NEW PORT RICHEY — With temperatures in the low 50s and swirling winds making it feel even colder at Friday's Chasco Invitational, Mitchell sprinter Ricky Trinidad found the perfect way to stay warm.
"I went to my car," Trinidad said.
After winning the 100-meter dash, Trinidad spent roughly 90 minutes inside his Volkswagen Jetta with the heat on high. When he returned to the track, he promptly won the 200.
"It definitely helped," Trinidad said. "It was better than freezing my butt off."
When the five-hour-long meet, which brought together Pasco teams, ended, Wiregrass Ranch had emerged as winner of the boys and girls competitions. Ridgewood and Mitchell were second and third, respectively, in the boys division; on the girls side, Wesley Chapel was runnerup followed by Ridgewood.
"It was a team performance," Wiregrass boys coach Tim Light said.
Light's squad was led by Alex Kazanski, who won the pole vault, and Will Ferguson, who captured the high jump. The Bulls clinched the title by claiming the mile relay.
Melanie Dean, first in the 300 hurdles and mile relay, and Shavaun Walker, who was second in the 400 and also on the 4x400, paced the Wiregrass girls.
"We did it on seconds and thirds," Bulls coach Don Howard said.
The meet's other top performers included:
• Mason Chilmonczyk, Ridgewood: After taking second in the 1,600 he later won the 800 in 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
• Matt Schwartz, Land O'Lakes: Schwartz took first in the 1,600 and 3,200.
• Kelli Williams, Mitchell: Williams won the 800 and 1,600. Her 5:26 in the 1,600 set a school record.
On this day, athletes didn't just compete against the opposition. They also had to fight the elements, which some did better than others.
Not leaving anything to chance, Chilmonczyk wore a long-sleeve shirt under his jersey top and black gloves.
"Ninety percent of running comes from your arms," he said.
Williams was among those not bothered by the chill.
The key to that was simple.
"I wore a lot of layers," she said.