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Ed Wells/Kiwanis: Northside girls, Countryside boys take titles

Countryside’s Zach Christenson leaves the rest of the pack behind to win the 1,600 meters. The Cougars picked up their third boys team title in four years.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Countryside’s Zach Christenson leaves the rest of the pack behind to win the 1,600 meters. The Cougars picked up their third boys team title in four years.

CLEARWATER — Of all the meets on schedule, the Ed Wells/Kiwanis Invitational was the one Northside Christian wanted the most.

Last year, the Mustangs girls lost the team title by eight points to Lakewood.

This time, Northside was able to reverse the outcome by the slimmest of margins, beating the Spartans 831/2-83 Tuesday.

"We've had this meet circled on our calendars for some time," Mustangs coach Jeff Goodwin said.

Northside was strong in the distance events with Katelyn Greenleaf winning the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races and running on the winning 4x800 relay team.

The Mustangs also did well in the relays, finishing second in the 4x400 and fourth in the 4x100.

"We knew we could compete with Lakewood," Goodwin said. "They were stronger in certain events and we knew they going to win those. It was just a matter of us scoring in other events."

The Spartans' Kala Funderburk, the girls MVP, won the 200 and 400, ran the anchor leg on the winning 4x400 relay and finished second in the high jump.

Funderburk's time of 25.34 seconds nearly broke the meet record of 25.24 set by former Lakewood star Jazmyn Shorter.

"I was really trying to go for that record," Funderburk said. "In the other events, I was just trying to keep my times down and improve."

Kiona Anderson also did well for the Spartans, winning the 100 and 300 hurdles and finishing second in the triple jump.

Countryside won the boys title for the third time in four years, beating Largo 90-85.

The Cougars held a one-point lead heading into the final event and secured the title by winning the 4x400 relay.

"I always tell the guys that every event counts," Countryside coach Eileen Givens said. "It was stressful, but we were able to get it done."

Northeast's Juarez Wynn was the boys meet MVP after winning the 100 and 200 and running a leg on the second-place 4x100 relay team.

Ed Wells/Kiwanis: Northside girls, Countryside boys take titles 03/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:28am]
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