Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Sports

2013 Hernando Today All-County Girls Track and Field Team

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Athlete of the Year

Wilena Little

Long jump/100 meter/400 meter/200 meter

Springstead - Junior

COMMENTS: Repeat Athlete of the Year, three-time All-County selection . Collected first state medal, placing fourth in the long jump at the Class 3A FHSAA Finals with a leap of 17-9 3/4 . Advanced to states the previous two years in the 200 . Posted the county's finest performance in the long jump with an 18-4 at both the 3A-District 6 and Region II meets, finishing in first place each time . Repeated as county champion in the long jump (16-4 1/2) and 400 (county season-best 58.29), and claimed a three-peat in the 100 (county season-best 12.47) and 200 (25.49) . Repeat district champ in the 200 behind a 25.60 . Ran the county's fastest time in regional prelim, 24.97 . Placed sixth in 3A-II final with a 25.09, victimized by an ultracompetitive region . Her 200 time at regionals was faster than seven state qualifiers . In the 400, took third in district (1:02.95) and seventh in regional prelim (59.81) before recording a DNF in regional final.

QUOTES: "She had a pretty dang good year. She got a little better in everything. She got a lot better in the long jump. She worked hard for this. . I think (the state medal) was a big deal. It sort of takes a little pressure off her. She wanted to be a little bit higher, but she's getting better and better in the long jump. Three seniors beat her. She's got a shot at a state championship next year."

- Springstead head coach Joel Myers

Erin Blackwell

800 meter

Springstead - Sophomore

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County selection . Paced county for second year in a row in the 800, running a 2:22.73 to take fourth at the 3A-II Meet . Despite battling leg injuries, went to states in 800 once again, placing 13th with a time of 2:26.24 . Earned a repeat county crown posting a 2:28.88 . Came in second at 3A-6 Meet (2:25.34).

QUOTES: "She wasn't quite as good as her freshman year, but she was injured almost the whole year. . She's got to give herself a chance to rest and she's got to get stronger. She's just pure guts. That girl will not be denied. . She did not have a great state meet, but hey, she made it. In our region, that's saying something."

- Springstead head coach Joel Myers

Crystal Burchhardt

1,600 meter

Nature Coast - Junior

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County selection . Ran the county's fastest time, 5:33.94, at Tavares' Bulldog Invitational on March 1 . Returned to that same track for 2A-6 Meet and finished second with a 5:38.74 . Advanced to regionals in that race for a second year in a row, plus the 3,200 this time behind a third-place 12:32.31 at districts . Missed qualifying for states in 3,200 by one place, taking fifth at 2A-II Meet in 12:34.30 . Took seventh at regionals in 1,600 (5:52.90).

QUOTES: "We still aren't aware of what Crystal is capable of because she's always dealing with injuries. She had a good year. She went through a little bit of adversity like we all do, but she had a good year. . A lot, I think, is just athletic ability. She's just a gifted runner. She does put her time in. . She's not afraid to go out of her comfort zone in the middle of a race. She'll push for that extra gear and see if she has it."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Bronte Cameron

100-meter hurdles/300-meter hurdles

Nature Coast - Sophomore

COMMENTS: Second straight All-County nod . Once again paced the county in both hurdles races, with a best of 16.73 in the 100 at the county meet and 49.81 in the 300 during the 2A-II prelims . Repeated as county champ in 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles (50.60) . Also a repeat district champ in the 100 hurdles (16.90) and added a third in the 300 hurdles (50.05) to make regionals in both events for the second season in a row . Missed out on a return trip to states when she injured her hamstring during the 2A-II 100 hurdles final.

QUOTES: "She was our consistency all year long. She works hard in practice. It ended bad with her injury at regionals. I'm confident she'd have been top four and a two-time state qualifier. . Hurdles are all about form. She already has that. She needs to continue to work on her speed but she already does that. The 100 hurdles is more of her strength than the 300. For her to push to the next level, she needs to work on her sprint."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Aysha McCants

Triple jump/Pole vault

Central - Junior

COMMENTS: Made All-County last season as part of Nature Coast's 4x100 relay . This season after joining Lady Bears, paced the county in the triple jump with a fifth-place 33-2 in 3A-6 Meet . Also tied for the county's best pole vault, clearing the bar at 8-0 during the Weeki Wachee Invitational in February . Placed second at the county meet in three events - high jump (4-8), long jump (15-2 1/2) and triple jump (32-1 3/4).

