Overcast68° WeatherOvercast68° Weather

Pinellas: County pole vaulters make medals stand rush at Class 4A state meet

Double sixes: Pinellas Park’s Jenna Sperna heaves the shot put as part of her double-medal day at the Class 4A state track meet. Sperna finishes sixth in both the shot and discus events.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Double sixes: Pinellas Park’s Jenna Sperna heaves the shot put as part of her double-medal day at the Class 4A state track meet. Sperna finishes sixth in both the shot and discus events.

JACKSONVILLE — In the waning weeks of her junior year, 6-foot-1 Riverview star Faith Woodard says basketball remains her college sport of choice. But she acknowledges her speed and hops could translate to a track scholarship.

She's sure to have a few springtime suitors.

On a scorching, frenetic Saturday at the University of North Florida, Woodard won the girls high jump at the Class 4A state meet, matching her personal-best effort at 5 feet, 8 inches.

Even as preliminaries in the 100 and 400 meters diverted her attention, she never missed a jump until the bar was raised to 5-10. Homestead South Dade's Barbra Vilson, who edged Woodard for the 4A title in 2011, also cleared 5-8, but she had a miss along the way.

The multiple events "kept my legs warm and kept me moving and stuff like that," Woodard said. "I was not fresh, but I was pretty warm."

By day's end, Woodard had added a medal for her sixth-place finish in the 400. Just like that, her track future seemed brighter than the gold glistening at the end of the lanyard around her neck.

"(Jumps coach Jason Munsch) has really been on me this year to step it up and really, really concentrate on track," Woodard said. "Normally … I'm just focusing on basketball. So this year I was like, 'I got second last year, so why not try to win it all?' "

The girls pole vault competition produced a Pinellas County medal trifecta. Clearwater senior Courtney O'Donoghue (10 feet, 6 inches), Pinellas Park senior Abby Vivlamore (10-6) and Countryside sophomore Mary Margaret Mason (10-0) placed third, fourth and sixth, respectively.

Collectively, the trio, which trains together with the 727 Track & Field Club, has amassed five career state medals. O'Donoghue, who owns a career-best vault of 11 feet, has three.

"I'm pretty happy with what I did," O'Donoghue said. "I would've liked to have (hit a personal best) though."

Pinellas Park senior Jenna Sperna was the only competitor from her county to reach the medal stand twice, placing sixth in both the shot put (36-1/2) and discus (110-11). Patriots teammate Jasmine Laska was eighth in the discus (105-7).

St. Petersburg senior David Jones finished seventh in the long jump (22-43/4) and ninth in the triple jump (44-51/4), missing the medal stand in the latter event by 3 inches.

On the Web

For a photo gallery of area athletes, visit tampa

bay.com/hometeam.

Pinellas: County pole vaulters make medals stand rush at Class 4A state meet

05/05/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 5, 2012 10:46pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...