TAMPA — The shadow looming over the Class 3A, District 9 championships at Jefferson on Thursday was that of the Hillsborough Terriers.
Ferocious and hungry, they claimed ownership of the track for one afternoon en route to what they hope is a state title run.
But Pinellas County individuals would not be denied a few titles of their own to advance to next week's region meet.
Among the winners were Tarpon Springs' Richard Seifried with a discus throw of 141-6, Clearwater's Ryan Cheney with a winning pole vault of 13 feet and for the girls it was Tarpon Springs' Maryah Finch with a winning time of 2:25.71 in the 800.
Clearwater girls had the best team finish among Pinellas schools, taking third, while Dunedin's sixth-place finish was best among boys.
Of course, it was hard to overlook the dominance of Hillsborough, which coach Joey Sipp believes has a legitimate chance to win a state title.
That has been his mantra all season and it was hard to argue as the boys and girls claimed team titles.
"We won regions two years in a row," Sipp said of the boys. "We want to go win it again and we want to win state."
One question dogging the Terriers is the status of sprinter Lindsey Lamar, who has been hobbled by a hamstring injury. Lamar ran for the first time since the county championships and looked impressive, taking wins in the 100 (10.99), 200 (22.65) and placing fourth in the 400 (50.76).
Plant dominated both boys and girls distance events, taking 13 of 16 spots to advance to region in the 1,600 and 3,200. Winners in the 1,600 were Lizzie Goodwin (5:39.80) and Didier Barjon (4:42.06), and in the 3,200 it was Michaela Kennedy (12:18.08) and John Wilkins (10:19.01).
For the girls, Blake's Marissa McEleveen was stellar winning the long jump (19-13/4), triple jump (37-41/4), 100 (12.82) and 200 (26.34).
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