SEMINOLE — The moment that set the stage for one of the most competitive boys track meets this season came with the subtraction of two teams.
Countryside and Lakewood, which have battled for the top two spots at nearly every major meet, both opted out of Saturday's Seminole Invitational.
That gave the other nine teams a chance.
St. Petersburg and Seminole had the best results. After the 4x400 relay, the Warhawks had a three-point lead. The meet came down to the pole vault and the Green Devils had three vaulters in the top six, more than enough to outscore Seminole, 172-162.
"It all comes down to depth," St. Petersburg coach Ken Jackson said. "It's a matter of placing your athletes in key spots in order to pick up points here and there."
The big scorer for the Green Devils was David Jones, who won the long jump (20 feet) and the triple jump (40-10). St. Petersburg's relay teams took the 4x100 (44.82 seconds) and 4x400 (3:33.89).
Reagan Beal and Chase Sutton won two events each for the Warhawks. Beal was first in the 100 (11.29) and 200 (22.44). Sutton took gold in the 1,600 (4:27.58) and 3,200 (10:20.06).
Admiral Farragut's Donovan Erbe won the pole vault, clearing a season-best 14 feet. He tried to break the school record of 14-8 but missed on three attempts.
On the girls side, Northside Christian dominated, scoring 167.5 points to beat Seminole by 50.5. The Mustangs' team title came three days after they won the Bay Conference meet.
"The girls' legs were dead after running in two big meets so close together," Northside coach Jeff Goodwin said. "But we were able to get some strong individual performances and some unexpected results."
The Mustangs' Katelyn Greenleaf won the 1,600 (5:32.25) and the 3,200 (12:19.66). Teammate Kayla Walton also was a two-time champion, taking first in the high jump (4-8) and discus, with a school-record throw of 104-9.
Largo's Sakeema McCray had the best performance of any athlete, winning the long jump (16-1), triple jump (33-7), 100 hurdles (16.48) and 300 hurdles (48.60).