By BOB PUTNAM, ROD GIPSON, FRANK PASTOR, JEREMY RASMUSSEN, Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001
BRADENTON -- In two previous meetings this season, Jesuit has held off a charge by St. Petersburg Catholic. Thursday's Class 2A, Region 3 meet was no different.
Only this time, the Tigers were holding off the Barons for second place. Lake Wales won convincingly with 113 points. Jesuit was runner-up with 66 points, five ahead of St. Petersburg Catholic.
Jesuit winners were Eric Papp in the discus (146-4) and Eric Egun in the triple jump (44-2). Colin Strickland took second in the 3,200, and the 4x800 team took second.
Jesuit had less winners than the Barons but was able to hang on to second thanks to its depth. St. Petersburg Catholic was hurt when Matt Murdock aggravated a hamstring injury and had to pull out of the 200 and 400.
Host Bradenton Lakewood Ranch dominated the girls field with 127 points. Academy of the Holy Names finished with 32 points, the highest among Hillsborough County schools.
The Jaguars were led by Sara Petrick who won the 1,600, took third in the 800 and fourth in the 3,200. Tampa Catholic's Glenna Dickman was second in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800. -- BOB PUTNAM
TAMPA -- Throughout the regular season, Wharton established itself as a power with its boys and girls teams. As host of the Class 4A, District 5 meet, the Wildcats weren't particularly hospitable as both squads routed the competition.
However, the River Ridge boys didn't exactly roll over.
The Knights, behind Jon Gilmore's first-place long jump, first-place shot put and strong showing in the discus (second), River Ridge was able to solidify second.
The Wildcat boys, behind the strength of several first-place finishes in the running events, including its 3,200-meter relay team, won the district with 189 points. River Ridge was second with 91, followed by Hillsborough (83), Gaither (76), Sickles (55) and Palm Harbor University (40).
On the girls side, the victory was equally as impressive.
Led by victories from Derike Folks (shot put), Kendra Smith (long jump, high jump) and a third-place finish from Natalie Moser in the pole vault, the Wildcats established an early lead and cruised to the victory.
The Wharton girls totaled 158 points to outdistance second-place Gaither by 65. Hillsborough was third with 83 followed by Palm Harbor U. (72), Sickles (70) and River Ridge (48).
The Wharton boys put an exclamation mark on the evening in the final race with a comeback win in the 1,600 relay, finishing in 3:27.40 to beat Palm Harbor by 11 seconds. -- ROD GIPSON
GIBSONTON -- Running relatively pain-free for the first time in months, Dee Dee Haefling won two events Thursday to lead the Riverview girls to the Class 3A, District 12 championship.
Haefling, bothered by tendinitis in her knee since the middle of cross country season, completed the 1,600- (5:20.33) and 3,200-meter runs (11:38.54) in season-best times.
She finished 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Lindsay Moffenbier of East Bay in the 1,600 and 34 seconds ahead of her rival in the 3,200.
"My coaches kept bothering me about Lindsay," Haefling said. "So I said, "You know what? I've just got to beat her.' "
Jetrice Barnes set a personal record in the triple jump (33 feet), Janell Purse cleared 100 feet (103-8) in the discus for the first time this season and Ashell Wagner qualified for regionals in three events (100, 200 and 400 relay), as Riverview finished 148.5 points ahead of second-place Brandon.
Armwood won the boys title, thanks to 84.5 points in field events. Charles Sallet won a second district title in a row in the shot put, and teammate Keith Watts placed first in the discus for the second time in three years.
"It feels great, since we lost the Western Conference by one point to Riverview," Armwood coach Matt Thompson said. "It's good to come back on their track and get the district title."
Andrew Culclasure won three events (800, 1,600, 3,200) for second-place Riverview.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the regional tournament May 3 at Sarasota Booker. -- FRANK PASTOR
TAMPA -- King won the boys district title Thursday for the first time in more than 25 years.
The Lions took the title at Leto despite several setbacks. They lost state-ranked 100 sprinter Jamal Dupearl to a false start in the preliminaries. They also had a pole vaulter ejected for cursing after a miss.
Bruce Chapman led the way for the Lions with a win in the 800. He also led King's winning 4x800 and 4x400 relays. Phillip Watson placed second in the 800 and also ran on the winning relay teams.
Brandon Heard won the triple jump and second in the 100 and 200. Dupearl got third in the 200.
In the girls meet, Plant used the strength of its distance running to cruise to the title. -- JEREMY RASMUSSEN
The Plant City girls team placed fifth Thursday at Denison Stadium. Lake Region won the meet with 161 points, 115 ahead of the Raiders.
Winter Haven won the boys meet with 1641/2 points. Plant City finished seventh with 10. -- TIMES STAFF