Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Sports

Sharks keep tradition alive

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BROOKSVILLE - It came down all the way to the final race, but in the end Nature Coast concluded its district meet the same way as the past two seasons.

Both the boys and girls squads boasted championship trophies when it was all said and done in the Class 2A, District 7 Meet at Central.

The Lady Sharks earned their third straight crown comfortably, scoring 156.50 points, well ahead of second-place South Sumter with 112.

However, the boys made for a far more dramatic conclusion in collecting their own three-peat, and fifth district title in seven years.

Nature Coast held a 9 1/2-point advantage over Ridgewood heading into the final event, the 4x400, and James Harkless, Jordan Burkes, DeShawn Smith and Nick Conway ran a 3:37.69 to win that race and seal up first place in the team standings.

The Sharks totaled 128.50 points, with Ridgewood at 112 and the pre-meet favorite, South Sumter, in third at 95.

"All day long it was we were fourth, we were third, we were second, all day long," Nature Coast boys coach Eric Milholland said. "Ridgewood did well, South Sumter, we knew they were going to be tough. It basically came down to the two-mile and the 4x4. So the two-milers and the 4x4 guys, they saved our bacon."

The Sharks also won in the 4x100, as Jalen McFarland, Smith, Brian Haygood and Burkes teamed for a 44.29.

Amazingly, Nature Coast won the meet without any other first-place performances. The top eight scored team points, and the top four earned a berth in the 2A-Region II Meet this coming Wednesday.

Burkes placed second in the 400 (52.88) and Austin Mulyck duplicated that in the 3,200 (10:31.16).

Smith came in third in the long jump (20-6) and the 100 (11.33). Anthony Jackson took fourth in the 110 hurdles (17.31), as did Haygood in the triple jump (40-4 1/2) and Conway in the 800 (2:11.34).

Conway, Ronald Florkowski, Mulyck and Noah Remondelli finished third in the 4x800 (8:55.67).

Harkless, the Sharks' top distance runner, posted a second in the 800 (2:09.30) and third in the 1,600 (4:39.81), though a disappointing eighth in the 400 gnawed at him.

That made helping to win the 4x400 that much sweeter for the senior.

"We definitely knew it all came down to us," Harkless said. "Our coach came up and told us what we needed to do, and we went out and did exactly what we needed to do.

"I knew that we had to step up. Considering how I did, they might not have said it, but I felt like I needed to do it for them, considering I felt like I almost let them down a little bit as far the 400 run.

"It's (winning the district) huge. This is our third one in a row. With a lot of us graduating, this means a lot to us. It's very important."

? ? ?

Similar to the boys, the Lady Sharks had very few first places to their credit. Sophomore Eboni Johnson's triumph in the 400, with a 1:02.85 clocking, represented their only individual district champ.

The 4x100 of Alicia Gentz, Ashley Gentz, Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez and Kaitlyn Pierce ran a 49.54 to take that race, and Crystal Burchhardt joined the two Gentz sisters and Johnson to win the 4x400 (4:13.80).

Nature Coast received thirds in the shot put from Rita Jarque (35-2) and Zavana Schmit in the high jump (4-8), and a fourth in the pole vault by Brianna Horn (7-0).

Burchhardt came in third in the 1,600 (5:36.31) and Horn was second in the 800 (2:30.95). Lacy was second in the 3,200 (12:48.48), followed by teammate Kaylee Arvay in third (12:57.12).

Bronte Cameron crossed the finish line second in the 100 hurdle in 16.23 and third in the 300 hurdles (49.96). Schmit was fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.10).

Burchhardt, Horn, Alyssa Deligio and Lacy ran a 10:33.99 for second in the 4x800.

In the 100, the Lady Sharks grabbed second and third behind Ashley and Alicia Gentz, with times of 12.92 and 13.09 respectively.

Ashley Gentz added a second in the 200 (26.48), ahead of Rodriguez in third (26.52) and Alicia Gentz in fourth (27.27).

"It's amazing. I came in here knowing that I had to run a lot. I was tired, but I pulled through," Ashley Gentz said. "That (winning the district) was our team goal all season. Knowing that we did it, it's amazing."

"I just think the effort they put in at practice; I push them. And every time I think they're going to break, they surprise me again. So I push them more and push them more," Nature Coast girls coach Ryan Wilson said. "And I think at this point it's not so much who's the fastest; it comes down to who's in better shape.

"The sprinters, they had to run four races today, prelims and finals. And some of them were getting tight, and I talked to them and they had the mental strength to push through. I think that's what the difference was today."

? ? ?

For Hernando, junior Jasha Patrick earned a district title in the 300 hurdles, completing the race in 47.80, and placed third in the triple jump (31-6) and the 100 hurdles (16.79).

Junior Lauren Plaugher came in second in discus behind a 100-10 toss.

Heavan Benson, Sierra Wells, Sidney Papa and Berkley Laporte posted a 12:17.24 in the girls 4x800, good for fourth.

Also for the Leopards, Tyquaun Carr, Joel Wilson, Tyler Pantley and Mark Wilson combined for a second-place 8:52.22 in the boys 4x800. Connor Foradas was third in the shot put (44-10).

Weeki Wachee sophomore Jacob Tinch assured the Hornets would be represented at regionals, taking second in the discus with a 137-8. Marcus Jones added a third in the 110 hurdles (16.81).

The Lady Hornets earned fourth place in the 4x100, as Alicia Drumheller, Ashelie Campagna, Briana Lawing and Jenna Gouldey ran a 55.48.

