the 110 (14.56) and 300 hurdles (38.05) at the county championships, both personal bests.
Sean Obinwa, Wharton: The Wildcats senior ran away with the 800 at the county championships with a 1:55.96, then won the same event at the Florida Relays with a personal record of 1:53.12.
Derek Wehunt, Sickles: The Florida-bound senior distance runner owns the top time in the nation in the 1,600 (4:11.14) after his showing at the Florida Relays. He also owns the nation's seventh-best time in the 3,200 (9:06.78) from the FSU Relays.
Five girls to watch
Brittney Barton, Hillsborough: The Terriers senior ran a personal best in the 800 meters (2:25.93) at the Florida Relays, finishing fifth. She also won the 400 at the county championships with a personal-record time of 57.33.
Amani Bryant, Wharton: The Wildcats senior won the 100 hurdles (14.96), 300 hurdles (46.80) and 200 (25.04) at the county championships. She ran a personal best in the 800 (2:26.80) at the University of Tampa Distance Carnival and had a season best in the 100 (12.29) at the Florida Relays, placing seventh.
Amanda Leland, Chamberlain: The Chiefs senior won the 100 in the county championships with a personal record of 12.12, cutting her time down 0.77 of a second from her first meet of the season.
Marissa McEleveen, Blake: The Yellow Jackets senior is a favorite to win the long jump and triple jump. She set the best mark in the state in the triple jump (40-1/2) and a personal record in the long jump (19-7), both at the county meet.
Morgan Scherschel, Gaither: The senior pole vaulter set the state's best mark in the event at 12 feet last month at the Charles Johnson Invitational. She won region and district titles last season and finished third at state.