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Chuck MacLeod has a little extra motivation for today's Region 4-3A track and field meet.

The South Fork senior sliced his hand during the long jump at regionals last year - it got caught under his spikes on his landing. He believes the injury kept him from qualifying for state. MacLeod finished seventh, and only the top four advanced.

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I've been thinking about that since last year, MacLeod said. It kept me from advancing because I was afraid I would hurt it again, so it's a big push. I just want to do better this year.

MacLeod fell backward on his final jump last year because he was afraid to put his hands down during the landing and he lost his balance. He didn't get the mark he was hoping for, and his last jump should have been his best, MacLeod said.

The injury hasn't kept MacLeod, who also will compete in the triple jump, from using the same technique on his landing this year, but it is in the back of his mind.

I'm trying to avoid getting my hand underneath there, but I'm trying not to worry about it too much, MacLeod said.

MacLeod also has some local competition pushing him.

He has been working with Martin County senior jumper Richardson Eltis this season, and the two have a friendly rivalry that MacLeod said should help them both at regionals. Eltis won the District 14-3A meet, beating runner-up MacLeod by 1.75 inches, and they could finish 1-2 again, MacLeod said.

I'm hoping he does well, but I'm hoping to beat him, too, MacLeod said. It's a good competition. We both push each other, but we are friendly about it. It's pure competition.

South Fork coach Rita Young said she can see a difference in MacLeod since he has been practicing with Eltis.

Richardson is a hard worker, and he practices a lot and makes Chuck work harder, thinking he has to keep up, Young said. I think it has helped both of them having that competition.

MacLeod felt like he could have done better in the district meet against Eltis, but looks to improve today on his personal best of 21 feet, 10 1/2 inches.

I think I was a little too confident going in because I was just wanting to get back to regionals so much to make up for last year that I took it for granted I would get there, MacLeod said. Seeing what Eltis did will help push me at regionals, and also just wanting that payback for last year.

4-3A: At Piper High School (Sunrise)

When: Noon, today

LOCAL BOYS QUALIFIERS

Martin County: Brian Green (discus), Richardson Eltis (long jump), Jason Forrest (pole vault), 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

Okeechobee: Malcom Bush (200), Lashawn Henderson (200, 400), Bryan Suarez (1,600, 3,200), 4x100 and 4x800 relays.

Sebastian River: Neil King (100), Tony Goetting (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Justin Moree (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Tyrone Collins (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Jayshun Irvin (200, 400), Andre Pound (discus, shot put), Kendrick Washington (shot put), Bernard Taylor (long jump), Tarick Leith (triple jump), Jon Norman (pole vault), 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

South Fork: Adam Jolly (100), Cameron McKinney (high jump), Chuck MacLeod (long jump, triple jump), Alec Ulibarri (pole vault).

Treasure Coast: Brandon Dower (100, 200), 4x100 relay.

LOCAL GIRLS QUALIFIERS

Fort Pierce Westwood: Diamond Lee (100, 200), Julicia Monds (shot put), 4x100 relay.

Martin County: Natalie Savy (3,200), Bethany Holden (high jump, pole vault), Stephanie Howard (high jump, triple jump).

Okeechobee: Latesha Neal (100, 200), Brooke Bowers (discus), Monica Koger (long jump), 4x100 relay.

Sebastian River: Canyon Chambers (300 hurdles), Bricia Santoya (800), Tasha Warren (discus, shot put), Britney Johnson (discus, shot put), Mattisen Lier (high jump), Brittney Williams (triple jump), 4x400 relay.

South Fork: Michelle Cullum (high jump), 4x800 relay.

Treasure Coast: 4x100 relay.

STORY LINE

Sebastian River sent Tasha Warren and Britney Johnson to state in both throwing events last year, and both have a chance to qualify again. Okeechobee's Bryan Suarez is looking for a return trip to state, but looks to bring along some teammates this time. Westwood's 4x100 girls relay team seeks a return to state. Treasure Coast's Brandon Dower will try to become the Titans' first state qualifier.