TAMPA — Moments after his win in the 300-meter hurdles, Lakewood senior Timothy Holmes flipped over the yellow Adidas Adizero Prime track spikes he was holding to reveal slick rear soles virtually bereft of tread.
"My shoes are kind of slippery on the bottom," Holmes said. "So I was trying to be careful so I wouldn't fall."
On a bright, mild Saturday at the USF track stadium, there wasn't a slip-up to be found among the Spartans boys' performances. Lakewood set school records in triumphant 4x100 and 4x800 relay efforts, got a hurdles win from Holmes and got top-four finishes in three other events en route to a team victory at the USF/Steinbrenner Invitational. Lakewood scored 76 points, well ahead of Naples (39).
The fourth-annual meet drew roughly 80 schools and spanned 11 hours. The Spartans ended it with a flourish.
The 4x400 team — Rodney Adams, twin siblings Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin and Holmes — finished in 3:19.40, the state's second-fastest time this season, according to milesplit.com. "That's a great honor to be there for the moment," said Shaquem Griffin, who handed off to Holmes. "I wanted to get (the baton) to the fourth leg as soon as possible because I knew what (Holmes) would do when he got it."
The all-senior foursome of the Griffin twins, Marquez Valdes and Deandre Boykins avenged a loss to Gibbs 10 days before at the West Coast Invitational with a win in the 4x100 (41.11 seconds). The Gladiators were third.
Gibbs' 4x100 anchor, senior Trayvon Bromell, was among a handful of Pinellas individual winners. Feeling slightly dehydrated, Bromell set a meet record in the 100 (10.44), replenished with water and Gatorade, took a nap, then set another meet mark in the 200 (21.07). The 100 win was his second in a row at this meet. "It felt better," Bromell said after his 200 win. "I'll take it for the day. I could've done better; I kind of let down on the ending."
St. Petersburg's Cayman Ellis and Osceola's Carson Waters both cleared 14 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault, with Ellis taking first via fewer misses. Waters' effort was a school record.
Osceola's Jennifer Kistemaker won the pole vault (10-6). Admiral Farragut's Brittany McGee tied the meet record (18 feet) en route to the long jump title, and second in the 100 hurdles.