3A state track: Springstead's Harris, River Ridge's Bales win fight to gain height



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Fri. May 3, 2013 | Joey Knight | Email

3A state track: Springstead's Harris, River Ridge's Bales win fight to gain height

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JACKSONVILLE — It was a day made for ponchos, not personal records.

One taste of Friday’s meteorological cocktail of gray skies, gusts and a ceaseless drizzle, and Springstead high jumper Bobby Harris knew his hopes of equaling his career best of 6 foot, 9 inches at the Class 3A state meet would be minimal.

So he modified his goals. Instead of a height, Harris went for history — and nailed it.

The junior’s modest effort of 6-2 was good enough to win Springstead’s second individual state track title. Wearing his trademark black Nike shorts that dangled below his knees, Harris was one of only two jumpers to even record a height Friday at Hodges Stadium.

He’s the Eagles’ first state champ since pole vaulter Joel Nunag in 1990, according to coach Brandon Wright.

“Overcoming the fact that I’m not going to slip and I’m going to clear this — that’s all I was thinking,” said Harris, state runnerup last season. “It feels great right now. It’s awesome.”

On what may go down as the most miserable afternoon — weather-wise — in state meet history, no two events were more affected by Friday’s sprawling cell of steady rain and stiff wind than the high jump and pole vault.

Yet local athletes excelled in both.

Competing in what he deemed the worst conditions of his career, River Ridge senior Evan Bales finished second (14 feet) in the pole vault and watched junior teammate Devon Jerothe place fourth (13-6).

The efforts came almost two years to the day after the pair’s brothers, Andrew Bales and Ryan Jerothe of Mitchell, placed first and fifth, respectively, in the same meet.

“(The weather) affects your mind, it affects your body, slipping on the pole is a huge factor,” Bales said. “I came out here thinking I was going to do a lot better than (14-0), but given the conditions I can’t complain.”

Harris, Bales and Jerothe were among several medal winners from the North Suncoast.

Springstead senior Richard Toth was second in the boys 800 in 1:57.13, less than a second shy of his personal-best time. Mitchell senior Claudia Cancello placed second in the girls 3,200, roughly six hours after helping the Mustangs’ 4x800 relay team earn an eighth-place finish.

Land O’Lakes junior Hallie Grimes placed third in the girls 400 (57.59). Zephyrhills’ girls 4x100 relay team posted the meet’s second-best time (48.72) in the prelims, but struggled with an early handoff in the final and settled for sixth (50.80).

Other girls medalists were Springstead’s Wilena Little (fourth in long jump), Wiregrass Ranch’s Casey Chitty (sixth in pole vault) and River Ridge’s Brittany O’Leary (sixth in shot put). Wiregrass Ranch’s Elijah Boston (eighth in discus) and Land O’Lakes’ Tyler Stahl (seventh in 1,600) earned boys medals.

In wheelchair adaptive competition, Zephyrhills junior Scarlett Lawhorne placed second in the girls shot put (13-1).

3A meet at Jacksonville
Team results: 
1 Miami Northwestern 74.50, 28 Mitchell 9, 35 Land O’Lakes 6, 38 Springstead  5, Zephyrhills 3, 47 River Ridge 3, 47 Wiregrass Ranch 3
Individual results: High jump: 1 Greene (PV) 5-05.00; pole vault: 1 Fowlie (Cha) 11-00.00, 6 Chitty (WR) 9-06.00; long jump: 1 Williams (Hal) 18-07.50, 4 Little (Spr) 17-09.75, 13 Eder (WR) 16-08.00; triple jump: 1 Cook-Martin (BC) 38-04.00, 2 Eder (WR) 34-04.75; discus: 1 Cameron (Nor) 146-08, 14 Alexander (Mit) 96-05; shot put: 1 Cameron (Nor) 44-03.25, 6 O’Leary (RR) 38-11.00; shot put adaptive: 1 Norton (Bel) 17-05.75, 2 Lawhorne (Zep) 13-01.00; 4x800: 1 Estero (Cline, Slater, Solis, Smith) 9:26.58, 8 Mitchell (Claudia and Elaina Cancello, Murry, Kerns), 10:01.43; 100 hurdles: 1 Whitaker (PF) 13.92; 100: 1 Whitney (ER) 11.79; 1,600: 1 Edwards (FM) 5:00.60, 10 Kerns (Mit) 5:24.41, 12 Conway (WR) 5:29.08; 4x100: 1 Stanton (Long, Taralyn and Kayla Heard, Chambers) 48.90, 6 Zephyrhills (Young, Jones, Mathis, McKenzie) 50.80; 400: 1 Wimbley (Dil) 55.69, 3 Grimes (LOL) 57.59; 300 hurdles: 1; 800: 1 Zarrella (LR) 2:16.45, 13 Blackwell (Spr) 2:26.24; 800 adaptive: 1 Norton (Bel) 3:02.75; 200: 1 Whitney (ER) 23.40; 200 adaptive: 1 Norton (Bel) 37.15;  3,200: 1 Givens (Chi) 11:00.25, 2 C Cancello (Mit) 11:16.25; 4x400: 1 Miami Northwestern (Williams, Baker, Springer, Harris) 3:57.82

Team results:
1 Bartram Trail  47, 13 Springstead 18, 16 River Ridge 13, 53 Land O’Lakes 2, 59 Wiregrass Ranch 1
Individual results: High jump: 1 Harris (Spr) 6-02.00; pole vault: 1 Akins (Cel) 14-06.00, 2 Bales (RR) 14-00.00, 4 Jerothe (RR) 13-06.00; long jump: 1 Webb (Gai) 23-04.50; triple jump: 1 Green (Hil) 48-02.00; discus: 1 Droogsma (GB) 183-03, 8 Boston (WR) 149-06; shot put: 1 Droogsma (GB) 57-02.50, 14 Kemp (Spr) 46-03.25; shot put adaptive: 1 Giardino (Lec) 23-02.00; 4x800: 1 Belen Jesuit (Rojo, Isaac, Rosete, Lopez) 8:01.98, 12 Springstead (Jackson, Amodie, Toth, Page) 8:22.19; 110 hurdles: 1 Burns (Nor) 14.31; 100: 1 Bromell (Gib) 10.45; 1,600: 1 Morken (Nic) 4:23.79, 7 Stahl (LOL) 4:27.05, 9 Bireda (WR) 4:31.61; 4x100: 1 Gibbs (Stewart, Bromell, President, Daniels) 42.26; 400: 1 Uruburu (BT) 48.28; 300 hurdles: 1 Burns (Nor) 38.33; 800: 1 Moore (Jef) 1:55.21, 2 Toth (Spr) 1:57.13; 800 adaptive: 1 Giardino (Lec) 2:53.30; 200: 1 Williams (Sta) 21.12; 200 adaptive: 1 Gibbs (Van) 38.31; 3,200: 1 Howell (Nic) 9:34.67, 10 Stahl (LOL) 9:58.42; 4x400: 1 Bartram Trail  (Martin, Taylor, Davis, Uruburu) 3:19.86


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