Central got one athlete to regionals, Austin Gray behind a third-place 10:37.02 in the 3,200.

cbernhardt@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5288

Class 2A, District 7 Meet

Boys

1. Nature Coast (NCT) 128.50, 2. Ridgewood 112, 3. South Sumter 95, 4. Wesley Chapel 92.50, 5. Crystal River 86, 6. Pasco 38, 7. Weeki Wachee (WW) 25, 8. Hernando (HER) 24, 9. Central (CEN) 22, 10. Gulf 20, 11. Hudson 19

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

4x800 - 2. Carr, J. Wilson, Pantley, M. Wilson (HER) 8:52.22, 3. Conway, Florkowski, Mulyck, Remondelli (NCT) 8:55.67

LJ - 3. Smith (NCT) 20-6

HJ - 5. McFarland (NCT) 5-4, 7. Benyola (NCT) 5-2

TJ - 4. Haygood (NCT) 40-4 1/2, 5. McFarland (NCT) 40-4

SP - 3. Foradas (HER) 44-10, 7. McInerney-Solberg (NCT) 40-0, 8. Cardona (WW) 39-7

DIS - 2. Tinch (WW) 137-8, 8. McInerney-Solberg (NCT) 113-2

PV - 5. Tippett (CEN) 10-0, 6. Coleman, Armbruster (NCT) 9-6

1600 - 3. Harkless (NCT) 4:39.81, 5. Mulyck (NCT) 4:53.34, 6. Pantley (HER) 4:58.44, 8. Lacy (NCT) 5:11.11

110 hurdles - 3. Jones (WW) 16.81, 4. Jackson (NCT) 17.31, 5. Gregory (CEN) 17.57, 6. Mobley (HER) 18.31, 8. Vazquez (WW) 19.01

100 - 3. Smith (NCT) 11.33, 5. Haygood (NCT) 11.70, 8. Jones (WW) 13.00

4x100 - 1. McFarland, Smith, Haygood, Burkes (NCT) 44.29, 5. Nelson, O'Gorman, Jones, Wiley (WW) 47.33, 7. Tippett, Gregory, Delane, Scott (CEN) 48.63

400 - 2. Burkes (NCT) 52.88, 5. M. Wilson (HER) 54.80, 8. Harkless (NCT) 57.29

300 hurdles - 5. Jackson (NCT) 46.54, 6. Preston (NCT) 47.34, 7. Gregory (CEN) 49.15

800 - 2. Harkless (NCT) 2:09.30, 4. Conway (NCT) 2:11.34, 7. Florkowski (NCT) 2:15.33

200 - 6. McFarland (NCT) 23.53, 7. Haygood (NCT) 23.67

3200 - 2. Mulyck (NCT) 10:31.16, 3. Gray (CEN) 10:37.02, 5. Rockwell (NCT) 10:54.46

4x400 - 1. Harkless, Burkes, Smith, Conway (NCT) 3:37.69, 5. Vazquez, O'Gorman, Steele, Alverez (WW) 3:47.38, 7. Tippett, Delane, Gregory, Scott (CEN) 3:56.37

Girls

1. Nature Coast (NCT) 156.50, 2. South Sumter 112, 3. Crystal River 90.50, 4. Pasco 80, 5. Ridgewood 48.50, 6. Gulf 48, 7. Hernando (HER) 37, 8. Wesley Chapel 36, 9. Hudson 16, 10. Central (CEN) 15.50, 11. Weeki Wachee (WW) 9

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

4x800 - 2. Deligio, Burchhardt, Horn, Lacy (NCT) 10:33.99, 4. Benson, Wells, Papa, Laporte (HER) 12:17.24

LJ - 5. Evans (CEN) 15-6 1/4, 8. Rodriguez (NCT) 14-9 1/2

HJ - 3. Schmit (NCT) 4-8, 6. Knutson (NCT) 4-6

TJ - 3. Patrick (HER) 31-6, 5. Pierce (NCT) 31-5, 7. Rentas (NCT) 31-1/2

SP - 3. Jarque (NCT) 35-2, 8. Austin (NCT) 31-0

DIS - 2. Plaugher (HER) 100-10, 7. Walter (CEN) 95-11, 8. Hurtado (NCT) 95-6

PV - 4. Horn (NCT) 7-0, 5. Liekweg (CEN) 7-0, 6. Avila (CEN) 6-6

1600 - 3. Burchhardt (NCT) 5:36.31, 6. Lacy (NCT) 5:46.47, 8. Stoker (WW) 6:17.67

100 hurdles - 2. Cameron (NCT) 16.23, 3. Patrick (HER) 16.79, 4. Schmit (NCT) 17.10

100 - 2. As. Gentz (NCT) 12.92, 4. Al. Gentz (NCT) 13.09

4x100 - 1. Al. Gentz, As. Gentz, Rodriguez, Pierce (NCT) 49.54, 4. Drumheller, Campagna, Lawing, Gouldey (WW) 55.48

300 hurdles - 1. Patrick (HER) 47.80, 3. Cameron (NCT) 49.96, 6. Gouldey (WW) 53.92, 7. Schmit (NCT) 55.29

400 - 1. Johnson (NCT) 1:02.85, 5. Burbine (NCT) 1:06.33

800 - 2. Horn (NCT) 2:30.95, 7. Benson (HER) 2:43.79

200 - 2. As. Gentz (NCT) 26.48, 3. Rodriguez (NCT) 26.52, 4. Al. Gentz (NCT) 27.27

3200 - 2. Lacy (NCT) 12:48.48, 3. Arvay (NCT) 12:57.12, 8. Vidaud (NCT) 14:31.67

4x400 - 1. Burchhardt, Al. Gentz, As. Gentz, Johnson (NCT) 4:13.80, 6. Marty, Zetzler, Williams, Evans (CEN) 5:06.67

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