By Kyle LoJacono
The Steinbrenner girls track and field team won its second straight district championship April 19 at Gaither.
The Warriors scored 201.5 points at the Class 3A-District 8 meet, besting runner-up Hillsborough by 66 and third-place Gaither by 123.5.
“We have a group of hard-working kids that just get it done,” said Steinbrenner girls coach Ladd Baldwin. “We’ve done a good job at Steinbrenner spreading kids out and finding the right places for them. If we’re not winning, we’re battling.”
Senior Alexis Wright, who attended Gaither as a freshman, set the tone for the Warriors, winning all three of her individual events. She ran the 100- and 300-meter hurdles in 14.64 seconds and 47.22, respectively, and claimed the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet 6 inches.
“It was a great opportunity to do what I know I’m capable of doing and run on Gaither’s track for the last time,” Wright said. “I started out there, and finishing my district meet there going 3 for 3 was an amazing feeling. A lot of big things happened there. I had the opportunity to PR in the 100 hurdles.”
Wright added that the sizable win at the 3A level validates where the third-year program is after claiming a district title in 2A a year ago.
“It’s great to let people know that just because we’re new doesn’t mean we can’t compete with the best of the best,” said Wright, who won the 100 hurdles state title last year. “It was a very good defining moment not only for track and not only for our sports, but for Steinbrenner as a whole. We have the resources, we have the people and we have the determination to be a school that can do big things in the state of Florida.”
Wright will be joined at regionals with fellow triple jumper Jessica Brewer, who finished fourth (34-00.5), and also won the long jump with a 16-07.5. The Warriors also got a title from Sarah Eppler for clearing 8-06 in the pole vault.
Steinbrenner also got a boost from the Garris twins Lauren and Salina, who finished second and third in the 1,600 in 5:39.61 and 5:40.3, respectively. Lauren was also runner-up in the 3,200 (12:38.54), and the sisters were half of the 4×800 relay team that placed No. 2 (10:08.25).
Jessica Weatherman recorded a 109-08 to finish as the discus runner-up, while Warriors teammate Melissa Stankovich was third (107-04).
Gaither’s lone championship came from Kiana Bryant, who won the 100 in 12.32. She also finished as the 200 runner-up in 25.37.
Fellow Cowboy Rachel Cazares took second in the 800 (2:21.21), while Ariel Moore (15.63) and Jennifer Kingsley (16.24) finished second and third in the 100 hurdles, respectively. Moore was also runner-up in the 300 hurdles (48.06).
The Steinbrenner boys finished third with 102 points, 41 off Jefferson’s championship pace. The Cowboys were fifth with 70.
Preston West won the pole vault for the Warriors by posting 13, 2-06 better than runner-up Ryan Hagen from Gaither.
Steinbrenner’s Tyler and Zach Lima took first and third in the 3,200 in 9:54.75 and 10:03.63, respectively. The twins are also on the 4×800 relay team that claimed district gold.
The Cowboys shined in the hurdles. Senior Paul Barrett won the 300 (38.43) while taking second in the high jump (6-02). Freshman Samson Moore claimed the 110 (14.39) and was runner-up in the 400 (49.42).
The top four in each event advance to regionals at Leto April 25 starting at noon.
–Results as recorded by the Florida High School Athletic Association
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.