Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bennett a permament part of county tradition

Robby Bennett is a state champion.
A senior at Bradenton Christian, Bennett won the 110-meter hurdles during Friday's Class 1A state track and field championships at Showalter Field in Winter Park.
Manatee County, as well as BCS, has crowned its share of state champions in a plethora of sports. Bennett's case, however, is special.
He missed out on a state berth last year when he tripped while competing at the Region 3 meet. Bennett was third at the time. Top four in each event qualify for state.
So consider 2009 his redemption. And now, when you walk into Bradenton Christian's cozy gymnasium, you'll see Bennett's name on the wall, tacked alongside state champions of the past, as well as the future.
It's a testament to Bennett's fortitude, as well as the depth of athletic talent coursing through Manatee County. Yes, football here is king, and when you think tradition, you think about Manatee's four state football titles, Southeast's two state football titles and Palmetto's state football title in 1975 that went ahead and started it all.
But consider this - spring isn't over, and we've crowned a state track champion and a state weightlifting champion (Braden River's Tevin Bryant.) Let's not forget Friday's Class 3A meet featuring Palmetto's Alexis Love, fresh off winning three events at Thursday's Region 3 meet in Punta Gorda.
Love wants to be a state champion before taking her speed to Murray State University on a track scholarship.
Bennett is a state champion.
He wasn't Manatee County's first.
And he sure won't be its last.

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