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)

Track: Countryside boys, East Lake girls win Ed Wells Invite titles

CLEARWATER — After Eileen Givens retired as boys track coach two years ago, Countryside lost its stranglehold at the top of the standings at the Ed Wells/Kiwanis Invitational.

This season, Givens has returned, and many figured the Cougars' abdication was temporary and she would help them reclaim what they had lost when it came to one of the county's biggest regular-season meets.

Sure enough, Countryside surged to the top, scoring 103 points to beat two-time defending champ Lakewood by 27 1/2.

"It's a good feeling to win this one again," said Givens, whose Cougars won the meet four straight years before she retired at the start of the 2012 season.

But this title was not easy. Countryside did it without Mekhi Reynolds, a long jumper and sprinter who was nursing a strained hamstring. And the Cougars did not have anyone in the finals of the 100 or 110 hurdles.

"We had to do a lot of maneuvering to get as many points as possible," Givens said.

It started in the 4x800 relay. Givens shuffled the lineup, using only two runners from last week's quartet that set a meet record at the USF/Steinbrenner Invitational.

On Wednesday, Ryan Bennett, Jordan Santa-Maria, Nick Sprague and Billy Fitch finished second in the event to Lakewood.

But that allowed Givens to use distance specialist Andrew Llewellyn in three individual events. Llewellyn, who was named the running MVP of the meet, won the 800 (1:59), 1,600 (4:37) and finished sixth in the 3,200 (10:59). Robert Davis won the 400 in 49.96 seconds, marking the second time he has run the event in less than 50 seconds at a major meet in the past five days. And Giovanni Negron took first in the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, 2 inches.

Gibbs' chances of contending for a boys team title were hurt when Damien Daniels pulled out of the meet because of a strained hamstring. Despite his absence, the Gladiators still did well in the sprints as Jacquez President won the 100 (11.23 seconds) and 200 (22.33). But Gibbs did not have the depth in those events to pick up the necessary points for a title.

Dunedin's Ahmad Middleton followed up his record-setting performance at last week's USF/Steinbrenner meet by winning the 110 hurdles (14.89) and 300 hurdles (40.76).

On the girls side, East Lake won the team title with ease, beating Osceola 135-73. The Eagles were strongest in the distance events as Erica Lersch won the 1,600 in 5:27 and Julia Siegel took first in the 3,200 (12:05.14). East Lake's 4x800 relay also won in 10:22.

Osceola's Jeanna Cube won the high jump by clearing 5-5 to set a meet record. She also took first in the 300 hurdles (49.89), second n the 110 hurdles (16.23) and third in the long jump (16-1 1/2). Teammate Jennifer Kistemaker set a meet record, winning the pole vault at 11-1. Dunedin's Olivia Welsh also cleared 11-1 in the pole vault and won the 100 hurdles in a meet-record 14.91.

Gibbs Jerosan Fletcher won the 200 (26.12), 400 (58.95) and anchored the winning 4x100 relay (4:16.49). PHU's Sara Karuli won the shot put (34-2) and discus (109-5 1/4).

Track: Countryside boys, East Lake girls win Ed Wells Invite titles 03/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]