PUNTA GORDA Hillsborough's Lindsey Lamar and Terrence Mitchell turned in outstanding performances in the boys meet and Wharton's Amani Bryant was equally impressive in the girls competition as each athlete helped their team defend its Class 3A-Region 3 track title Thursday.
Fir Hillsborough's boys, who eased past host Charlotte 96-71.5, it was their third straight regional crown. For Wharton, which had a comfortable 115-49 gap over runner-up Palmetto, the victory marked its sixth straight.
Mitchell got the meet started with a bang when he soared to victory in the long jump with a lifetime best of 24 feet, 2.5 inches. Less than an hour later, Mitchell popped a winning triple jump of 47-8.75, another personal best. Mitchell finished his day with an eight-place finish in the 100 (11.04) and a second in the 300 hurdles (38.54), just 0.05 behind winner Desmond McGill of Brandon.
Lamar posted a triple victory that very few prep athletes can pull off at this level - wins in the 100 (10.69), 400 (48.85) and 200 (21.85). Lamar won the 400 out of Lane 8 and the 200 running in Lane 7 - lanes where it is difficult to see your competition.
Bryant, meanwhile, was virtually indomitable, winning three individual events and anchoring the Wildcats' winning 4x400 relay. True, she won the long jump (18-1.75) with the help of three qualifying fouls by pre-meet favorite Marissa McElveen of Blake, who came back to win the triple jump (39-9.5). But in her two hurdles events, Bryant is clearly peaking at the right time of the season, running 14.88 into a strong headwind to take the short hurdles and 43.39 to win the low hurdles.
Locke rockets to new national bests
TAMPA - They have run together nearly every day for the past year, and now that the days are winding down on their prep careers, Chamberlain sprinters Dentarius Locke and Amanda Leland are shining brighter than ever.
In Thursday's Class 4A-Region 2 track meet at Gaither, Locke, in fact, shined brighter than any sprinter in the country, running a national high school best for the year in the 100 meters (10.31 seconds) and the 200 meters (20.81).
"That was about the best I've ever run," Locke said. "I really got out of the blocks great."
Leland said just about the same thing, winning the 100 in a school-record 12.10 seconds and the 200 in 25.45.
"I felt like I got a really good start in the 100 and that made a big difference," Leland said. "We made some good adjustments in the blocks."
Other top individual performances include Sickles' Derek Wehunt, who won the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 18.19 seconds) and the 3,200 (9:20.33). Wehunt's brother, Daniel, placed second in the 800 behind Durant's John Mitchell, who won in 1:55.91.
The Wehunts also ran the 4X800 relay with Marc DeJute and Julian Givens to finish in a blazing 7:50.28, 15 seconds ahead of second-place Melbourne.
The effort helped Sickles to the highest finish for a Hillsborough county boys teams, third with 61.5 points, 5.5 behind the winner, Sarasota Riverview, which edged second-place Countryside by a half point.
On the girls' side, Vero Beach won the team title with 85 points, 31 ahead of runner-up Gaither. East Bay was third with 50.5, followed by Plant City (44).
The only other individual two-event winner from Hillsborough county was Alonso' DeMonte McAllister, who threw the shot put 52 feet and the discus 161-11.