A full day of fair weather at Leto High promised school records and North Suncoast athletes punching their ticket to states after Wednesday's Class 3A-2 region meet.
The Wiregrass Ranch girls had the highest team finish, tying for fourth place with 46 points; Orlando Evans was the champion. Steinbrenner won the boys title, with Springstead and Land O'Lakes tying for seventh with 33 points.
Central senior Quadavis Battle had runnerup finishes in the 110 (14.88) and 300 hurdles (39.91).
"I made finals at regionals two times already, I guess third time was the charm," Battle said.
The Wiregrass girls qualified seniors Nikita Shah in the 3,200 (11:30.98, second place) and Hannah Eder in the triple jump (36-4.5, third).
But perhaps even more impressive was senior Elijah Boston demolishing her personal and school records with a throw of 154-5 that was just 4 inches from a region title.
"I had been hitting it (150s) in practice. I just stayed calm, I prayed about it a little and just let it go," Boston said.
Springstead junior Wilena Little won the girls long jump, tying her personal record of 18-4. Junior Bobby Harris got second in the high jump (6-6), and senior Richard Toth grabbed second in the boys 800. Teammate and senior Ethan Kemp landed the fourth qualifying spot in the shot put with a throw of 48-3.5.
"The competition in 3A is just brutal in all events," Eagles coach Joel Myers said. "You make it out of here, you have a shot to medal at states."
Confirming the quality of the competition was Land O'Lakes junior Hallie Grimes, who shattered her PR and school record in the 400. But her 55.91 was only good for third place behind a withering 54.98 from Hillsborough's Jorian Ordway. Gators teammate and senior Kyle Forchion broke his personal record in the high jump by 4 inches, clearing 6-6 and qualifying for his first state meet. Junior Tyler Stahl finished second in the 1,600 (4:24.99) and fourth in the 3,200 (10:01.73).
Mitchell senior Claudia Cancello qualified in third place for the 3200 (11:39.26) and helped the girls 4x800 relay win.