St. Pete senior likes her medal chances in the 200 and 400 at weekend's 4A meet.
By BOB PUTNAM
Published May 16, 2003
As a student in the international baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg, Ashlee Kidd spent many nights the past four years laboring over math equations and burying her nose in classic books.
Wednesday the senior's rigorous academic load came to an end when she completed the last of her two-hour written exams.
"The exams were actually pretty easy," Kidd said. "It's nice to finally get them out of the way."
Now Kidd can focus on passing one more test before she dons her cap and gown.
The student-athlete hopes to win her first state titles in the 200 and 400 meters when she competes in Saturday's Class 4A meet at the University of Florida's Percy Beard Stadium.
"I think I have a chance in both events," she said.
Kidd's confidence stems from her performance. She is undefeated in both events and has earned running MVP honors at the Seminole Rotary and the West Coast Invitational.
At last week's region meet she ran the 200 in 24.81 seconds and the 400 in 55.90. Both times rank among the top four in her events.
"I'm seeded third in the 200 and fourth in the 400, but my times are real close to the leaders," Kidd said. "I'm only a second or two behind. That's encouraging because I haven't been pushed this season and I know I can run faster."
Joining Kidd in her state title quest are teammates Kerry Allen and Thomas Hendry.
Allen, a freshman, owns the top seed in the 3,200 based on the personal best 11 minutes, 5.59 seconds she ran to win last week's region meet. What Allen doesn't have is the fastest time. That belongs to Oveido's Jenny Barringer, a sophomore who is one of two girls to break the 11 minute mark. Nicole Schappert of Pope John Paul II is the other.
Barringer's time of 10:49.37 is 15 seconds faster than Allen's.
"I know it's going to be hard to win," said Allen, who dropped out of the 1,600 last week to concentrate on the 3,200. "I hope I can stay with (Barringer). My goal is to run under 11 minutes."
Hendry, a senior pole vaulter, is the state contender. He cleared 14 feet, 3 inches in a dual meet last month, breaking a school record that stood for 38 years.
The vault was his season best and ranks second among all 4A competitors behind Orlando Oak Ridge's, who went 15 feet at the UIL Track Championships at the University of Texas in Austin.