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Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

NCT boys 4x100 captures regional crown


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Last year, Nature Coast received its lone state medal by way of its 4x100, taking eighth place at the FHSAA Finals.

On Thursday at Jacksonville-Bolles School, the 4x100 again carried the day for the Sharks at the Class 2A, Region II Meet.

Matt Breida, Frank Villaizan and Jacquez Kincade, all returnees from the state medalist team, plus Deshawn Smith collected a regional crown, running a first-place 42.59.

“They’ve been undefeated all year,” Nature Coast boys coach Ryan Wilson said. “For them to go out and do that at that type of level, it’s great for them.”

The Sharks, coming off county and district championships, failed to win a meet for the first time this season, placing sixth with 40 team points.

But the team’s focus for this meet, in which the top four in each event garnered a trip to next Saturday’s state meet at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, was always on the individual.

Along with the 4x100, the 4x800 featuring Kevin Ciccone, James Harkless, Cody Van Natter and Wyatt Hessler moved on, taking fourth place in 8:12.97.

Three Nature Coast seniors earned their own state berths, as well. Frank Sampson finished third in the triple jump (43-3), Breida took third in the 100 (10.92) and Villaizan placed fourth in the 200 (22.75).

“They ran excellent. And the thing about them, those two guys push each other,” Wilson said of his two top sprinters. “When Frank saw Matt got in, he was determined to get in, in the 200.

“Frank Sampson, last year he fell short (13th place). This year, he had a different focus about himself and wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by.”

A few Sharks opted not to run in certain events they had qualified for, wanting to save themselves for races where they had the most realistic chance to reach states.

Breida stepped off in the 200; Van Natter and Stephen Murphy did the same in the 1,600.

The 4x400 also ended up not competing, though not intentionally. Hessler severely injured his hamstring during the 400, leaving the relay short too valuable a piece.

Wilson said the initial belief is that Hessler may have a torn ligament, meaning the senior will be unavailable to run on the 4x800 at states. Murphy will replace him.

Additionally competing for the Nature Coast boys was Michael Dennis in the shot put (12th, 40-10); Ciccone in the 1,600 (sixth, 4:38.55) and 800 (15th, 2:16.51); Ryan Pelaez in the 110 hurdles (ninth, 16.41) and 300 hurdles (seventh, 42.43); Harkless in the 800 (sixth, 2:00.85); and Villaizan in the 100 (15th, 11.90).

Plus a trio ran the 3,200, Van Natter (10th, 10:40.12), Austin Mulyck (11th, 10:44.06) and Murphy (13th, 10:48.00).

“I think overall it was excellent,” Wilson said. “We did as well as we expected to do. Based on what the seeds were looking like, every kid went out there and actually overachieved.”

Hernando’s boys ranked 21st in the team rankings with eight points. Junior Connor Foradas just missed a return trip to states in the discus, coming in fifth with a 137-8 toss, four inches out of fourth.

Troy Grant ran a seventh-place 16.07 in the 110 hurdles, and joined Tyquaun Carr, Quentin Adams and Tyrail Hawkins on the seventh-place 4x100 (43.97). Mark Wilson was 14th in the 400 (54.43), and was part of the 4x800 that finished 12th in 9:08.12, along with Bradley Geisler, Robert Lewis and Joel Wilson.

Hernando’s girls had a memorable day, sending three to states.

Senior Ebone Plummer, in her fourth attempt, finally broke through and advanced out of regionals for the first time, thanks to a third-place shot put throw of 37-4.

“Ebone has been to regionals many times,” Hernando girls coach Shawanda McCullough said. “But the turning point for her was adhering to what we were trying to teach her and not relying on just power.

“This year she was determined to get it. Being her senior year, it was her last opportunity to go out in such a fashion.”

Meanwhile sophomore Lauren Plaugher came in third in the discus (108-2) and classmate Jasha Patrick was likewise third in the 400 (59.96).

“The throwers had a better chance than Jasha,” McCullough said. “Jasha had to pull it out. She had to get over her mental block. She’s not used to coming from behind. She had to adhere to the race plan that we worked on.

“The key thing was she opened up her stride on the back side, and going into the curve she had to kick earlier and give herself a better position coming out of the curve. … I told her, if she can man up and finish strong. Those last 50 meters have been Jasha’s nemesis all year.”

Nature Coast’s girls, seventh place with 26 points, had a more disappointing showing, even though it began on a positive note.

The 4x800 of Alyssa DeLigio, Crystal Burchhardt, Brianna Horn and Alexa Lacy qualified for states behind a fourth-place 10:21.37.

“They ran very well,” Nature Coast girls coach Ed LaRose said. “They ran one of the better times they’ve had all year. We went with a new strategy and stacked the front.”

However, Bronte Cameron, a state qualifier in the 100 hurdles in 2012 as a freshman, pulled her hamstring in the final of that race and could not continue.

She had run a fifth-place 16.89 in prelims and a seventh-place 49.81 in the 300 hurdles prelims.

“She was real disappointed and upset,” LaRose said. “I felt bad for her. She works hard all the time. But she’ll rebound and make it (to states) her junior and senior year.”

With Cameron out, Kylyn Burbine stepped in to join Alicia Gentz, Ashley Gentz and Briana Baugher in the 4x400 (sixth, 4:18.44).

