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Sharks county champs with sweep

Published:   |   Updated: April 3, 2014 at 09:05 PM

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WEEKI WACHEE - Even with three Citrus County teams thrown into the mix, Nature Coast displayed its dominance of the area Wednesday night.

In the Hernando/Citrus Championship that served as the county meet at Weeki Wachee, the Sharks collected first place for both the boys and girls.

That meant a seventh consecutive county crown for the boys, who scored 170 points, far ahead of second-place Springstead with 105.50.

"It was huge to keep this tradition going and the boys have been working really hard. It was a big deal to do well at county," Nature Coast boys coach Eric Milholland said. "Before distance was huge on depth. But today you look at certain things like the sprinters; we got 1-2-3 in the 200 meters. I mean that was huge.

"Our depth across the board is helping us rather than just our depth in distance."

Several Sharks stepped to the forefront to help rack up points.

Sophomore DeShawn Smith had a first in the 100 (11.50). The quartet of Jalen MacFarlane, Gilbert Delgado, Brian Haygood and C.J. Maner combined for a first-place 45.17 in the 4x100.

MacFarlane additionally snagged the top spot in the 200 (23.47), followed right behind by Smith (23.54) and Haygood (23.57).

Senior James Harkless notched two first-place finishes, taking the 1,600 (4:40.37) and 400 (52.80), as well as second in the 800 (2:03.03). He was previously county champ in the 1,600 and 800 as a sophomore.

Plus he joined Smith, Delgado and Nick Conway to combine for a first-place 3:43.32 in the 4x400.

"Very happy with how I did today. Gave it my best and that's all that matters," Harkless said. "It means a lot to us considering all that we've been through, all that we've lost, to just show that we still have that consistency, that we're still the best; it's amazing."

Connor Foradas, Hernando senior, a two-time county champ in the discus, captured the shot put behind a 43-8 toss. Weeki Wachee's Jacob Tinch won the discus this time around at 132-0.

Hernando's Tyquan Carr was the county's highest placer in the long jump, coming in second at 20-5.

Reigning high jump state champion Bobby Harris, a Springstead senior, became a three-time county champ in the high jump despite a relatively low - by his lofty standards - 6-0.

Later on he chipped in a county crown in the triple jump behind a second-place 42-4.

"I won high jump, but I didn't go for a PR (personal record) today," Harris said. "I've got other events that I'm worried about because I want to get as many points as possible and not tire my legs out."

In the 4x800, the Eagles placed second overall and first within the county, James Amodie, Jeff Amodie, Jai Jackson and Josh Page running a 8:57.85.

James Amodie added a first in the 800 (2:02.02), and Tyler Mahla did the same in the 110 hurdles (15.70).

Central notched three county titles thanks to Christian Gregory taking the 300 hurdles (44.94), Michael Tippett placing a county-best third in pole vault (10-0) and Austin Gray winning the 3,200 (10:20.37).

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The Lady Sharks dominated the meet by an even greater margin, scoring 220.5, ahead of Crystal River in second (132) and defending county champ Springstead in third (104).

Nature Coast earned its third county title in the past five years. It was redemption for the Lady Sharks after finishing second in the county meet in 2013 following a coach's decision to sit several distance runners due to undisclosed reasons.

"It's huge," Nature Coast girls coach Ryan Wilson said. "The girls, they've worked so hard this year. I'm extremely proud of them. After last year's little event, it was a little rough on them. So I think this year they came determined and they did everything they had to do to win it.

"I just think the effort that they give at every meet (stands out). They knew they were going to have come in and run events they normally don't run. They didn't complain about it and they came out and did the best they could."

Hernando's Jasha Patrick pulled off a bit of an upset, edging Nature Coast's two-time defending county champ Bronte Cameron in the 100 hurdles, 16.19-16.24.

Cameron paced the county and came in second overall to win her third straight county crown in the 300 hurdles (49.29).

As for her teammates, Brianna Horn notched a fifth overall and first within the county in the pole vault (7-0). Alicia Gentz placed first in the 100 (12.79) and Rita Jarque did the same in the shot put (38-5 1/2).

