State track preview: They have some ground to cover to go for gold
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Lakewood’s Kelvin White, who won the 110-meter hurdles at regionals, is seeded third in Friday’s meet in Winter Park.
Last year, Pinellas County athletes came home from the Class 3A and 4A state meets with plenty of medals.
None of them were gold.
It was a rare occurrence considering the last time the county did not win an individual state title was 2004. Can the county avoid being shut out again?
It will be tough with just five athletes — Countryside's Anthony Lombardo (pole vault), East Lake's Leah Fisher (long jump) and Alicia Aldridge (800), Lakewood's Kelvin White (110 hurdles) and Tarpon Springs' Maryah Finch (800) — who won their signature races at last week's region meets. The Cougars' boys 4x400 relay team also won. Fisher is the only one who enters with the top seed in her event.
At last week's Class 4A, Region 2 meet, Fisher cleared 18 feet, 4 inches to win. Only one other 4A competitor, Miami Northwestern's Kadedra Middleton, jumped 18 feet last week.
White is seeded third in his event, but will have to make up nearly three-tenths of a second from his time at regionals (14.55) to surpass the top seed, Pensacola Escambia's Jamie Turner (14.29).
Others will have a hard time contending for state titles but could place in the top three.
And four county athletes — Lakewood's Kiona Anderson (triple jump, 100 hurdles), Northeast's Juarez Wynn (100, 200), Seminole's Colleen Schwab (shot put, discus) and Tarpon Springs' Maria Karavokiros (long jump, triple jump) — could place in multiple individual events.
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Format: Field events start at 1 p.m., running finals at 7. Trophies go to the team champion and runnerup. Medallions are awarded to the top eight individuals and relay teams.
Where: Showalter Field,
Directions: Take Interstate 275 to Interstate 4; exit at Fairbanks and head east. Follow through Winter Park (road name changes to Aloma) to light at Lakemont Avenue. Right on Lakemont, pass Winter Park Hospital and left at next light (Mizell Avenue). Right on Perth (just past Wellness Center). Follow Perth through Ward Park to Showalter parking lot at the far end on the right.
Boys — Dunedin: Sharrod Harriell (high jump); Gibbs: Russell Allen (300 hurdles); Lakewood: Darryl Evans (shot put), Frank Minton (100), Kelvin White (110 hurdles); Northeast: Justin Matthews (high jump), Juarez Wynn (100, 200); Seminole: Marquis Glenn (long jump), Josh Lakotia (3,200).
Girls — Clearwater: Shanteria Thomas (100 hurdles); Gibbs: Latoya Freeman (long jump), Delashey Williams (shot put); Lakewood: Kiona Anderson (triple jump, 100 hurdles), Brianna Forde (400); Northeast: Lauren Campbell (high jump); Osceola: Alexis Irwin (1,600); Seminole: Colleen Schwab (discus, shot put); Tarpon Springs: Maria Karavokiros (long jump, triple jump), Maryah Finch (800)
Boys — Countryside: Wylan Burnitt (300 hurdles), Anthony Lombardo (pole vault), Kosta Fotopolous (800), Derek Messmore (400), Paul Polgar (pole vault), Richard Shockley (shot put), 4x800 relay, 4x400 relay; Largo — Jamari Boatwright (110 hurdles), Ryan Eppes (long jump); St. Petersburg: Calvin Robinson (100)
Girls — Countryside: Thea Linkfield (300 hurdles), Paige Schmidt (3200); East Lake: Alicia Aldridge (800), Leah Fisher (long jump); Palm Harbor U.: Alyssa Nelson (400); Pinellas Park: Jessica Maggio (100 hurdles), Christina Quay (100 hurdles), Jenna Sperna (shot put), 4x400 relay; St. Petersburg: Jordan Phillips (triple jump), Sarah Wilkins (high jump)