Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
Sports

2013 Hernando Today All-County Boys Track and Field Team

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Athlete of the Year

Bobby Harris

High jump

Springstead - Junior

COMMENTS: Repeat Athlete of the Year and All-County selection . State champion in the high jump, only needing a 6-2 to clinch the title due to brutal weather conditions at Class 3A FHSAA Finals . Tied for second in the state the previous year with a 6-4 . Leaped a county best and school record of 6-9 at Central Invitational on March 19 . Tied school record of 6-6 as a sophomore . Repeated as county champion with a 6-6 . Won district title jumping 6-2 while also taking second in triple jump (41-2) to qualify for regionals in that event, as well . Tied for second at 3A-Region II Meet in high jump with a 6-6; opted not to participate in triple jump that day . Just the second state champion in Springstead history, following Joel Nunag (pole vault, 1989).

QUOTES: "I'd like to say it was unexpected but the type of kid he is, we came into the season knowing he'd do something special. I believed it whole-heartedly because I knew he believed it. ... Last year 6-6 was his white whale; 6-6 was the expectation this year. . . He's a great kid. He worked hard at long and triple jump, too. . I'm so happy and so proud for him."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Quadavis Battle

110-meter hurdles/300-meter hurdles

Central - Senior

COMMENTS: Ran the county's fastest times in both hurdles races at 3A-II Meet, 39.91 to place second in the 300 and 14.88 to take third in the 110 . At states, placed 13th in 110 (15.64) and 15th in 300 (45.21) . Won a district championship in the 110 (15.54) and 300 (41.68) . Also captured county crowns in 110 (15.43) and 300 (40.97) . A three-time regional qualifier, having gone in 110 as a sophomore and 300 as a junior.

QUOTES: "He isn't a natural hurdler; I just think he works extremely hard. Since he works so hard that has made him a good hurdler. . He's very coachable. He's willing to listen to any help he's given. . It definitely helps for our other hurdlers to know hey, if they work hard, they can go just as far."

- Central head coach Tyson Graham

Matt Breida

100 meter

Nature Coast - Senior

COMMENTS: Football Player of the Year a member of All-County 4x100 the previous two seasons . Ran a county-best 10.91 to win the 100 at the 2A-District 6 Meet, and added a district title in the 200 running a 22.95 . Only ran the 100 at regionals and placed third (10.92) . Finished 10th at 2A state meet (11.07) . Also qualified for regionals as a junior in the 100 and 200.

QUOTES: "His year was excellent. With four years of him working the way he worked, I think it definitely paid off for him. He was the MVP of our team and he proved it at practices and meets. . He progressed a lot. It was because he was more comfortable with how he was running. . I think it's speed and also will. Anytime he ever came into a race, it didn't matter who he was running against; he had the state of mind it didn't matter what was on paper, you'd have to run well to beat him. Sometimes you need that confidence to win."

- Nature Coast head coach Ryan Wilson

Kevin Ciccone

1,600 meter

Nature Coast - Senior

COMMENTS: Part of All-County 4x800 the past two seasons . Ran a county-best 4:37.96 to win the 1,600 at 2A-6 Meet, and also placed second that day in the 800 (2:05.06) to make regionals in those two events for second year in a row . At 2A-II Meet, finished sixth in 1,600 (4:38.55) and 15th in 800 (2:16.51) . County champ in the 1,600 with a 4:43.56.

QUOTES: "He definitely surprised me this year. In the past, he was one of those guys who you looked at and said he has a lot of potential. This year he showed it. . He was taking more of a leadership role with the distance kids. He gave his best every day at practice and it showed on the track."

- Nature Coast head coach Ryan Wilson

Connor Foradas

Discus

Hernando - Junior

COMMENTS: Second consecutive All-County nod . Tossed a county-best 137-8 at 2A-Region II Meet, but fell just short of return trip to states placing fifth . Repeat county champ with a 118-7 . Came in fourth in 2A-6 Meet (133-1).

QUOTES: "He had a pretty decent season. He has the attributes to be a good discus thrower. Hopefully next year he's going to states again. . He's 6-7, about 280 (pounds). With that wingspan and that height, if he fine-tunes it, he'll be a pretty decent discus thrower. . He should be in the 160s next year."

