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Bulldogs crash the Bucs' party

Zephyrhills sweeps the team titles, picking up quite a few individual wins along the way, at the Berkeley Prep Invitational.

By ROD GIPSON
Published March 12, 2006


TAMPA - Competing at the Berkeley Prep Invitational for the first time as a new district foe of the Bucs, Zephyrhills' boys and girls made themselves right at home Saturday.

Zephyrhills captured both team titles comfortably by dominating the sprint and relay events.

The Bulldog boys claimed first with 117.5 points, followed by host Berkeley Prep at 81 and Robinson at 78. Keswick Christian was fourth with 60, followed by Calvary Christian (51.5) and Tampa Catholic (49).

The Zephyrhills girls enjoyed an even greater margin of victory, outscoring second-place Shorecrest Prep 182-132. Berkeley Prep was third (91), followed by Fort Myers Canterbury (49.5), Keswick Christian (45) and Northside Christian (34).

The Bulldog girls won the opening two events and never looked back. Kristen Vollmer captured first in the 100 meters (13.17 seconds) while Allison Ramirez won the 200 (27.11). Teammate Aljenae Black was second in both events. Zephyrhills' Marta Heidenreich won the 100 (16.41) and 300 hurdles (51.37) as the Bulldogs girls captured seven events.

Shorecrest's Samantha Specht performed well, taking first in the 400 meters (59.48) and triple jump (33-10.75). The Chargers, who won a total of five events, also benefited from Nia Berthelot, who won the high jump, and Pavandeep Birk, the 800 winner. Seventh-grader Sarah Evans was impressive in winning the 3,200 run for Shorecrest in 12:52.29, outdistancing her closest competition by a full 12 seconds.

On the boys' side, Zephyrhills' Bryan Thomas (first in the long jump and 100 meters) and Jason Wells (first in the 200 and second in the 100) led the Bulldogs. Their wins, combined with a Bulldogs victory in the 4x100 meter relay, was more than enough to lift Zephyrhills past Berkeley Prep.

Shorecrest's JJ Richardson captured the 300 hurdles while Calvary Christian's Joe Catley won both the 1,600 and 3,200 run. Berkeley Prep got a standout performance in the 800 from Lars Steier, who posted a 2:06.52 time to just top Indian Rock Christian's Matt Kotchman's 2:06.80.

"I think we did well on both sides," Berkeley Prep coach Kristin McWilliams said. "A lot of athletes were having trouble with the heat and we did well despite having some sick athletes who couldn't run. And for competing against a lot of schools we haven't faced before, we did well."