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Leto star qualifies in 4 events in 6A-5

Leto's Paul Brown entered Thursday's Class 6A, District 5 championships at Chamberlain focusing on his best event, the 120-yard hurdles, determined to qualify for regionals on May 6.

Brown will have to widen his focus after winning the 120 and 330-yard hurdles and the long jump Thursday and finishing third in the high jump, qualifying him for four events.

"My main focus was on the high hurdles," Brown said. "It was nice to double up in the 330, but my long jump could have been better. I'll be busy next week."

So will Hillsborough's Adanna Gibbs whose victories in the high and triple jumps led the Terriers to a third-place finish behind Gaither and Tampa Bay Tech.

"I'm real happy with my performances tonight," Gibbs said. "I was hurt last year, so this is nice. I should do well next week and at state."

Though he is the best 220-yard sprinter in the county, Hillsborough's Shomari McKenzie abandoned that event in favor of the 100-meters. Despite competing for only the second time this season in the 100, McKenzie's time of 10.8 seconds was good enough for first.

"Running the 100 will be better for me and the team at state," said McKenzie, whose Terriers took home the title with 137 points. "There will be more time between my events, so I won't be so tired."

Getting tired might be a concern for Tech's Kendriya Johnson, who advanced to regionals in five events. Easily winning the 100 and 220, Johnson also qualified in the high jump, triple jump and the 440.

"Kendriya did what we expected," Tech coach Eli Thomas said. "She won the events we thought she would, but we expected better in the 440."

Gaither's Tatangelo sisters, Alli and Beth, finished 1-2 in the mile. Alli also won the 880-yards while Beth won the 2-mile.

6A-6: Bulls girls win

VALRICO _ The hometown crowd went home happy.

The host Bloomingdale Bulls won the girls district title, easily outpointing second-place Sarasota Riverview, 162-126. The Bulls' boys had the early lead, but placed second to the Rams, 173-121. Still, they won four events and sent a dozen athletes to next Wednesday's regionals at Winter Park.

Brandon's Renita Dixon, however, turned in the most impressive evening on either side. She won the 100 meters (12.17 seconds), 200 (26.24), the long jump (16-3\), and she anchored the champion 4x100 relay team. The Eagles' only other win was Marcia Alvarado (47.27) in the 300 hurdles, however the team did take third place with 103 points.

Bloomingdale, meanwhile had district champions all over the place. Susan Bindshedler in the shot put (34-10{), Charnee Ball in the discus (123-6{), Katie Morgan in the pole vault (9-0), Rachel McIntosh in the 100 hurdles (15.28), Amber Littleton in the 800 (2:26.08), and both the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams. Plant City's sixth-place finish was highlighted by Mikala Riddleworth's win in the 400.

On the boys' side, the Bloomingdale duo of Ken Hallworth and Andrew Shin went one-two in both the shot and discus. In fact, the Bulls took all four district seeds in the discus as Steve Batson and Charles Hampton took third and fourth, respectively. Dan Elkins also won a district title in the 800 (2:06.61), as did the Bulls' 4x800 team.


5A-11: Annis eases along

LAKELAND _ Plant's Caroline Annis did not set any records or personal bests at the meet. No, she was, in her words, "trying to ease back into things," after missing the Western Conference finals last week with a calf strain.

Of course, the standard Annis performance was still pretty impressive. She won two events (mile and 2-mile) and helped the Panthers cruise to the team title.

Annis' major role on the day was to set a winning pace. That worked like a charm.

In the mile, Annis was followed closely behind by, in order, teammates Caroline McKernan, Jaime Patlovich and Katie Gres. Patlovich and McKernan traded the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the 2-mile.

"Caroline's job was just to go out and help the other girls," Plant coach Roy Harrison said.

Jefferson's boys were led by multi-event standout Marcusno Gaynor. He finished first in the 100 meters, second in the long jump and third in the triple jump.

Armwood's Joel Carver also had a stellar performance. He finished first in the 400 meters, first in the long jump and second in the triple jump. _ CHRIS ROTAR

3A-5: Academy girls 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 capture the girls title at Berkeley Prep.

The boys event was less dramatic as Wildwood placed in 11 events and swept five of the last six sprints to win the title by 92{ points. First-year Winter Springs, located in Seminole County, was second with 91 points.

With their team trailing host Berkeley's girls by four points with two events remaining, Academy seniors Monica Vasquez and Laura Sturm each qualified for next week's state meet with times of 13:44.72 and 13:53.99, respectively. The win pushed Academy past Berkeley Prep and on to a 168-154 victory over the Buccaneers.

Tampa Catholic, which placed in five events, was third with 86 points.

Nicole Mullarkey led the way for Academy, qualifying in the pole vault, long jump and triple jump. A senior, Mullarkey won the pole vault, clearing 8 feet, while placing second in the long and triple jumps.

Berkeley Prep, which seemed to be cruising to a title until the late turnaround, had athletes place in 10 events. Alana Humbert (discus, shot put) and Candice Goldman (triple jump, 100 hurdles) both qualified in dual events for the Buccaneers, who also had a qualifier in seventh-grader Amanda Pittarelli, who won the 400 meters in 1:05.48. _ ROD GIPSON