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Six young track and field athletes bring home medals

Six young St. Petersburg track and field athletes, including nine-time state high school gold medalist Rose Richmond, won medals at the National AAU Junior Olympics last week in Cleveland.

Three represented the St. Petersburg Striders and three were from Fast Forward, the city's newest youth track club. The youths competed in age-group divisions.

Richmond, a former Lakewood High star about to begin her freshman year at Indiana University, took third place in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 5} inches. She has been with the Striders since she was 7, and won her high school championships in the long jump, triple jump and relays.

Fast Forward's Ashley Kidd, 13, won the 400-meter race with a time of 56.50 seconds. Kidd will enter the International Baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg High School in a few days and said she plans to run cross country this fall.

Her winning time was among the nation's best for girls of any age this year.

"I was in lane 5 and I just got a good start," Kidd said about her race in Cleveland. "I just kept up with the pack until we got to the second curve. That's when I started to kick it in. Then there were like three of us together, and I just pulled away from them."

Kidd also won the 200-meters silver medal, finishing in 25.43.

Other Striders medalists included Briana Brown, 9, second place in the long jump (12-2{), and Donnieshia Corbett, 11, second place in the shot put (30-1{) and seventh in the discus (60-8).

During the summer's area and statewide competition, Donnieshia led Florida in her age group's discus competition, throwing in the high 60s and low 70s, said her mother, Pamela Corbett. But rules required competitors to throw a metal discus in the national finals. Donnieshia had used a rubber discus all summer, and changing to metal caused problems with her grip.

Two other Fast Forward medalists: are a brother and sister. Justin Oliver, 11, placed first in the long jump (17-5\). Erin Oliver, 8, was fourth in the 200-meter race (32.20) and sixth in 100 meters (15.38).