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Roberts brothers pace Wildcats

JAMAL THALJI
Published May 2, 2003

WESLEY CHAPEL - At last year's region meet Kenny "Junior" Roberts didn't qualify for state in the 110-meter high hurdles and fell in the finals of the 300 intermediate hurdles.

At Thursday's Class 2A, Region 3 meet, the Wesley Chapel star had qualified for state in both as he watched brother Bernard "BB" Roberts coming down the stretch in the 4x400 relay, carrying their hopes of qualifying for state in that event.

"At first I was like "What is he doing?' " Kenny Roberts said of seeing his brother let another runner pass him in the anchor leg. "But I should have known better. BB's best race is the 200, and that's when he kicked it in."

The brothers led a talented Wildcat contingent that finished runner-up at Wildcat Stadium and qualified for next week's 2A state meet at Percy Beard Stadium in Gainesville.

Bernard Roberts qualified for state by taking second in the 200 (49.87 seconds), 400 (49.87) and 4x400 (3:25.48), taking the Wildcats from third to second in a wild flurry at the end to almost beat champion Jesuit.

His older brother set personal bests in the 100 hurdles (14.58) and 300 hurdles (39.81), finishing third in both.

Pasco senior Ben Alford won the pole vault (13 feet) and was fourth in the discus (132-1/4). Also for the Pirates, Johnny Peyton won the high jump (6-4) and Devorian Burns was fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.73).

Wesley Chapel's Marcus Stewart qualified by taking second in the triple jump (43-53/4) and third in the high jump (6-2). Teammate Kurt Able was fourth in the 1,600 (4:33.78) and 3,200 (9:56.07) and third in the 4x800 (8:23.45).

Zephyrhills freshman Bryan Thomas was third in the long jump (21-73/4) to qualify for state.

Hurricanes second

ORLANDO - The Citrus boys finished second in Class 2A, Region 2 with 94 points, behind Suwannee's 126. Crystal River was fifth with 60.

Citrus' Tony Lyons won the 3,200 and 1,600 and ran for the winning 4X800 relay team. The team consisted of Matt Baum, D.J. Carella, and James LoPicollo who all qualified for state in other events. Carella was second in the 1,600, and LoPicollo was second in the 3,200. Baum won the 800 in 1:59.92, one of the lowest times in 2A this season. He beat Crystal River's John McKethan.

"I though it was going to be close," Baum said. "John ran really well, but I did what I had to do."

It was Baum's best time this season by a full second.

Also winning a title for Citrus was Michael Brown in the high jump at 6 feet 6, a personal best.

Citus' Johnathan Davila won the pole vault at 13 feet.

Crystal River got a runner-up finish in the 400 by Chris Bunch, sixth in the event at state last year. He called his time of 49.21 embarrassing compared with the 48.67 by Wildwood's Ezra Jones.

"I've got to practice and work harder," Bunch said. "He had the last kick. I had to turn it on early, before the 200."

Citrus' David Mazzoli, third in the shot put, also advanced.

Crystal River's Chianta Smith qualified in the triple jump, shot put and high jump. Also advancing for the Pirates were Shane Martin (3,200) and Clayton Bristol (800). The Crystal River 4x400 team also advanced by finishing fourth.

- KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER

Mitchell rallies

NEW PORT RICHEY - As he caught his breath after winning the 3,200 meters, Mitchell's Jeff Masterson could only wait.

The Mustangs wanted nothing more than to win their first district title at home in the 3A-9 meet. But with only two events remaining Thursday, Mitchell trailed Ridgewood.

"I think they knew if they wanted to beat us they had to get enough of a lead on us, and that's what they did," Masterson said. "We're trying to fight back now."

Mitchell took four of the top six spots in the 3,200 and won the 1,600 relay to complete the comeback, edging Ridgewood 146.5-138 at Mustang Stadium.

Masterson won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 26.78 seconds and the 3,200 in 9:40.64. Eric Evans (400) and Nick Ferrer (800) also won individual titles.

Ferrer, Brandon Steiner, David Stricsek and Evans combined to win the 3,200 relay, and Ferrer, Ryan Dodd, James Campbell and Evans teamed on the winning 1,600 relay squad.

Ridgewood's Adamm Oliver won the shot put (54 feet, 4 inches) and broke his school record in the discus (153-10). Brandon Bittiker (110 hurdles) and Sean Jester (300 hurdles) also won individual titles for Ridgewood.

Central's Kyle Keene won the high jump and triple jump, and teammate Kurt Lee tied his school pole vault record at 14-6.

The top four individuals and relays in each event advanced to the Region 3 meet May9 at the University of South Florida.

- FRANK PASTOR

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