QUOTES: "She's an all-around athlete. We could put her in anything under 800 meters and she was going to score points for us. It's just a matter of where we put her. . This is the first time she's ever done pole vault, her very first meet she went eight feet. . She can do long jump, triple jump, high jump, run sprints. Her future is in the heptathlon. . It was a little bit of a shock to her the difference between 2A and 3A coming from Nature Coast. But I think she stepped up to the challenge and did well."

- Central coach Tyson Graham

Angela Morton

Pole vault

Springstead - Junior

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County pick, having paced the county in this same event last year . Tied for county's highest vault, 8-0, which she achieved at the Central Invitational on March 19 . Collected second straight county title with a 7-6 at county meet . Came in fifth in 3A-6, also with a 7-6.

QUOTES: "She worked hard in pole vault trying to get the school record (8-0). She's tied it twice now. . She could be pretty good next year."

- Springstead head coach Joel Myers

Amber Philpott

3,200Springstead - Freshman

COMMENTS: Ran a county-best 11:55.18 in 3A-II Meet to finish fifth . Placed fourth in 3A-6 with a 12:03.66 . County champion in 3,200 (12:30.23) and 1,600 (5:47.39) . Bounced back after missing all of cross-country season due to illness.

QUOTES: "She was a pleasant surprise. She's going to be a good one, I think. She still doesn't now how fast she can be. . She had a tremendous year. Her times kept coming down as the year went on. There's no telling what she can do. . She likes to run. That's her thing. I have to sit on her a little bit to keep her from running. She's at her happiest when she's on an eight- or nine-mile run."

- Springstead head coach Joel Myers

Lauren Plaugher

Discus

Hernando - Sophomore

COMMENTS: Posted a personal record and county high with a 116-9 toss at the 2A FHSAA Finals, earning a state medal by finishing third, the highest state placing of any female in the county . Won the county meet with a 95-8 and 2A-6 Meet with a 113-10 . Placed third in 2A-II with a 108-2.

QUOTES: "Lauren is amazing. At the start of last year she came out to track just because of one of her friends. She was there to socialize with friends. She never expected to reach this level. . Her goal going into states was to grab seventh or eighth. When she actually reached the level of third place, it blew her mind. . When the pressure is on, she's calm and pulls it out."

- Hernando head coach Shawanda McCullough

Ebone Plummer

Shot put

Hernando - Senior

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County selection . Captured third district title in four seasons and clinched her fourth regional trip with a 35-9 1/2 toss at 2A-6 Meet . Threw a county-best 37-4 to place third at 2A-II Meet and earn first state berth . Came in sixth at 2A FHSAA Finals with a 37-1/4 to garner a state medal . Won second straight county crown with a throw of 35-3/4.

QUOTES: "She redoubled her efforts and was determined to go to states. She worked hard and did what she needed to do. . This season she actually put the work into it and concentrated on perfecting her slide. That made a difference. . Not many people make it to that level. For her to go out saying she's one of the best in the state, it's amazing."

- Hernando head coach Shawanda McCullough

Amelia Schmit

Pole vault

Nature Coast - Freshman

COMMENTS: Tied for county's top performance thanks to an 8-0 at Tavares' Bulldog Invitational on March 1 . Placed second at the county meet with a 6-6 and came in second in 3,200 (13:47.52).

QUOTES: "She's a girl that we still don't know what her limits are, what her strengths are. . You can tell she's not nervous when it comes to pole vault. She likes to attack it."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Zavana Schmit

High jump

Nature Coast - Junior

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County pick . Cleared 4-10 at Weeki Wachee Invitational on Feb. 22 for county's finest performance . Tied for second in 2A-6 with a 4-8 to reach regionals for the second year in a row . Tied for 12th at 2A-II Meet (4-6) . Tied for second at the county meet (4-8), and added a second in the 100 hurdles (17.50), a third in the triple jump (31-11 1/2) and a third in the 300 hurdles (56.63).