The Gentz sisters, Baugher and Ashley Chevalier placed a heart-breaking fifth in the 4x100 (49.84), as did Burchhardt in the 3,200 (12:34.30) and Lacy in the 1,600 (5:44.39).

In the 100, Alicia Gentz was seventh (12.84) and Ashley Gentz eighth (13.02).

Burchhardt added a seventh in the 1,600 (5:52.90), Lacy an eighth in the 3,200 (12:56.44), Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez a ninth in the 200 (26.75) and Zavana Schmit tied for 12th in the high jump (4-6).

Horn placed 13th in the pole vault with a 6-6, but was struck on the head by the crossbar, resulting in a headache, LaRose said, that led to her only taking 13th in the 800 (2:42.94).

“For us, it was a tale of two days,” LaRose said. “We had a good start to the day and the finals didn’t go our way.”

At the 2A-III Meet on Thursday at Titusville-Astronaut, Weeki Wachee had one boy and one girls relay in action.

The 4x100 of Ashleigh Campagna, Alicia Drumheller, Teressa Crisantemi and Jennifer Gouldey, the Lady Hornets’ first regional representatives, dropped the baton on the first exchange and failed to complete the event.

“It’s kind of bad that they didn’t get to actually race,” Weeki Wachee coach Jon Malandrucco said. “It was frustrating for them.

“It’s a good building block, definitely. We’ve never had anybody there, so it’s good for the kids thinking of coming out to track to see that we’re actually making progress.”

Marcus Applefield placed 10th in the shot put, throwing it 43-2 3/4.

“He threw well,” Malandrucco said. “He could have done a lot better. He kind of came out slow. He did good, though. He was happy. Next year he should be up there with the big boys. He’s just got to do some work.”

Class 2A, Region II Meet

Hernando, Nature Coast at Jacksonville-Bolles


1. Orlando-Lake Nona 77.50, 2. Orlando-Jones 70, 3. Crystal River 63.50, 4. Lake Wales 52, 5. Orlando-Lake Highland Prep 44, 6. Nature Coast (NCT) 40, 21. Hernando (HER) 8

(Top eight score team points; top four advance to states)

4x800 – 4. Ciccone, Harkless, Van Natter, Hessler (NCT) 8:12.97, 12. Geisler, Lewis, J. Wilson, M. Wilson (HER) 9:08.12

TJ – 3. Sampson (NCT) 43-3

SP – 12. Dennis (NCT) 40-10

DIS – 5. Foradas (HER) 137-8

1600 – 6. Ciccone (NCT) 4:38.55, Van Natter (NCT) DNS, Murphy (NCT) DNS

110 hurdles – 7. Grant (HER) 16.07, 9. Pelaez (NCT) 16.41

100 – 3. Breida (NCT) 10.92, 15. Villaizan (NCT) 11.90

4x100 – 1. Breida, Villaizan, Smith, Kincade (NCT) 42.59, 7. Carr, Adams, Hawkins, Grant (HER) 43.97

400 – 14. M. Wilson (HER) 54.43, Hessler (NCT) DNF-injury

300 hurdles – 7. Pelaez (NCT) 42.43

800 – 6. Harkless (NCT) 2:00.85, 15. Ciccone (NCT) 2:16.51

200 – 4. Villaizan (NCT) 22.75, Breida (NCT) DNF

3200 – 10. Van Natter (NCT) 10:40.12, 11. Mulyck (NCT) 10:44.06, 13. Murphy (NCT) 10:48.00

4x400 – Hessler, Pelaez, Smith, Kincade (NCT) DNS


1. Orlando-Lake Highland Prep 110, 2. Orlando-Jones 68, 3. Orlando-Lake Nona 66, 4. Orlando-Bishop Moore Catholic 60, 5. Lake Wales 44, 6. South Sumter 35, 7. Nature Coast (NCT) 26, 13. Hernando (HER), Citra-North Marion 18

(Top eight score team points; top four advance to states)

4x800 – 4. DeLigio, Burchhardt, Horn, Lacy (NCT) 10:21.37

HJ – 12. Schmit (NCT) 4-6

SP – 3. Plummer (HER) 37-4

DIS – 3. Plaugher (HER) 108-2

PV – 13. Horn (NCT) 6-6

1600 – 5. Lacy (NCT) 5:44.39, 7. Burchhardt (NCT) 5:52.90

100 hurdles – Cameron (NCT) DNF-injury

100 – 7. Al. Gentz (NCT) 12.84, 8. As. Gentz (NCT) 13.02

4x100 – 5. Al. Gentz, As. Gentz, Baugher, Chevalier (NCT) 49.84

300 hurdles – Cameron (NCT) DNF-injury

400 – 3. Patrick (HER) 59.96

800 – 13. Horn (NCT) 2:42.94

200 – 9. Rodriguez (NCT) 26.75

3200 – 5. Burchhardt (NCT) 12:34.30, 8. Lacy (NCT) 12:56.44

4x400 – 6. Al. Gentz, As. Gentz, Burbine, Baugher (NCT) 4:18.44

Class 2A, Region III Meet

Weeki Wachee at Titusville-Astronaut


Weeki Wachee (WW) NTS

(Top eight score team points; top four advance to states)

SP – 10. Applefield (WW) 43-2 3/4


Weeki Wachee (WW) NTS

(Top eight score team points; top four advance to states)

4x100 – Campagna, Drumheller, Crisantemi, Gouldey (WW) DNS-dropped baton

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