PINELLAS PARK — At 3 p.m., Kiona Anderson, Labresha Jenkins and Kala Funderburk were all competing in field events at the 10th annual Richard T. Allen Individual Relays at Pinellas Park High.
Eight hours later, not only were all three athletes still competing, but they took first place in the final event of the day to clinch a team title for the Spartans.
"We talked about this race the whole way down here (to the starting line)," said Funderburk, who was the fourth leg of the 1,600 relay. "We never had a doubt."
Countryside led the girls meet after 10 events, but Lakewood's distance medley relay team was second and Countryside was sixth. That difference put the Spartans in front by one point and the Lakewood girls heard about their slim lead going into the final event. Anderson ran the first leg, Gincy Marcelin the second, followed by Jenkins and Funderburk. They won the 1,600 and the Cougars were fourth.
"I feel good now," said Anderson, who was high jumping at 2:30 p.m. The girls meet ended at 11:15 p.m. "I feel all this hard work in the preseason has paid off."
Lakewood was in seventh place after completion of five field events, but had top-three finishes in six of seven relays to make up the difference. Osceola was third, St. Petersburg fourth and Palm Harbor University fifth.
In the boys competition it was an even closer finish. Largo led Countryside by two points heading into the final race, but Countryside placed second in the 1,600 relay and Largo was fourth. That left the Cougars with a one-point margin of victory. Gibbs was third and Largo fourth overall.