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 routs PCAC field

CLEARWATER — Countryside's march toward a fifth consecutive Pinellas County Athletic Conference boys track title seemed inevitable over the past three months.

Related News/Archive

The Cougars, once again, emerged as the county's dominant program this season, winning team titles at the Richard Allen Relays, West Coast Invitational and Ed Wells/Kiwanis meet by whopping margins.

So it was no surprise Countryside administered a thrashing to the rest of the field on Wednesday, scoring 161.5 points, 69.5 more than runnerup Lakewood.

"Our guys were ready to run (Wednesday)," Cougars coach Eileen Givens said. "We had contributions all around."

Countryside got off to a strong start with two place-winners among the top three in the long jump and triple jump and two of the top four in the pole vault. It was quite a difference from last year, when the Cougars had to make up a 50-point deficit to win because of injuries and ineffectiveness in the field events.

"We had a lot of guys get to the finals in the field events and score for us early this time," Givens said.

Givens made another move last week that ended up paying off. She decided against participating in the Seminole Rotary meet on April 10 to give her athletes more time to rest.

The Cougars responded by winning four individual events: Brenton Conley in the long jump (22 feet, 3 inches), Derek Messmore in the 400 meters (50.27 seconds), Ricky Brown in the 800 (1:58.13) and Wylan Bernitt in the 300 hurdles (39.3). Countryside also took first in the 4x400 relay (3:28.41).

"Running a lot of meets in a row can take its toll," Givens said. "You have to understand your athletes' bodies. The rest helped, and now we'll just gear up for districts."

On the girls side, Lakewood won with ease, outscoring the Cougars 136-68.

Kala Funderburk was the Spartans' biggest point scorer, winning the 200 (25.7) and 400 (57.43). Teammate Sharell Keys took first in the 100 (12.27). Lakewood also swept the relays with wins in 4x100 (48.99), 4x400 (4:14.6) and 4x800 (10:13).

Three other girls won multiple titles in individual events: St. Petersburg's Nia Berthelot in the long jump (16-6) and high jump (5-4), Osceola's Alexis Irwin in the 800 (2:25.63) and 1,600 (5:35.79) and Countryside's Thea Linkfield in the 100 hurdles (15.49) and 300 hurdles (46.45).

Class 2A, District 10: At Sarasota, Lennard's boys rallied in the final two events to capturing the 4-year-old Hillsborough County school's first district team title in the process.

Trailing host school Sarasota Booker and Wauchula Hardee, Lennard placed three runners among the top five of the 2-mile then won the 4x400 relay to finish with 142 points. Hardee (134) was second.

"We looked at it on paper … and we knew we had a good chance to win," Lennard coach Ron Sainsbury said. "I told my guys if we're going to win this, everyone's got to have their best meet. It came down to the last couple of events there."

Rangy senior DeMyco Winston had a career day, winning the 400, triple jump, long jump and anchoring the 4x400 relay team. Another 4x400 member, Antonio Rodriguez, won the 110 and 300 hurdles. A third relay teammate, Ian Mills, won the 800.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

Track: Countryside routs PCAC field 04/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 15, 2010 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing


    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings features a battle of top rookies


    Greg Auman looks at how much the Bucs have changed since the last time they played the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 in our latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Late Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella was a fighter until the end

    Swimming Preps

    At swim meets, Cailin Cannella would race side-by-side with her breastroke competitors, their heads bobbing in near unison.

    Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella, here at age 13, still was practicing last year after finding out she had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). [Times 2016]
  4. Gators roundtable: Was that really a Hail Mary?


    Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks' last-second heave beat Tennessee Saturday in Gainesville, but was it a Hail Mary, typically a pass made in desperation with little chance of success? The Times' college football coveage team weighs in:


    Feleipe Franks #13 of the Florida Gators celebrates with his teammates after he threw a 63-yard pass at the end of the game to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers 26-20 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
  5. Mikhail Sergachev to debut for Lightning tonight


    For touted prospect Mikhail Sergachev, his audition to make the Lightning takes another big step tonight in his exhibition debut in Carolina.

    Touted prospect Mikhail Sergachev will make his exhibition debut tonight in Carolina.