- Hernando head coach Rodney Byrd

Ethan Kemp

Shot put

Springstead - Senior

COMMENTS: Set county standard with a 48-3 1/2 at 3A-II Meet, placing fourth . Came in 14th at states behind a 46-3 1/4 toss . Second in district with a 47-4 . First at county meet posting a 47-3 . Rebounded from missing junior year due to knee surgery . Two-time regional qualifier, having made it as a sophomore.

QUOTES: "He came in and set the bar for the team and he set the bar for himself. . Great character kid. Strong as can be. . Ethan, even when he's not at his best, can find a way to battle so he'll be successful."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Bernard Ndedi

400 meter

Springstead - Senior

COMMENTS: Part of All-County 4x400 as a junior . Notched a 51.74, the county's fastest time, to place second at 3A-6 Meet . In second consecutive trip to regionals, finished 14th (52.94).

QUOTES: "Another great kid, top-notch kid in the classroom and on the track. He worked really hard. He's only 16 years old. He's 16 and graduating. . He was a little bit reluctant, he thought of himself as a 100, 200 type. Once he saw what he could do in the 400, he embraced it a little bit more and obviously he's been pretty successful at it. . He's got some speed, which for a race like that you need. And he's got a good stride. He just works on it and works on it."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Abraham Paulding

Long jump/triple jump/200 meter

Springstead - Senior

COMMENTS: All-County selection in long jump in 2012 . A regional qualifier in three individual events, setting county season bests in the triple jump (43-4 1/2) and 200 prelims (22.26) . Placed sixth in triple jump, eighth in 200 (22.60) and ninth in 100 (11.04) . Recorded county's best long jump (22-3) back at season-opening Lecanto Invitational in February . County champ in long jump (20-5 1/2) and triple jump (42-1/2) . At 3A-6 Meet, placed second in 200 (22.40), and fourth in 100 (11.34) and triple jump (40-8) . Just missed qualifying for regionals in four events, taking fifth in 3A-6 in long jump (20-3).

QUOTES: "Abraham was the type of kid who would ask, 'Coach why did you put me in this?' and go out and bust his (butt) anyway. . It's a testament to his desire to be the best every time he's out there. He did all that and was still upset he didn't make out to states."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Dylan Pendlebury

Pole vault

Springstead - Senior

COMMENTS: Two-time All-County pick, having first made it as a sophomore . Captured his first county championship with a 12-0 . Recorded season high of 12-6 at Tampa-King's Charles Johnson Invitational on Feb. 23.

QUOTES: "If you ask Dylan, he'll tell you he had a disappointing year. If you ask me, I've never seen a kid work so hard to overcome trials and tribulations than Dylan Pendlebury. When he had troubles, he didn't walk away from it. . He's a great character kid. He's another kid who's a class act and added a great dynamic to the culture we had on our team."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Ricky Toth

800 meter

Springstead - Senior

COMMENTS: State runner-up, running a 1:57.13 at 3A FHSAA Finals . Finished second at regionals with a county best of 1:56.46 . Won a district title with a 2:00.01 . Took home a county crown in 2:00.76 . Repeat regional qualifier.

QUOTES: "He had the kind of year I expected he was going to have and then even exceeded by expectations. . Going into this year there was no doubt in my mind he'd be a guy in the sub-twos. He knew it, too. . He's a great blend of speed and stamina. Put together with a natural athlete and a willingness to work hard, it created some great results."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Cody Van Natter

3,200 meter

Nature Coast - Senior

COMMENTS: Two-time All-County pick in 3,200, having made it as a sophomore . Also a member of All-County 4x800 as a freshman and sophomore . Clocked at 10:20.41 in 3,200 at Tavares' Bulldog Invitational on March 1 for the county's fastest time . Earned a repeat district title in 3,200 with a 10:41 and placed third in the 1,600 (4:46.31) . Only ran 3,200 at regionals and took 10th (10:40.12) . Two-time regional qualifier in 1,600 and 3,200 . County champ in the 3,200 (10:28.47) . Three-time Boys Cross-County Runner of the Year . Signed with Florida Southern.

