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)

North Suncoast: Class A/2A district track preview


Wiregrass Ranch's recent surge to a Sunshine Athletic Conference girls track title was propelled in part by twin engines that rarely stop running — on or off the track. Get sophomore siblings Toni and Marissa Tomei (she has one more "s" in her first name than the Oscar-winning actress) going on a subject — any subject — and they're hard to stop. They are chatty, gregarious, athletic, affable, but mostly harmonious. Ask their birth date, and they respond Aug. 30 in high-pitched unison. Ask their birthplace, and they say Seattle in synch. Eye color? Brown is the answer in giggly accord. But get them on the track, and each is clearly her own person. Toni is the better sprinter; Marissa is stronger in the middle distances. Combine their qualities, and the result is a bunch of points for the Bulls in most meets. "They're like the glue," Bulls coach J.R. Haworth said. "They're not our fastest. Elyse (Houston) is the fastest and Kelsey (Sturman) is the strongest in the 400 and Elyse again in the 200. But they're like the glue that holds everything together. Without them, we just don't make it go." Here's a look at the girls off whom the Bulls are making a — pardon the pun — twin killing this season.

Toni Nicole Tomei

How you tell her apart: She's the one without the dimples, and is a hair taller than Marissa. Additionally, "people say our noses are different," Toni says.

At the SAC meet: Placed fifth in the 100 meters (12.91 seconds), ran the second leg on the 4x100 relay team that placed second (51.02), placed 10th in the 200 (27.75). Including relays, contributed eight team points.

Other sport: Swimming. Was a member of the Bulls' 200-yard freestyle relay team that placed fourth at districts. Also placed seventh and 12th, respectively, at districts in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

Did you know: Toni is the younger of the two, by three minutes, but boasts that she's the one who takes the AP and honors courses. … Toni says the longest she and her sister have been apart was last summer, when Marissa attended a weeklong running camp. "It was really quiet at my house," Toni said. "I had, like, nothing to do. I just sat around and watched TV and then I'd laugh about something and be like, 'Marissa … oh wait, she's not here.' "

Marissa Risanne Tomei

How you tell her apart: The facial dimples

At the SAC meet: Placed sixth in the 400 meters (1:04), eighth in the 200 (27.58), and ran the first leg on the triumphant 4x400 relay team (4:11.33). Including relays, contributed 14 team points.

Other sport: Cross country. Placed 18th at the Class 2A, District 3 meet (22:10.19).

Did you know: Marissa seems to relish the fact she nearly shares the same name as the star of such films as The Wrestler and My Cousin Vinny. "Even the lunch ladies are like, 'Ah, Marissa Tomei, that's so cool,' " Marissa said. "She's kind of like, the other generation. Our generation has never heard of her or anything like that. But it's really cool. I like it." … Though most who know the twins have learned to distinguish them, Marissa and Toni say to this day their paternal grandfather can't tell them apart.

Joey Knight can be reached at

Class 2A, District 9


Wiregrass Ranch

When: Thursday, 10 a.m.

Teams involved: Berkeley Prep, Hernando, Academy of the Holy Names, Jesuit, Nature Coast, Pasco, Robinson, Sunlake, Tampa Catholic, Wiregrass Ranch, Zephyrhills

Defending champs: Boys, Nature Coast; girls, Berkeley Prep

Class A,

District 9

Where: Indian Rocks Christian


Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.

Teams involved: Bayshore Christian, Bishop McLaughlin, Calvary Christian, Cambridge Christian, Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian, Northside Christian, Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian, Tampa Prep

Defending champs: Boys, Northside Christian; girls, Northside Christian

North Suncoast: Class A/2A district track preview 04/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 10, 2009 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Derek Norris, right, celebrates with Logan Morrison as he scores in what could be his last game with the Rays.