Local Sports

Streaks ready for regionals

The Sebring track and field team will look to build on last week’s success when the Class 3A-Region 2 meet takes place on Wednesday at Leto High School in Tampa. The Sebring boys captured the Class 3A-District 7 team title, while the girls team finished a solid third against some top-notch competition. The Blue Streaks are going to run into even tougher competition on Wednesday, as the top four finishers from districts No. 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be lumped together in Region 2 meet. There are 43 schools in the region. Using the same format as is used at the district meet, the top four finishers at regionals will advance to the state meet, while will be held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville on May 3. On the boys side, Jordyn Blount will be competing in the high jump after clearing 6-feet-0 at districts. There are six competitors who cleared 6-2 or better in their respective districts meets.
Byron Cobb figures to be in the battle in the pole vault after going 12-0 at districts. There is one vaulter who cleared 13-6 at districts and after that there are four others who cleared 12-0. Gary DeMarest will enter as the region’s top seed in the discus after his throw of 146-10 1/2 at districts. In the shot put, DeMarest placed second in the shot put at districts with a distance of 44-2 1/2, but 11 of the 12 athletes from the other three districts have higher seeding marks. The boys 3,200-meter relay team of Eric Foster, Damian Foster, Jose Andrew Rivera and Greg Rawlings placed third at districts with a time of 8:45.76 and will be seeded No. 15 at regionals. Brian Dixon will be seeded eighth in the 100 (11.05) and seventh in the 200 (22.35) and is capable of pulling a minor upset and grabbing a top four spot. Eric Foster won the 1,600 at districts in a time of 4:40.55 and will run against some tough foes, including a talented quartet from George Steinbrenner who ran as a pack at districts and all finished between 4:38.12 and 4:38.19. All four runners broke 4:30 during the season. Eric Foster also placed second in the 3,200 with a time of 10:33.21 to reach regionals. On the girls side, Shalontay Rose moved forward in both the high jump and the long jump. Rose cleared 5-0 and there are five who cleared 5-4, but anything can happen in the event. Things will be tough in the long jump, where Rose had a district leap of 15-9 3/4 and District 6 has four jumpers who exceed 17-4 at districts. In the pole vault, Kiley Blake Fort looks for a return to state after winning the district meet. Her district height was 8-6, although she went 10-6 during the season. There were four vaulters who cleared 9-0 at districts. Fort will be joined by fellow Blue Streak Alex Blackman, who cleared 7-6 and placed in a tie for third at districts. Destiny McCartney placed third at districts with a time of 17.11 in the 100 hurdles and will be seeded 12th. There will be plenty of attention on the 800 and 1,600, where the Blue Streaks’ tandem of Taylor Tubbs and Hannah Schroeder will be competing. Tubbs won both events at districts, while Schroeder was second in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800. In the 800, Tubbs finished in 2:20.62, which was slightly slower than the 2:18.26 posted by Gaither’s Rachel Cazares, although Tubbs did run a 2:17.71 earlier in the year. King’s Rachel Favors (2:20.89) could make her presence known. Wiregrass Ranch’s Nikita Shah ran a 5:05.31 in the 1,600 at districts, which was slightly faster than Tubbs’ 5:06.63, but Tubbs was just cruising. Tubbs’ 4:54.50 earlier in the year was one of the top marks in the country. The meet will be run alongside the Class 4A-Region 2 meet.