QUOTES: "He had a great year. He never complains, always works. He's one to lead by example and not by words. Every year he's gotten close and this year he shined. I do think that had a lot to do with colleges looking at him. . I think how he finishes off races was the difference. In the past, if he was out of a race mentally he shut down. This year at the end of a race, he worked hard and was able to finish races better. . We wanted him to be in a certain place at the end of high school and I think he got there."

- Nature Coast head coach Ryan Wilson

Relays

Toth, Zackary Romblad, James Amodie, Jai Jackson

4x800Springstead

COMMENTS: Combined for a county-best 8:09.71 to finish third at 3A-II Meet and qualify for states . Romblad, a senior, had to miss states due to an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam. He was replaced by Josh Page and the Eagles took 12th (8:22.19) . Original quartet won a district title in 8:14.76 and county crown in 9:07.35 . Initially broke the school record with a second-place 8:14.46 at USF/Steinbrenner Invitational . Juniors Amodie and Jackson return next year.

QUOTES: "We knew we were very, very deep in the 800. It was a top-heavy group, a lot of seniors. . Their goal all year was to break the school record. . We improved time and time again. Put us against somebody else and we'd rise to the occasion."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Amodie, Ndedi, Toth, Romblad

4x400Springstead

COMMENTS: Nearly identical to last season's All-County 4x400, with Amodie replacing the graduated Thomas Watson . Registered the county's fastest run of 3:28.76 en route to finishing sixth in 3A-II . Collected a district championship via a 3:31.05.

QUOTES: "Last year it was Tom Watson, he was the premier 400 runner in the county. But coming in we knew we had a good group. We spent a lot of the year searching for a fourth piece. Eventually, just in time for districts, we found it in James Amodie. We knew he had the potential there. We plugged him in and the rest is history. . It's a group of kids; I had most of them for three years. It's a bittersweet thing to see them leaving. I'm very proud of the work they put in."

- Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Matt Breida, DeShawn Smith, Frank Villaizan, Jacquez Kincade

4x100Nature Coast

COMMENTS: Earned Sharks' second straight state medal in this race, running a county-best 42.37 to take sixth at 2A FHSAA Finals . Three seniors, Breida, Kincade and Villaizan, were all part of All-County 4x100 in 2012, and Breida and Villaizan were members of 2011 All-County 4x100 . The freshman Smith joined a team that finished eighth at states (42.90) a year ago . Placed first at county (43.26), districts (42.65) and regionals (42.59).

QUOTES: "Those guys, they're a special group. They stretched together, they warmed up together. They pretty much do everything together. I think that's what you have to have to have a success 4x1 group. . That kid (Smith) is something else. We already had a bunch of hard-workers. He brought a lot. He brought a competitor and he did not want to be a weak link. He did everything he could to make sure he wasn't. . They never went into a race thinking they were going to lose. They always thought they had a chance to win."

- Nature Coast head coach Ryan Wilson

Coach of the Year

Ryan Wilson

Nature Coast - 7th year

COMMENTS: Second selection in a row, and fifth in the past six seasons . During that span, he has guided the Sharks to four district titles and six county championships . Nature Coast repeated as 2A-6 champ comfortably, outdistancing second-place Mount Dora, 191.5-109.5 . Sharks won all seven regular-season meets . Team ranked sixth in 3A-II (40) and sent two relays plus three individuals to states, where the 4x100 medaled . Has resigned his position to spent more time with his family.

QUOTES: "I give a lot of credit to the kids and the other coaches I have. I'm only a small part of the whole machine we have over here. I don't know how many years I've won it, but every year it's special and not guaranteed. . The goals going in were to repeat as county champs and district champs and we did it. And we did it in a fashion I didn't expect, where we dominated every meet. . The seniors this year were great, as they have always been in the past. The majority were four-year athletes on the track team. They had a certain bond. They cheered each other on. . It (his coaching tenure) was unbelievable really. When I started it was to pick up some extra money, honestly. Then as I learned more about it, I loved the sport. I was fortunate to have great coaches and great kids. . It's (resigning) one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I really thought I'd be doing it for a long time. It was enjoyable to watch the kids go out, work hard in practice, compete and have success. I love doing it, but I need to spend more time with (his) kids."

- Wilson

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