TAMPA — The Hillsborough boys track team defended its home turf Saturday, taking first place at the Manuel-Griffin-Fraundorfer Relays.
The Terriers (59 points) won two events — the shot put and discus — while holding off second-place East Bay (51). Hillsborough won despite holding out two of its top sprinters — Terrence Mitchell and Lindsay Lamar — in preparation for Tuesday's county championship meet.
"We came in here wanting to see some of our young guys run. We put a team together with what we had," Hillsborough coach Joey Sipp said. "We did very well with our top two guys out."
Brandon (50) was third and Plant City (34) fourth.
Meanwhile, the Plant City girls (73 points) ran exceptionally well, winning every relay except for the shuttle hurdles to capture first place. Jasmine Pope led the Raiders to victories in the 4x110, 4x200 and sprint medley relays, as well as a second-place finish in the long jump.
"I think this meet is geared toward sprinters, and we have strong sprinters," Plant City coach John Ackerman said.
The Raiders finished safely ahead of Gaither (62), which was followed by Brandon (50) and Bloomingdale (42).
"It was great to honor the tradition of the meet; we've been running here for 18 years," Gaither coach Ladd Baldwin said. "We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores running today; it was good exposure and experience for them."
The most dramatic finish of the day came in the boys distance medley relay. Sickles' Marc DeJute and Bloomingdale's Joey Sheppard were neck-and-neck on the final lap before DeJute edged by his friend and training partner just steps before the line.
"Joey knows our team and knows we are pretty even, but our team was really confident today," DeJute said. "At the end I was telling myself I did not come out here in the sun all day for nothing."