By JAMAL THALJI
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2001
CORAL SPRINGS -- Seven Rivers Christian made a strong showing at Friday's Class A state meet.
But Shawn Allen wishes he could have made it even better.
Allen led the Warriors' small contingent with a silver medal in the high jump, his second consecutive finish as the runner-up in the event.
It was one of the day's most closely-contested battles, with six contestants leaping 6 feet, 4 inches. But when Allen attempted a personal-best leap of 6-6, his right heel grazed the bar and it fell. Maclay's Craig McClure won the state title with the only 6-6 leap. Allen tied Port St. Joe's Kyron Bailey for second.
"I'm disappointed in the fact that I didn't get first," Allen said. "But I'm grateful that I got second."
Wind gusts blew all day, but Allen didn't think it was a factor until he saw the videotaped replay of his jump.
"I didn't think anything of it," he said. "When I went over the bar, I just barely touched it but I didn't think I touched it hard enough to knock if off. When I looked at it again, it looked like maybe the wind might have blown it off after I touched it."
Rachel Ebert is just 14 and an eighth-grader at Seven Rivers, but against more mature competitors in the 1,600 meters, she ran a 5:49.16, six seconds off her best time. Maclay's Kara Newell won the event (5:06.62).
"I just hope I'll be that good in the future some day," Ebert said.
Added her mother Polly: "It's just an honor that she got this far."
The Warriors' Bob Adams turned in a 45-foot, 83/4-inch throw in the shot put, just 11/2 inches short of placing.
"We've only got 60 students and look what we did out here," Warriors coach Scott Lyons said. "I think we did pretty good."
Port St. Joe won the Class A boys team title, scoring 90.5 points. Runner-up Upperroom Christian scored 80. Berkeley Prep scored 24 to finish in a tie for seventh with Miami Washington. Tampa Baptist was 13th with 18 points, Tampa Prep finished 21st with 8 and Seven Rivers was 23th with 7.
The Class A girls champion was Dade Christian, scoring 56 to beat runner-up Pompano Beach by two points. Tampa Prep was 16th with 13 and Berkeley Prep was 26th with 8.