TAMPA - After earning runners-up status last year, the Hillsborough boys track and field team was out to prove something at Saturday's Manuel-Griffin-Fraundorfer Relays at Middleton High. This is the one meet that escaped the Terriers, and despite the county championships looming, they were out to win it.
Led by their strong sprinting corps, the Terriers finally got some closure by capturing the team title Saturday with 79 points. But Hillsborough coach Joe Sipp said Saturday's meet was business as usual for the Terriers.
"We wanted to win, but also we want to win the county championships too, and we know that's going to be hard to do," Sipp said. "I think we did what we had to do today - we won, and we've just got to concentrate on the next meet now."
The mandatory annual relay meet was scheduled just three days before the Vernon Korhn county championships. As a result, some schools arrived with just the minimum number of athletes required.
Gaither's girls took the team title Saturday with 99 points while overcoming a different distraction - the prom.
"It's a big meet in the county, and these are the meets where the kids have fun," said Gaither coach Ladd Baldwin. "I said 'Let's go, let's have fun, I know some of you have appointments,' but if I let one kid think its OK to go, then all of them will bail out."
Gaither fared well on the track, taking the sprint medley relay, the shuttle hurdle relay and finishing second in both the 4x880 relay and distance medley.
Gaither's girls also cleaned up in the field, winning the high jump, the long jump and the triple jump relay. Morgan Scherschel won the pole vault for the Cowboys with a height of 9 feet, 6 inches.
The Brandon girls finished second as a team with 79.5 points, while Hillsborough was third with 48.
The Hillsborough boys won both the 440-yard relay and 880 relay, as well as the team high jump, long jump and discus throw. With only a few days remaining, the Terriers hope to carry the momentum from this victory heading into Tuesday's county championships.
FSU RELAYS: Berkeley Prep senior Page Price won the girls' 1,600-meter run at Saturday's FSU relays in Tallahassee in 5:16.72. In the boys' 1,600, Jesuit's Connor Revord was second (4:18.72) while Berkeley senior Richard Blake was third in a personal best (4:20.49).
Staff writer Bill Ward