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Thursday track meets

By BOB PUTNAM

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 25, 2001


CLASS 2A, REGION 3 at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch

SCHEDULE: Field events start at 1 p.m., the running preliminaries at 4, and the running finals at 7.

TEAMS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE: Boys -- St. Petersburg Catholic won a district title for the second year in row and now will try to improve on its fifth-place showing at regionals last year. Girls -- Dunedin has renewed confidence after winning the district title last week.

POTENTIAL SLEEPERS: Boys -- Led by Kevin Marion and Marlon Flakes, Dixie Hollins has two stars to stay in contention. Girls -- Clearwater Central Catholic has the runners in the intermediate races to stay in contention.

PLAYERS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Boys -- Marion long jumped 24 feet, 1 inch, won the 200 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay at districts. Girls -- Clearwater Central Catholic's Jessica Hallgren won the 200, 400 and was fourth in the long jump.

DID YOU KNOW? No boys or girls team from Pinellas County won a regional title in Class 2A last season.

CLASS A, REGION 3 at Payne Stewart Complex (Orlando)

SCHEDULE: Field events start at 1 p.m., the running preliminaries at 4, and the running finals at 7.

TEAMS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE: Boys -- Admiral Farragut has won districts two years in a row and has depth in the field events and hurdles. Girls -- Shorecrest won the district title last week, beating out traditional power Northside Christian.

POTENTIAL SLEEPERS: Boys -- The Blue Jackets won districts, but Shorecrest and Keswick Christian had more individual winners, which should help them at regionals. Girls -- Northside Christian should still be smarting after losing the district title, and Keswick Christian still has Christa Benton.

PLAYERS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Boys -- Keswick Christian's Reed Rudge has done well in his first season. He won the long jump, triple jump and high jump at districts, recording personal bests in all three. Girls -- Benton was beaten in the 1,600 by Indian Rocks Christian's Melissa Kotchman at districts, but in her signature event, the 3,200, Benton won by more than 40 seconds. DID YOU KNOW? There are two state champs in the distance events, Berkeley Prep's Rolf Steier and Benton. Steier won the 1,600 and 3,200 last year. Benton won the 3,200.

CLASS 4A, DISTRICT 5 at Wharton

SCHEDULE: Field events start at 1 p.m., the running preliminaries at 4, and the running finals at 7.

TEAMS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE: Boys -- Wharton has its eyes trained on a state title and won the Ed Wells/Kiwanis Invitational earlier this season. Girls -- The Wildcats are equally strong on the girls side and won the Seminole Rotary in March.

POTENTIAL SLEEPERS: Boys -- Hillsborough traditionally has been a power and is good in the sprints. Girls -- Hillsborough again has good sprinters while Palm Harbor U. can contend with its distance runners.

PLAYERS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Boys -- Dwight Ellick was a New York state champion in the 100 before moving to Wharton for his senior year. He was MVP of the Ed Wells/Kiwanis Invitational. Girls -- Wharton's Kendra Smith won the 100 and 300 hurdles and the triple jump to help the Wildcats win the Western Conference title.

DID YOU KNOW? Wharton's boys and girls have swept three meets this season.

CLASS 3A, DISTRICT 10 at Seminole

SCHEDULE: Field events start at 1 p.m., the running preliminaries at 4, and the running finals at 7.

TEAMS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE: Boys -- Largo has won the two big meets this season, including beating Lakewood for the West Coast Invitational last week. Girls -- Seminole got past Lakewood for the conference title and now will try to do the same at districts.

POTENTIAL SLEEPERS: Boys -- Lakewood has stars in Dermillo Wise and Martel Mott to contend. Girls -- Again, don't count out the Spartans even though they lack depth.

PLAYERS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Boys -- Wise should shine in the field events while Largo's Danny Bauer, the running MVP at the West Coast, should dominate in the distance events. Girls -- Lakewood's Sharneka Brown has been the leader of her team and does well in the sprints and field events. Largo's Deanna Drugash, a freshman, was running event MVP at West Coast.

DID YOU KNOW? St. Petersburg's Ashlee Kidd was injured at the West Coast meet and is not participating in the 200, the event she took sixth in at state last season.- Compiled by Bob Putnam.

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