LAND O'LAKES — By the slightest edge, Mitchell's Ricky Trinidad narrowly beat out Zephyrhills' Jamal Roberts in the 100 and 200 meters Tuesday evening.
Trinidad's close call was a sign to come for the Mustangs, as Mitchell's boys edged Wiregrass Ranch 112-111.5 to claim the team title at the SAC championships at Sunlake.
The Mustangs would not finish first in many of the 16 events, but Mitchell won its first conference title in school history behind Trinidad's efforts in the 100 (11.23) and the 200 (22.98).
"It was real important to do well today," Trinidad said. "I want to progress and do better with my times and be recognized here at the SAC championships in the 100 and 200."
Wiregrass took home the girls team title with 143 points on a day that proved costly for Zephyrhills.
Bulldogs junior Jamieshia Parker sustained what was possibly a season-ending knee injury after competing in the long jump. Parker — the Times' All-North Suncoast girls track athlete of the year in 2009 — was crushed after finding out she may be done for the season.
"I'm upset about the injury because I can't run now," Parker said. "But I guess I will just have to bounce back and train hard for next year."
A near disqualification at the end of the boys 4x400 almost gave the team title to Wiregrass Ranch.
On the girls side, the Bulls squeezed by neighboring Wesley Chapel 143-137.5 for back-to-back SAC championships. The Bulls took first in the 4x400, 3,200 and the 4x800. Ariel Gray finished second in the 1,600 in 5:24 and first in the 3,200 with a time of 12 minutes.
"We knew it was going to be close today," Wiregrass Ranch coach Don Howard said. "It was a big team effort and it's a big confidence boost for the girls moving into the postseason."