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Gators suspend hurdler Pestana

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 10, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Hurdler Godfrey Pestana, who qualified for his first state meet at Thursday's regional, has been suspended from the Land O'Lakes team for violating unspecified school rules. He will miss Friday's Class 3A state championships at Coral Springs.

Student confidentiality rules prohibit school officials from commenting on disciplinary issues. Gators coach Al Claggett also wouldn't comment on the matter. Pestana could not be reached for comment.

Pestana has been the county's top hurdler this season, winning the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles at the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet. He also won district titles in both events and set a school record in the 110 with a time of 14.49 seconds. His best time in the 300 is 39.45.

The 5-foot-11, 161-pound senior has also been the county's top football player the past two seasons and is the school's all-time leading rusher with 4,057 yards.

The two-time conference offensive player of the year rushed 243 times for 1,631 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.

He also caught 11 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown and twice has been named the Times Pasco County Offensive Player of the Year.

Pestana has signed a scholarship to play tailback for the University of Virginia-College at Wise.

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