Senior Crystal Burchhardt ran a 5:44.60 for first in the 1,600, adding to the county title she won in that race two years earlier.

Alexa Lacy's 13:04.55 won the 3,200. Zavanna Schmit took third in the high jump (4-8) for the county's top showing.

Alicia and Ashley Gentz, as well as Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez and Kaitlyn Pierce won the 4x100 in 48.96. Burchhardt, Eboni Johnson, Rodriguez and Ashley Gentz duplicated that in the 4x400 (4:10.04).

For Springstead, Erin Blackwell garnered a third 800 county crown in a row, completing the race in 2:27.46.

Senior Wilena Little, the two-time Hernando Today Girls Track Athlete of the Year, has been hampered by leg injuries but added her 11th and 12th individual county titles, winning the long jump with a 15-11 and the 200 (25.80).

That's four consecutive times winning the 200, and a three-peat in the long jump for Little.

Ty'Rhonza Harris took second to pace the county in the triple jump two years straight, with a 33-1 1/2.

Also, Alexandra Ede, Harris, Joy Jackson and Blackwell paced the field in the 4x800 (10:35.56).

Like Harris, Hernando junior Lauren Plaugher repeated by coming out on top in the discus (114-6 1/2).

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2014 Hernando/Citrus Championship Meet


1. Nature Coast (NCT) 170, 2. Springstead (SPG) 105.5, 3. Crystal River 94, 4. Citrus 61.5, 5. Weeki Wachee (WW) 61, 6. Hernando (HER) 57, 7. Central (CEN), Lecanto 46

4x800 - 2. Ja. Amodie, Je. Amodie, Jackson, Page (SPG) 8:57.85

LJ - 2. Carr (HER) 20-5

HJ - 1. Harris (SPG) 6-0

TJ - 2. Harris (SPG) 42-4

SP - 1. Foradas (HER) 43-8

DIS - 1. Tinch (WW) 132-0

PV - 3. Tippett (CEN) 10-0

1600 - 1. Harkless (NCT) 4:40.37

110 hurdles - 1. Mahla (SPG) 15.70

100 - 1. Smith (NCT) 11.50

4x100 - 1. Delgado, MacFarlane, Haygood, Maner (NCT) 45.17

400 - 1. Harkless (NCT) 52.80

300 hurdles - 1. Gregory (CEN) 44.94

800 - 1. Ja. Amodie (SPG) 2:02.02

200 - 1. MacFarlane (NCT) 23.47

3200 - 1. Gray (CEN) 10:20.37

4x400 - 1. Smith, Harkless, Delgado, Conway (NCT) 3:43.32


1. Nature Coast (NCT) 220.5, 2. Crystal River 132, 3. Springstead (SPG) 104, 4. Lecanto 98.5, 5. Hernando (HER) 31, 6. Weeki Wachee (WW) 20.5, 7. Central (CEN) 18, 8. Citrus 14.5

4x800 - 1. Ede, Harris, Jackson, Blackwell (SPG) 10:35.56

LJ - 1. Little (SPG) 15-11

HJ - 3. Z. Schmit (NCT) 4-8

TJ - 2. T. Harris (SPG) 33-1 1/2

SP - 1. Jarque (NCT) 38-5 1/2

DIS - 1. Plaugher (HER) 114-6 1/2

PV - 5. Horn (NCT) 7-0

1600 - 1. Burchhardt (NCT) 5:44.60

100 hurdles - 1. Patrick (HER) 16.19

100 - 1. Al. Gentz (NCT) 12.79

4x100 - 1. Al. Gentz, As. Gentz, Rodriguez, Pierce (NCT) 48.96

300 hurdles - 2. Cameron (NCT) 49.29

400 - 1. Harris (SPG) 1:01.94

800 - 1. Blackwell (SPG) 2:27.46

200 - 1. Little (SPG) 25.80

3200 - 1. Lacy (NCT) 13:04.55

4x400 - 1. Burchhardt, Johnson, Rodriguez, As. Gentz (NCT) 4:10.04

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