ODA's Ross seekingpair of state crowns
Out-of-Door Academy's Maria Ross will have a chance to win a pair of state championships Thursday after a successful first day at the Class 1A state tennis tournament Wednesday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.
Ross, who is seeded No. 1 in the individual singles bracket, defeated Emily McConnell of Merritt Island Christian 6-2, 6-3 and Caroline Hsu of Saint Andrews 6-0, 6-0. She will meet second-seeded Courtney Meredith of Westminster Academy for the state title at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Ross and doubles partner Mary Ann Rompf won their first match, a 6-0, 6-3 decision over Katie Chastain and Megan Wuthrich of Pensacola Catholic. The Thunder, seeded first, will meet a Fort Myers Canterbury duo in the semifinals.
The Saint Stephen's boys and girls competed in the state team tournament Wednesday.
Only the boys team has players who remain in contention for a title. The No. 1 doubles team of Brian Berdusco and Zachary Bessette and No. 2 doubles team of Russell Berdusco and Graham Conron each won a match Wednesday to advance to the semifinals.
Only Berdusco at No. 2 singles won a singles match, but he was eliminated in the semifinals. The boys scored three points and are in fifth place.
The Falcons girls scored three points and are tied for fourth place in the team standings, but none of their players advanced past Wednesday's play. No. 2 singles player Danning Feng, No. 3 singles player Liyin Xu and No. 5 singles player Mpho Cho won a match before falling in the semifinals. No. 1 singles player Elena Sava and No. 4 singles player Claudia Usubillaga lost in the first round as did the No. 1 doubles team of Cho and Sava and the No. 2 doubles team of Feng and Xu.
Track and field
CLASS 2A-REGION 3 -- Bayshore's Joy Norman won a region championship in the high jump at Tampa Berkeley Prep to advance to next week's state meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Norman jumped 5 feet, 6 inches. She will be joined in Jacksonville by Bruins distance runner Canaan Meester-Kitterman, who finished second in the 1,600-meter run (4:24.98) and the 3,200-meter run (9:57.03).
Two Southeast relay teams also advanced to state with fourth-place finishes. The boys 400 relay team of Jaquan Taylor, Kadarrius Carley, Billy Daniel and Keith Timmons recorded a time of 43.29 seconds. The girls 1,600 relay team of Marline Valcin, Mirline Valcin, Daisha Kelly and Jasmine Williams finished in 4:13.89.
CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 10 -- Big performances from Sophia and Talia Faclo lifted the Lakewood Ranch's girls track and field team to a district title at Clearwater.
Talia took first in the 100 hurdles (15.6), high jump (5-4) and triple jump (36-6) and took second in the long jump to Sophia, who had a distance of 17 feet.
The Mustangs finished with 177 points to cruise past runner-up Sarasota (84 points).
Sophia took second in the 100 dash and ran a leg on Lakewood Ranch's first-place 400 and 1,600 relay teams.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the April 23 Region 3 meet at Seffner Armwood. Other Lakewood Ranch qualifers included Brianna Bujnowski (100 hurdles) and Rheya Jackson, Kailyn Scully and Carolyn Super, who took second, third and fourth in the 400.
Jackson also qualified by taking second in the triple jump and as a member of the 1,600 and 400 relay teams. Scully ran on the Ranch's 3,200 relay team, which was second.
Michelle Last was second in the 800 for Lakewood Ranch.
Palmetto's girls were third with 83 points. Jada Massie (100 dash) and Jessica McKinney (400 dash) took first for the Tigers, while Jermisha Collins qualified in the 100, the long jump and as a member of the 400 relay team, which took second. Massie ran on the team, as well.
Elizabeth Atkinson qualified in the discus and shot put, and the Tigers' 1,600 relay team was fourth.
On the boys side, the Mustangs were second with 87½ points behind champion Sarasota (116).
Couper Braun took first in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles, while Mitch Arnold was third in the 3,200 and Roman Wright took third in the triple jump. Cameron Darby was fourth in the triple jump and Brandon Luckett was fourth in the long jump for Lakewood Ranch, which crowned a champion in the 3,200 relay and saw its 1,600 relay team take second.
The Tigers, seventh with 48 points, earned a first-place finish from its 400 relay team. Lakevin Brice was third in the high jump and Kyle O'Halloran was third in the shot put.
Braden River was ninth with 38 points. Michael Braxton won the 400 for the Pirates, while Victor Storhoff was second in the 800 and Ahmad Dunbar was fourth in the 110 hurdles.
HILLSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE 5, STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA 3 -- The Hawks scored the first five runs and cruised to a win in Suncoast Conference play at Robert C. Wynn Field.
Cory Reid and Sean Trent each had three hits for the Manatees (25-17, 11-12). Danny Lee added an RBI, and starter Devon Carr took the loss.
BRADEN RIVER 14, SOUTHEAST 1 (5) -- Jordan Guerrero pitched a one-hitter as the host Pirates (12-12) earned a run-rule victory.
Daren Ortiz had two hits and scored twice, Matt Tarrill drove in three runs, and Tyler Dyson had two hits for Braden River.
PALM HARBOR UNIVERSITY 12, MANATEE 5 -- Manatee's season ended with a loss in the Class 8A-District 8 semifinals.
-- Herald staff reports