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By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 2, 2001
Class 4A, District 5
TEAMS: Gaither, Hillsborough, Palm Harbor University, River Ridge, Sickles, Wharton.
THE SKINNY: The Hurricanes, the lone county team representing the district, always have a lot of athletes, especially in distance events. They need to turn those into points.
TEAMS: Boca Ciega, Clearwater, Gibbs, Lakewood, Largo, Northeast, Pinellas Park, Seminole, St. Petersburg.
THE SKINNY: Lakewood coach Eileen Givens never has lost a district title in her eight years there. Her team will have to work hard to keep the streak alive. Gibbs, thanks to its sprinters, could unseat the Spartans. So could Seminole, Largo and Clearwater.
TEAMS: Countryside, East Lake, Gulf, Hudson, Land O'Lakes, Ridgewood, Springstead, Land O'Lakes.
THE SKINNY: After being in Class 4A the past two seasons, East Lake gets a break. But not much of one as the Pasco county schools always field tough teams in this district. The Eagles should stay competitive.
TEAMS: Clearwater Central Catholic, Dixie Hollins, Dunedin, Osceola, St. Petersburg Catholic, Tarpon Springs.
THE SKINNY: The Marauders dominated this district and should do so again against mostly non-descript competition.
TEAMS: Admiral Farragut Academy, Berkeley Prep, Calvary Christian, Indian Rocks Christian, Keswick Christian, Northside Christian, Pinellas HEAT, Seminole Presbyterian, Shorecrest, Riverhills Christian, Tampa Baptist, Tampa Prep.
THE SKINNY: Keswick Christian lost valuable leadership in the field events because Alyssa Haigh graduated. But the Crusaders still have Christa Benton to offset that loss. Challenging Keswick will be Shorecrest.
ADMISSION: Most schools charge $3.
REGULAR SEASON: Practice officially began Jan. 15 for Class A and 2A and Jan. 22 for Class 3A and 4A. The first regular season meet for Class A and 2A is Tuesday. The first regular season meet for 3A and 4A is Feb. 13. The regular season ends April 17 for Class A and 2A and April 24 for 3A and 4A.
KEY DATES: March 3 -- Osceola Relays; March 16 -- Pinellas Park Invitational; March 27 -- Seminole Rotary (girls); March 29-31 -- Florida Relays; April 5 -- PCAC meet at Clearwater.
TEAMS TO WATCH: East Lake, Gibbs, Lakewood, Largo, Seminole.
POST-SEASON: The district meets for Class A and 2A are April 16-21. The district meets for 3A and 4A are April 23-28. The top four in each event at districts advance to regionals, which will be April 26 or 27 for A and 2A and May 3 or 4 for 3A and 4A. The top four in each event at regionals advance to state, which will be May 4 (A), May 5 (2A), May 11 (3A) and May 12 (4A). All will be at the University of Florida.
-- Compiled by BOB PUTNAM.