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Meadows, Schmidt go separate ways

After battling each other since their freshman years, seniors Megan Meadows of Largo and Marjorie Schmidt of Dixie Hollins are going their separate ways.

No, no one is moving out of town. No one has quit running. It is just a baffling case of asthma that is breaking up the rivalry.

"Megan has been told by her doctor not to run anything more than 880 yards," Largo coach Mike Feck said. "We'll use her in the 880 (800 meters) along with the relay.

"We may try her, though, one time at the mile, maybe in our first meet."

The exercise-induced asthma, which brings on shortening of breath, became a serious problem in the fall, affecting Meadows' 2-mile cross-country competition after three years of joining Schmidt as a dominant runner in local and state competition.

But they won't have distance events to themselves. Along comes freshman cross-country standout Brianne Harrington of St. Petersburg Catholic. Harington beat both consistently last fall and finished second in the state 2A meet.

The matchup of the three stars could be the highlight of the girls 1994 track season.

Meadows had the county's best time for 800 meters last year with 2 minutes, 15.8 seconds, and Meadows and Schmidt were 2-3 in the 1,600 meters with 5:21.3 and 5:23.2, respectively. Schmidt had the upper hand in the 3,200 meters with a county best of 11:48.9.

But the three are not the only distance standouts. Northside Christian's Julie Bintz (2:20.5 for the 800) is back. So are Lisa Miller of Dixie Hollins and Kristen Kaineg of Seminole, each of whom could come to the front after a year's maturity and experience. Plus, Lakewood has its strong cross country trio of Heather Levering, Jill Stone and Diana Biniasz.

The sprints should be wide open following the graduation of Sabrina Herring-Kelly, the Times' track and field athlete of the year, after winning state championships in both 100 meters (11.98) and 200 meters (24.55).

Ready for the challege should be Michelle Jelks of Northeast, Tara Woodard of Northeast, Yaquanda Baker of Lakewood and Stephanie Edwards of Clearwater.

The hurdles are also wide open after the graduation of Joy Stout of East Lake, who dominated the event last year. Missy Miller of Dunedin, No. 2 last year, is due back and should be favored.

Also developing are Jeannette Johnson of Northeast and Monica Michener of St. Petersburg Catholic, along with a new crop of hurdlers that coach Dave Derick has coming along at East Lake, including Kristi Dodson, Jennifer O'Hanlon and Lori Gannaway.

In the weights, graduation of state champion Jackie Hooker of Northeast in both shot and discus leaves a big gap.

Chauncy Collins, Reba and Mary Hamilton of Clearwater, Angel Sposito of St. Petersburg and Bintz are favored to fill the void.

In the jumps, ninth and 10th graders dominated last year and should be bigger and better this time. Gaining all-county honors were freshmen Nikeyla Holland of Largo in the long jump (17 feet, 10{ inches), Yaquanda Baker of Lakewood in the high jump (5-5), and sophomore Keisha Day of Clearwater, second team in the long jump (17-8\). Sheniqua Patterson of Gibbs, another sophomore, was a second-team pick in the triple jump (37-11).

Katrina Nelson of Northeast and Hannah Dallman of Pinellas Park both have the potential to be big scorers in the triple jump.

Although picking team favorites is always difficult, Northeast, Dixie Hollins, Lakewood and Clearwater should be at the top, although not necessarily in that order. Northside should dominate the small schools.

Girls track preview

Here are some girls track and field athletes to watch for during the upcoming season (coaches in parentheses):

Clearwater (Kathy Biddle): Keisha Day, long jump, triple jump, relays; Alma Walker, hurdles; Chauncy Collins, shot put, discus, sprints; Mary Harrison, distance. Dixie Hollins (Monte Hoge): Danita Thompson, sprints, jumps; Marjorie Schmidt, distance; Lisa Miller, middle distance; Jacki Rivas, hurdles; Dora Christopher, shot put, discus; Michelle Dodson, mile. Dunedin (Bob Peet): Missy Miller, hurdles; Christine Nixon, sprints; Tisha Thomas, sprints. East Lake (Dave Derrick): Erica Thompson, middle distance; Ginger Hoffman, sprints; Ginger Blanks, sprints; Kristi Dodson, hurdles, jumps; Lori Gannaway, hurdles; Kristin Burnett, hurdles, 400; Andrea Milian, shot put, discus; Lakeland (Eileen Givins): Jill Stone, distance; Heather Levering, distance; Diana Biniasz (distance); Yaquanda Baker (sprints, relays); Carla Laury (sprints, relays); Largo (Mike Beck): Megan Meadows, 800, relays; Nikeyla Holland, sprints, jumps; Tomeka Walls, sprints, long jump, relays; Brooke Beck, middle distances, mile relay.

Northeast (Amy Chesnutt): Michelle Jelks, long jump, sprints; Jeanette Johnson, jumps; Katina Nelson, triple jump, 400, relays; Jeanette Forsberg, triple jump, 330 hurdles; Laurie Burke, mile; Tiffany Green, 400. Northside Christian (Lisa Jones): Julie Bintz, distance, long jump, shot put; Tara Woodward, 400, relays; Heidi Gutterman, hurdles; Kelly Gabler, 200, relays, shot put; Vicki Reeves, distance; Rachel; Bishop, 300 hurdles, 1600 meters. Pinellas Park (Sandy Everett): Hannah Dallman, high jump, long jump, 400; Tara Deering, 800; Carrie Calaguiro, 800; Tira Walsh, 400; Londa Hubbard, shot put/discus; Jennifer Sarro, mile; Rebecca Harding, 110 hurdles.

St. Petersburg (Robert Townsend): Tracy Ward, sprints; Angel Sposito, shot and discus; Lora Bauer, distance; DeeDee Estevez, hurdles; Rachael Kenner, distance; April McCullough, relays. St. Petersburg Catholic (Al McRoberts): Monica Michener, middle distances, 330 hurdles; Kathalie Brazzell, sprints, long jump; Brianne Harrington, distance. Seminole (John Bordeaux): Kristin Kaenig, distance; Michelle Marsh, shot put and discus; Therese Baldwin, shot put and discus. Shorecrest (David Field): Blakey Ross, 110 hurdles; Alissa McBee, 400; Jennifer Mageras, high jump; Onne Praserthdam, triple jump.