PALM HARBOR — Twelve hours after the start of the district meet on Wednesday, Derek Wehunt crossed the finish line first in the 3,200 meters — his third victory of the day.
After catching his breath for a second, the Sickles senior repeated the same phrase heard by most athletes, coaches and fans: It was after 10 p.m. and he was exhausted.
Despite the long meet and late night, Wehunt managed to break personal best times in both his 1,600 and 3,200 wins, plus he led the Gryphons to victory in the opening 4x800 relay.
Sickles, as a team, placed third with 74 points with Countryside (209) taking the title and Largo (132) finishing second.
Jessica Jagielski, a sophomore from Mitchell, was the lone Pasco County champion. She raced to a first-place finish in the 800 and is going to regionals in her first track season.
"I wanted to be a district champ," she said. "I thought I had a chance. I worked really hard and I'm very happy."
Iesha Campbell of Alonso had a great meet. She was a two-time champion in the discus and shot put and shocked herself with the efforts.
"When I hit 35 (feet) in the shot today, I was like 'whoa!' " she said. "Usually I hit in the 33s and 32s. My coach and I just looked at each other and said, 'what the heck?' "
Bianco Morrison highlighted the effort for the Sickles girls, who finished second behind Palm Harbor University (170) with 90 points. She was first in the triple jump and third in the long jump. Amanda Newby qualified in the 1,600 run and 3,200, and Nicole Smith won the pole vault. For the boys, Dan Wehunt qualified in both the 800 and 1,600.
Alonso's Chris Frierson was the champion in the boys high jump.