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Devils boys outduel Spartans

All season long, the St. Petersburg-Lakewood "inner-city rivalry" has pushed both boys track teams to become better and better.

Thursday night at Boca Ciega, that dogged competition pushed the Green Devils to repeat as the best _ in Class 5A, District 10.

St. Petersburg used seven first-place finishes and its overall team depth to outpace Lakewood 182-119, despite a 29-minute lightning delay and slick, stormy conditions.

Lakewood's girls, meanwhile, won their sixth straight district crown by winning nine of 17 events. The Spartans topped Boca Ciega and the rest of south Pinellas County by more than 80 points.

Speed ruled the night.

Lakewood's Tim Carter sizzled by Green Devil Demetrias McCloud in 10.21, a county-best time this season and a personal best for the Spartan senior, before McCloud turned the tables after the rain delay and beat both Dixie's DeAndrew Rubin and Carter in the 200. McCloud went on to anchor St. Petersburg's 4x100 relay team to an easy first-place finish.

"I thought, as usual, that Lakewood would give us a run. . . . It's been an ongoing thing all year," St. Petersburg coach Ken Jackson said. "But my guys really came through."

Green Devil Byron Graham qualified for next Thursday's regional meet in five events (100 hurdles, triple jump, long jump, 4x100 and 4x400 relays), while Nate Holmes won the 1,600, 3,200 and was second in the 800.

Lakewood's Dion Parrish was also a double-winner, in the long jump and triple jump.

Rose Richmond led Lakewood's girls, as usual, by winning all five of her events (long jump, triple jump, 200, 4x100 and 4x400 relays). Nicole Scott added wins in the 1,600 and 800.

Bogie's Rhea Battle was a double-winner in the high jump and 400, but teammate Shaquan Chambliss was stripped of her title in the 100 hurdles when she pulled off her jersey (an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty) after crossing the line. Chambliss qualified for the 300 hurdles, however, by placing second.

6A-5: East Lake

faces tough foes

TAMPA _ Entering the championships at Chamberlain, East Lake girls coach David Derrick wasn't particularly thrilled being the only Pinellas school competing against Hillsborough County powerhouses Leto, Gaither and Hillsborough.

But after regional-qualifying performances by East Lake's Jessica Collier and Mindy Ordes and a fourth-place team finish, he was much happier.

"Jessica and Mindy were nice surprises," Derrick said. "Those are the things that make coaching track so much fun.

"Hillsborough is a little stronger, but we did well. Qualifying for regionals was everything tonight."

The East Lake boys, led by Gorma Bailey's second-place performances in the triple jump and 220 yards also finished fourth.

David Millman placed second in both the 110- and 330-yard hurdles, while Sean McCabe finished second in the 2-mile.

Hillsborough took the boys team title with 137 points. on the girls side, Gaither literally ran away from the pack with 147 points, 66 more than second-place Tampa Bay Tech.

_ SCOTT CLAIR

5A-9: Seminole

captures boys title

SEMINOLE _ Seminole High's 2-milers finished 1-2-3 in the next-to-last event to push the Warhawks past Clearwater and capture the boys championship.

Seminole outdistanced the Tornadoes 143-128, with Largo placing third with 95 points.

In girls competition, Largo won just four events, but totalled 171 points to 148 for runner-up Seminole. Countryside edged Clearwater for the third-place finish with 98 points.

With Clearwater's Jay Reckenwald winning the long jump, triple jump and high jump, the Tornadoes moved out to an early team lead. But the Warhawks made their move, capturing the first four places in the mile run, led by Jason NyMark's 4:43 time.

Moments later Paul Harrington won the 440 for Seminole in 51.22, Mike Kyne took the 880 in 2:03, then Nymark punctuated the comeback in leading the 2-milers with a time of 10:25.

"We knew going in, it would be a tight one," Seminole coach Bruce Calhoun said. "Rick (Clearwater coach Rodriguez) has the sprinters and jumpers and we have an edge in the distance events."

Pinellas Park's Green was a double winner, taking the 100-meter run in 10.60, followed by a 22.02 first-place finish in the 220.

