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Lecanto girls leave GCAC foes in dust

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 16, 2002

BROOKSVILLE -- Lecanto coach Freddie Bullock would rather have been elsewhere Monday.

But, under the circumstances, winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships wasn't a bad way to prepare for the district meet.

Kate Wheeler and Jill Bandhauer set school records, and the Panthers ran away with their second consecutive girls GCAC title. Lecanto outscored second-place Citrus 214-137 in the resumption of a meet suspended Friday because of lightning.

"This meet is great for the kids, but I'd rather be at practice," said Bullock, who plans to have a mock meet today to prepare her team for the Class 3A, District 6 meet April 25 at Lecanto.

Wheeler won the 100-meter hurdles, long jump and high jump, setting a record of 17 feet, 4 inches in the long jump. Bandhauer established a school mark in the shot put with a toss of 35-7 3/4.

Amanda Howard won the 1,600 and 3,200, enjoying a personal-best of 12:13.67 in the 3,200. Kylene Colasanti overcame a back injury to lead Lecanto to four of the top six places in the 300 hurdles.

The Panthers won the 1,600 and 3,200 relays, but Bullock was most impressed by freshmen Lisa Bonadonna and Dawn Prince, who took fifth and sixth in the 100 hurdles. Prince also was fifth in the long jump.

Two weeks after returning to its track, Springstead edged Citrus 137-1311/2 for the Eagles' third consecutive boys crown. They had to train on the football practice field while sinkholes were repaired at their track.

Jamar Maner won the 100 and 200, and Stephen Brooks set a personal record in the discus (48-13/4). Mike Martinez led the way as Springstead swept the first three places in the 110 hurdles.

The Eagles won the 400 relay and took four of the top six spots in the 200.

"I think we've overcome the adversity of not having a track," Eagles coach Fred Hudson said. "The kids really stood up to the test."

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