QUOTES: "She had a great year. . I think her triple jump helps (on high jump). I think her hurdle helps. She's got some height. That helps her. I think it's her well-rounded athletic ability. . Next year I look for her to be a girl we'll continue to lean on."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Relays

Brianna Horn, Burchhardt, Alyssa DeLigio, Alexa Lacy

4x800 meter

Nature Coast

COMMENTS: Ran a county-best 10:20.02 at the Bulldog Invitational . Finished second in the district (10:29.91) and fourth in the region (10:21.37) . At states, Brielle Perlingieri replaced an injured Horn and the Lady Sharks placed 14th in 10:26.39 . With three juniors plus the freshman Lacy, the team should stay intact for 2014.

QUOTES: "All four of them are pretty strong. They're all within five seconds of each other. We really don't have what you'd call a weak leg."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Alicia Gentz, Ashley Gentz, Briana Baugher, Ashley Chevalier

4x100 meter

Nature Coast

COMMENTS: Nearly the same four as last year's All-County 4x100, with freshman Ashley Gentz replacing McCants . Rest of the team was comprised of two seniors (Baugher and Chevalier) and a junior (Alicia Gentz) . Ran a county-best 49.84 to place fifth at 2A-II Meet, one spot short of states . Won a county title (50.82) and a district crown (50.96).

QUOTES: "They were fun to watch. They're fast. They work on their handoffs. There was one meet where they dropped the baton and after that they were good all year. . We take a lot of pride in the 4x1. . Three of them have been running together the past 2-3 years now, so they definitely have chemistry. This year we plugged in Ashley Gentz and she was a hell of an addition to that 4x1. . We had a goal to get to states. With five meters left a team passed us and we finished fifth in the region. They were literally two steps from making states. But they had a great year."

- Nature Coast head coach Ed LaRose

Little, Blackwell, Ty'Rhonza Harris, Alexandra Ede

4x400 meter

Springstead

COMMENTS: Recorded the county's fastest clocking, 4:09.95, at Nature Coast's Sharks Relay on March 14 . Placed second at 3A-6 Meet running a 4:14.53 . Finished 10th at 3A-II Meet (4:11.19) . Comprised of two juniors (Little and Harris), a sophomore (Blackwell) and a freshman (Ede), full team should return next season.

QUOTES: "I thought they'd go a little bit faster. I thought they'd get down to 4:05. They ran well. But the nice thing is we're all back. . They should be stronger. Ede came on really tough, and Little and Blackwell were injured most of the year. Another year, they could go under four. There's good potential there."

- Springstead head coach Joel Myers

Coach of the Year

Ed LaRose

Nature Coast - 6th year

COMMENTS: Second straight selection and third in four years . Led Lady Sharks to a repeat district championship, winning the 2A-6 Meet by 48 points . Nature Coast won first six regular-season meets before falling to Springstead at the Hernando County Championship Meet, though LaRose earned praise for taking a stand and sitting his best distance runners in what he officially called a coach's decision . Despite losing an estimated 60 points, the Lady Sharks still nearly repeated as county champs, losing to the Lady Eagles by three, 125-122 . Nature Coast tied for seventh in 2A-II (26 points) and sent the 4x800 to states.

QUOTES: "It's a credit to the kids and the coaching staff I work with. It's also a credit to the other coaches in the county. Joel Myers makes me a better coach. They all help me out. . It was one of our best (seasons) to date. An undefeated regular season was very obtainable. We're young, so we took advantage of a learning opportunity. We put learning in front of winning at the county meet. . We performed very well as a team. We went to a lot of big meets and accomplished a lot of our goals. . It took time to grow as a team. We learned how to win, learned how to stay consistent and learned how to be a team."

- LaRose

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