For the girls, McGaffagon led the winning Packers with firsts in the high jump, 440 and a second-place finish in the triple jump. Countryside's Jamie Theil turned in the best individual performance with wins in the long jump (17-2), triple jump (34-2.5), 100-meter run (12.57 and 220 (26.63).

_ TOM MANTER

5A-8: Ridgewood

wins, despite injury

LAND O'LAKES _ The Ridgewood girls track team found out last week it would be without star Char Foster for the remainder of the season. Thursday morning, it found out it would be without another star, Fannie Holmes.

Holmes, a five-event competitor and the Sunshine Athletic Conference champion in three events, was admitted to the hospital Wednesday afternoon and had emergency surgery, causing her to miss Thursday's meet.

The remaining Rams then went out and won one for Fannie, turning in an impressive display of balance and depth in scoring 196 points and sending more than 20 athletes on to next week's regional meet.

"Everyone stepped up," coach Sue Vien said. "Everyone."

The Rams won six events (Lizzy Leigh won the 1,600 and 3,200), but their depth is what made them superior to the rest of the field. They placed at least two finishers in the top four in eight of the 14 individual events.

Gulf was second with 115.5 points, while River Ridge was third at 88.5.

The Ram boys were equally dominant, scoring 168 points and nearly doubling the next finisher, Gulf, which had 85 points.

The Ridgewood boys got wins from Eddie Haab (shot put), Dave Kennedy (1,600), Robbie Klinger (400), Jeff Shuhert (800) and James Vitale (3,200). But like the girls, it was depth that turned the meet into a romp. After a bad meet last season (the Rams won, but only by a few points), the Rams flexed their muscles by taking first and second in four events.

"We got a few more people out here than I expected," Ridgewood coach Glen Cable said. "We have 18 guys that advanced to next week. We had a lot of personal bests and some great senior leadership. We came to win the district."

Ashlea Thomas of River Ridge and Huey Whitaker of Springstead were both three-event winners. Thomas won the 100, 200 and long jump, while Whitaker won the long, high and triple jumps. Thomas also anchored River Ridge's winning 4x100 relay team.

Leigh and Gulf's Nate Bisson were double winners. Bisson won the 100 and 200.

River Ridge's Tom Drennan set a school record and had the best throw in Pasco County this season in winning the shot put at 49 feet, 3{ inches.

3A-5: Academy

rallies to win

TAMPA - With athletes placing in seven events, including a one-two finish in the 3,200 meters, Academy of the Holy Names came from behind to win the girls title at Berkeley Prep.

Seniors Monica Vasquez and Laura Sturm qualified for next week's state meet with times of 13:44.72 and 13:53.99, respectively, in the 3,200 to lift Academy over host Berkeley, which led by four points before the race.

Academy went on to finish with 168 points to Berkeley Prep's 154. Tampa Catholic was third with 86, followed by Clearwater Central Catholic (84), Winter Springs (75), South Sumter (50), St. Petersburg Catholic (25) and Wildwood (22).

The boys events featured less drama as Wildwood had athletes place in 11 events to outdistance the field by 91{ points to claim the title. First-year Winter Springs was second at 91, followed by Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic, which tied at 80, St. Petersburg Catholic (73), Clearwater Central Catholic (69{) and South Sumter (66).

CCC's Chris Iskra qualified for state after placing second in the long jump with an 11-foot, 6-inch mark. The Marauders also had a qualifier in Paul Condron, who won the pole vault event with a mark of 12-6. The only other Pinellas County qualifier was St. Petersburg Catholic's James Waechter, who placed second in the 400 meters with a 2:09.97 showing.

On the girls side, a 29-7 shot put throw captured first place for Nicole Huebener, a St. Petersburg Catholic senior. CCC, meanwhile, benefited from three state qualifying marks. Janet Howard won the 1,600-meter event in 5:57.94 while Ashley Harrington won the 800 meters in 2:37.33 and was also a member of the 4x800 relay team that was second at 11:24.58.

"We really ran pretty well," Harrington said. "My race in the 800 was really close but I just kept at it and I came through okay."

_ ROD GIPSON

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