Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Sports

NCT: Focus shifts from team to state qualifiers

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Nature Coast’s boys and girls can rest easy, knowing they have secured their season goal of repeating as district champions.

But the season didn’t end with last week’s Class 2A, District 6 Meet in Tavares. Now the Sharks hope it will keep going beyond the 2A-Region II Meet today.

Jacksonville-Bolles will simultaneously host that meet and 2A-I. Field events start at noon, with the 4x800 at 1 p.m., running prelims at 3:30 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

The top four in each event will advance to the 2A FHSAA Finals, April 27 at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.

“It’s more the individual now than the team aspect,” Nature Coast girls coach Ed LaRose said. “You’ve got teams like Jones; they’re hard to compete against. Individual-wise, we’re hoping to push some people to next Saturday.”

“We really want the kids to go out and have a good day,” Nature Coast boys coach Ryan Wilson said. “This is completely about the individual.”

So much so, Wilson said, that several Sharks who advanced in multiple events will only compete in the ones that give them a realistic chance at moving on.

Boys regional qualifiers include: Frank Sampson (triple jump), Michael Dennis (shot put), Kevin Ciccone (1,600; 800), Cody Van Natter (1,600; 3,200), Stephen Murphy (1,600; 3,200), Ryan Pelaez (110 hurdles; 300 hurdles), Matt Breida (100; 200), Frank Villaizan (100; 200), Wyatt Hessler (400), James Harkless (800) and Austin Mulyck (3,200).

There’s also the 4x800 (Van Natter, Ciccone, Hessler and Anthony Perlingieri), 4x100 (Deshawn Smith, Jacquez Kincade, Villaizan and Breida) and 4x400 (Hessler, Pelaez, Smith and Kincade).

The 4x100 is seeded first at 42.65. Breida, Kincade and Villaizan were part of last year’s team that earned a state medal for eighth place.

Ciccone owns the fastest 1,600 time coming off districts (4:37.96). Sampson is seeded third in his event with a 43-2 1/4. Breida’s 10.91 in the 100 is tied for second, one-hundredth of a second off the top ranking.

“I think this is the time when cream rises to the top, and if you don’t perform you’re not going to be successful,” Wilson said. “We’re going to go in, do the best we can and hopefully advance as many as we can to states.”

The Lady Sharks will be represented by Zavana Schmit (high jump), Brianna Horn (pole vault; 800), Crystal Burchhardt (1,600; 3,200), Alexa Lacy (1,600; 3,200), Bronte Cameron (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Alicia Gentz (100), Ashley Gentz (100) and Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez (200).

Relays include the 4x800 (Alyssa DeLigio, Burchhardt, Horn and Lacy), 4x100 (Alicia Gentz, Ashley Gentz, Briana Baugher and Ashley Chevalier) and 4x400 (Alicia Gentz, Ashley Gentz, Cameron and Baugher).

In 2012, Cameron made states in the 100 hurdles as a freshman. She currently seeds fifth with a 16.90.

Burchhardt sits fourth in the 1,600 (5:38.74) and fifth in the 3,200 (12:32.31). The 4x800 ranks third (10:29.91) and the 4x100 fifth (50.96). Horn is fifth in the 800 (2:31.64).

“A good day, bottom line, is to go out and compete to our potential,” LaRose said. “We don’t want to go out, have a bad day and have the ‘What if?’ question.”

Hernando High will also have a handful of athletes competing in 2A-II.

Throwers are the Leopards’ primary contenders for state berths. Sophomore Lauren Plaugher is seeded third in the discus (113-10) and senior Ebone Plummer fourth in the shot put (35-9 1/2).

For the boys, junior Connor Foradas, a state qualifier a year ago, is seeded sixth in the discus (133-1).

Also, the boys 4x100 of Tyquaun Carr, Quentin Adams, Tyrail Hawkins and Troy Grant are tied for the fourth-best district time (43.72).

Other regional qualifiers from Hernando are Grant (110 hurdles), Mark Wilson (400), and Jasha Patrick (400), plus the boys 4x800 (Bradley Geisler, Robert Lewis, Tyler Pantley and Joel Wilson).

“Do PRs (personal records) and qualify for states,” Hernando boys coach Rodney Byrd said of the Leopards’ goals.

Weeki Wachee will be in action on Thursday, as well, in the 2A-III Meet at Titusville-Astronaut.

Field events and the 4x800 go off at noon. Running prelims are at 3 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

The third-year Lady Hornets are represented in regionals for the first time, by the 4x100 of Ashleigh Campagna, Alicia Drumheller, Teressa Crisantemi and Jennifer Gouldey. They qualified with a third-place 54.29 at last week’s 2A-9 Meet.

Also for taking part for Weeki Wachee, Marcus Applefield after placing fourth in the shot put at districts with a 42-10.

At a Glance

What – Class 2A, Region II Meet

Who – Qualifiers from Hernando and Nature Coast

Where – Jacksonville-Bolles School, 7400 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville

When – Today; field events start at noon, with the 4x800 at 1 p.m., running prelims at 3:30 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

At Stake – Regional team championship; top four in each event will advance to the 2A FHSAA Finals, April 27 at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville

What – Class 2A, Region III Meet

Who – Weeki Wachee’s girls 4x100, Marcus Applefield in shot put

Where – Titusville-Astronaut High, 800 War Eagle Blvd., Titusville

When – Today; field events and the 4x800 go off at noon. Running prelims are at 3 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

At Stake – Regional team championship; top four in each event will advance to the 2A FHSAA Finals, April 27 at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville


cbernhardt@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5288

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