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TAMPA - For the fourth year in a row, the Wharton girls emerged victorious at the Nash Higgins Relays held at Leto High on Saturday.
As a bonus, the Wharton boys also won, scraping by Armwood 73-67. The Wildcat girls, who scored 75.5 points, used their depth to dominate the event. Armwood was second with 55.
"A team with a deep roster does well here," Wharton girls coach Wes Newton said. "We have girls who can cover all events, even if we're not the best at all of them."
The event is formatted into a series of relays and field events that benefit the team instead of individuals.
"We really enjoy this meet," Newton said. "I like that it brings the team together."
Wharton's girls had a first- or second-place finish in five of seven distance events.
"We're an endurance team," Newton said. "Our hurdlers and distance runners were great."
The Wildcats did have trouble with the shot put and discus events, but compensated with a first-place finish in the triple jump and a third in the long jump.
"I was a little disappointed with our shot put and discus events," Newton said.
Wharton's boys had more trouble than their counterparts.
Armwood and Brandon constantly stayed on the Wildcats' heels. Wharton was down by two points to Armwood entering the final two events, but a second-place finish in the medley relay sealed the win for Wharton.
"I'm very proud of the way our guys ran," Wharton coach Jason Tyrrell said. "Our distance runners started us out with a bang and pulled it out in the medley. They were amazing."
Wharton was down a few in the field events, an area where Brandon outshined the competition. The Eagles had a first-place finish in the shot put, discus and long jump and finished second in the triple jump.
Despite not having a full roster, the Wildcats secured at least an eighth-place finish in every event.
"We knew we were going to be down a couple guys in our field events," Tyrrell said. "This just proves that we have the making of a great team by having the ability to overcome that."