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Spartans' Wise No. 1

By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 6, 2002

Dermillo Wise said he always had a long-term goal of becoming the best long-jumper in the world.

Right now, he'll have to settle for being the best in the nation.

Wise, a senior at Lakewood, has been named the top high school long jumper by Track & Field News.

In its January issue, the magazine named its 2001 High School All-America team and selected five athletes in each event.

Although other athletes had higher marks in the long jump, Wise was chosen as the best mostly for his performance at June's National Scholastic Championships in Raleigh, N.C. He jumped 25 feet, 3/4 inches to win by more than 14 inches.

Wise also was the Class 3A state champion in the event with a leap of 24-73/4, the best mark among competitors in all classifications.

"To be honest, I didn't hear anything about being the best in the nation," Wise said. "It's a nice honor, though, to be considered among the best."

-- Times correspondent Dave Theall contributed to this report.

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