Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough County track & field preview

Boys team preview


The mighty Terriers were humbled last year at state by St. Thomas Aquinas and Groveland South Lake, and finished fourth overall. But athletes such as Jerod Brisbon, Juan Washington, Lindsey Lamar and Terrence Mitchell should have coach Joey Sipp's team back in the thick of things.

"We did real well last year. We were region champs and placed fourth at state. Most of our guys placed in the top three and four at state," Sipp said.

Of course, no season would be complete without some adversity. Sipp learned last week that prized athlete Colby Walden will not be allowed to compete because he will be too old on the first day of the season. Walden was third at state in the 400 and would have been a contender in the 200.

Key loss: Mark Williams, who ran the 400 and 800 meters, is now at Florida A&M. "We still have a number of guys that can make up those points, but losing those points there will probably be a slight drop-off," Sipp said.

Keep an eye on: Chamberlain, Newsome, Sickles

Girls team preview


The Wildcats sustained heavy losses to graduation after last year's second-place finish to Oak Ridge at state. Wharton is searching for eight girls to replace the ones who are gone, among them Kathia and Katrina Skinner, both now at UCF. Wildcats coach Wes Newton will lean on Amani Bryant, London Enos, Shawntrel Pierre, Erin Bailey and Alyssa Franks to carry the load now.

"We're not the team we used to be," Newton said. "It's going to be tough. If you look at Gaither on paper, they're better than we are. We're going to have to work hard to beat them."

Of course, there's also the question as to whether this will be Newton's last season because of budget cuts in the school district, which could eliminate his teaching position. He said his team is aware this could be the end, so perhaps they will use that to rally.

Key losses: The Skinners, the Wildcats' distance stars, were part of the 4x800 state champion relay.

Keep an eye on: Gaither, Hillsborough, Tampa Bay Tech, Sickles

Boys to watch

LaVaughn King, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech: Finished third in last year's triple jump at state.

Lindsey Lamar, Sr., Hillsborough: The Terriers' top sprinter is a preseason All-American and will be Dentarius Locke's toughest competition in the 100 and 200. He finished fourth in the 100 after stumbling out of the blocks and has a football scholarship with USF.

Dentarius Locke, Sr., Chamberlain: Preseason All-American who won the 4A state title in the 100 meters in 10.72 seconds. The state runnerup in the 200 has signed a letter of intent with Tennessee.

John Mitchell, Sr., Durant: Set a personal best of 4 minutes, 21.63 seconds in the 1,600 meters to win the 4A state title. He is headed to Florida to run cross country.

Gregory St. Justine, Sr., Wharton: Area's top hurdler finished fourth at state in the 100 hurdles in 15.12 seconds.

Derek Wehunt, Sr., Sickles: Looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish in at the state cross country meet by making a strong showing in the distance events. He is headed to Florida to run.

Others to watch: Jeremy Deering, Jr., Leto; Desmond McGill, Sr., Brandon; Mark Parrish, Jr., Chamberlain; Daniel Wehunt, Sr., Sickles; Trenor Wilkins, Jr., Plant; Trent Wiseman, Sr., Freedom

Girls to watch

Amani Bryant, Sr., Wharton: Earned a personal best of 42.92 seconds to win the 300 hurdles title and is headed to Florida.

London Enos, Jr., Wharton: Earned second at state in the pole vault with a mark of 10 feet, 6 inches.

Alyssa Franks, Sr. Wharton: After an injury-riddled junior season and a state meet where she fought off a nagging cold, Franks is in top shape and ready to run.

LeRia Jenerette, Jr., Tampa Bay Tech: She helped guide the Titans basketball team to a playoff run and is ready to dominate once again in the discus.

Rikka Lovely, Sr., Gaither: The Cowboys jumper reached the state final in four events and medaled (top eight) in three of them (long jump, triple jump, 100). She is expected to score in the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump.

LaShae White, Jr., Tampa Bay Tech: Her personal best of 56.51 was enough to put her in second place in the 400.

Others to watch: Erin Bailey, Jr., Wharton; Michaela Kennedy, So., Plant; Tanesha Maxwell, Jr., Tampa Bay Tech; Marissa McElveen, Sr., Blake; Bianca Morrison, Sr., Sickles; Yesenia Perez, Jr., Gaither Shantrell Pierre, Jr., Wharton; Jasmine Pope, Jr., Plant City; Morgan Scherschel, Sr., Gaither; Grace VanDeGrift, So., Durant


For the fans

Admission: Most schools charge $3.

Regular season: Starts this week, ends in mid April.

Postseason: The top four in each event at district (Class A/2A, April 13-18; 3A/4A, April 20-25) advance to region meets (A/2A, April 22-24; 3A/4A, April 29-May 1. The top four in each event at region advance to the state meets (A/2A, May 1-2; 3A/4A, May 8-9) at Showalter Field in Winter Park.

Hillsborough County track & field preview 02/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.