TAMPA — The USF/Steinbrenner Invitational, featuring some of the best track and field talent from all over Florida, is a chance for teams to make a statement: Do well at USF/Steinbrenner and it is likely a good showing will follow in about a month at the state meet.
With that in mind, you probably want to keep an eye on the boys 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams from King. On Saturday, the Lions’ Fab Four — Dionte Poole, Darian Wright, Emerson Tyler and Javontee Brice — won the 4x100 in 42.14 seconds and the 4x400 in 3:22.78, both personal bests.
“We were frustrated after last year’s state meet, because almost nothing went right for us (in Jacksonville),” Wright said. “The week after state last year we started working. We worked all summer and in the fall and during spring break. We are determined to get back to state and run well.”
As for local teams, Jesuit’s boys showed an intriguing mix of talent, scoring a bunch of points in the field events to place second overall with 43 points, 11 behind the winners, Hallandale. Land O’ Lakes was third with 42 points, followed by Gibbs at 34.
“Today was encouraging for us, because this meet (with 69 schools represented) was so competitive,” Jesuit coach Andy Wood said. “I guarantee that we will look back on this meet when we get to districts, regions and states and draw from it. The experience from this meet should definitely help us down the road.”
Jesuit’s Vincent Jackson and Jack Taylor led the way by finishing first and second in the shot put with throws of 48 feet, 7.75 inches and 48-4.50 respectively.
Taylor also took second in the discus with a throw of 147-4.5, coming up 8 feet behind the winner, Jamari Johnson of Seffner Christian. In the pole vault, Jesuit’s Nick Catchur, the defending Class 2A state champion, was second with a leap of 14 feet, and teammate Jack Hughes was third at 13-6. Osceola’s Carson Waters won at 15-1.
Other local winners included:
♦ Plant’s Jack Guyton in the 1,600 (4:19.07).
♦ Land O’ Lakes’ Jake Poore in the 3200 (9:35.26).
♦ Pasco’s Alfreda Steele in the 100-meter dash (12.13) and the 200 (24.23).
♦ Land O’ Lakes’ Hallie Grimes in the 400 (55.51).
♦ Chamberlain’s Maggie Parrish in the 3,200 (11:46.95).
♦Dunedin’s Ahmad Middleton in the 110 hurdles (14.28) and the 300 hurdles (38.09).
♦ Zephyrhills’ girls 4x100 relay (48.56).
♦ Gibbs’ Damien Daniels in the 100 meters (10.87).
♦ Admiral Farragut’s Brittany McGee in the long jump (19-02).
♦ Bloomingdale’s Ryan Voyles in the triple jump (45-08).
Bloomingdale’s boys defending state champion 4x800 team finished second Saturday, but with an encouraging time of 8:05.5.
In the girls’ team race, Hallandale also won with 78 points. Lakewood Ranch was second with 42.5 points. The highest girls team finisher among area schools was Land O’ Lakes in fifth with 36, followed by Pasco in sixth with 30.5.