TAMPA — An intense daylong duel between Hillsborough and Pompano Beach Ely for the Charles Johnson Invitational boys team title had come down to the last lap of the last race on Saturday afternoon.
And neither team took that last hurrah.
That belonged to Newsome senior A.J. Dowse, who pulled away on the final turn of the 4x400-meter relay.
"I have no clue," Dowse said when asked how fast he covered his 400 meters. "I just know it was fast."
Behind Dowse's mesmerizing split, the Wolves (3 minutes, 24.68 seconds) set the last of 15 meet records at King High.
Among the runners Dowse passed: Hillsborough senior Akeem Anthony, whose relay still finished second to give the Terriers the overall team title with 115 points. Defending champ Ely, fourth in the final relay, finished with 112 but didn't exit quietly.
Tigers anchor Anthony Archie stumbled a few meters from the finish after drifting inside and appeared to make contact with Anthony. A jury of appeals, however, ruled the contact was incidental.
Far less disputable was Wharton's convincing victory in the girls competition. Behind sophomore Tyler Watson, the Wildcats finished with 102 points, well ahead of runnerup Wiregrass Ranch (62.5).
Watson ran on the Wildcats' winning 4x800 and 4x400 relays, set a personal best in the triple jump (34 feet, 3 inches) to place third, and finished second in the 400 (1:00.34).
That 4x800 team set a meet record (9:52.49), as did USF-bound senior Abby Ritter, whose 12:00.24 in the 3,200 meters broke the meet's 2-year-old mark.
Hillsborough's Narricka Williams was named the Calyx Schenecker Outstanding Female Athlete after winning both hurdles events and placing second in the triple jump.
On the boys side, the Terriers won two of three relays and got a solid day from sophomore Jeremiah Green, who ran on the winning 4x100 team and placed second in the triple jump.
Other boys meet record breakers included Chamberlain junior Max del Monte (3,200 meters, 9:43.25), Alonso senior Brandon Holloway (200, 21.63), and Ravens teammates Franklyn Mosely (400, 49.21) and Gigi Petion, who cleared 6-foot-8 in the high jump and came tantalizingly close to 6-9.
"The only thing I could've done (better) is get more aggressive on that curve," Petion said. "I missed it by a calf."