Countryside girls best Bogie in the West Coast Invitational.
By CHRIS GIRANDOLA
Published April 2, 2005
PINELLAS PARK - The Countryside girls 4x400 team knew it had to do one thing in the final.
Beat Boca Ciega.
Mission accomplished. The last event of the night saw the Cougars team of Katie Kastes, Tiffany Blum, Tracy Bancroft and Lauren Bryant finish third by 17 seconds over Boca Ciega to help propel Countryside to a 76-point victory in the 76th West Coast Invitational.
"Our key was to go all out in the first 200 of the leg and just tough it out at the end," Bancroft said.
Countryside also benefited from the performance of sophomore Nicole Skinner, who posted a meet record of 58.01 in the 400-meter run. She topped the 1980 mark of 58.3 held by Pinellas Park's Gwen Green.
Boca Ciega's Neidre Covington claimed MVP in the field events with a record-breaking leap of 39.08 in the triple jump and first in the long jump. Kerry Allen of St. Petersburg took MVP honors in the running division with first-place finishes in the 3,200 and the 1,600 meters.
On the boys side, Seminole ousted St. Petersburg 118 points to 78. Seminole sophomore runner Aaron Thomas surprised fellow long distance teammate Tony Nicolisi in the 3,200 with a time of 10:09.00. It was Thomas' first win and his personal best.
"Someone yelled to me in the last 200 meters that I could pull it out and I just let mind dictate my body," Thomas said. "But, I'm still in complete shock."
In another surprising event, St. Petersburg sprinter Tyler Hendry (10.73) beat favorite Jason Harris from Clearwater in the 100 meters by .02.
But in the 200, Harris redeemed himself, pulling away from Hendry and second-place finisher Marquin Evans of Gibbs. Evans also was the MVP, winning the 400 and helping his team win the 4x400.