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Hurricanes blow in to state

By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 28, 2002

Citrus is on a high entering Saturday's Class 2A state meet in Coral Springs.

The girls, behind five first-place finishes, won the Region 2 title Thursday night in Starke -- their first in coach Tom Darby's 20 seasons with the program. The boys, with five firsts, took second.

"We're very pleased with what we did," Darby said. "It was a strong performance."

Myesha Hollis won the long jump and triple jump, freshman Denise Jay claimed the 800-meters crown and the 4x400 (Amanda Yoder, Jay, Kelly King, Amber Presnick) and 4x800 (Presnick, Jay, Molly Heisner, Julia Schuy) teams won. Hollis also qualified in the 100. Other Citrus qualifiers were Jessica Brown (high jump), Andrea Burke (3,200), Danialle Coates (300 hurdles) and Katie Steelfox (pole vault).

Coates was second in the 300 hurdles. She placed fifth at regionals, one spot shy of reaching state, the previous three seasons.

The boys were led by Tony Lyons, who posted victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 and was on the winning 4x800 squad. Norman Bauer won the discus, and C.J. Bryant took the 800 (and qualified in the 1,600 and 4x800). Matt Baum (800, 1,600, 4x800), John Davila (pole vault), Jamaal Galloway (high jump) and Justin Macdonald (3,200) also qualified for state.

PROUD PIRATES: The Crystal River boys placed fifth in the 2A-2 regional, qualifying Chris Bunch (400), Matt Hinman (shot), John McKethan (800), Billy Millian (pole vault) and Chianta Smith (triple jump), along with the 4x400 (Bunch, McKethan, Millian, Ryan McNally) and 4x800 (McKethan, Bunch, Clayton Bristol, Joey Eiola) relay teams. Hinman, Bunch and the 4x800 squad took second.

"I was very pleased with our showing," Pirates boys coach Norris Lightsey said.

The girls, behind Sally Neill, who qualified in the 3,200 and 4x800 (with Mandy Smelko, Stephanie Bodden and Laura Steepleton), were seventh. The 4x400 team (Ieshia Natteal, Bodden, Lisandra Vazquez, Jerrica Sawyer) was second. Neill was third in the 3,200.

YOUTH SERVED: At the A-2 regional in Oviedo, the Seven Rivers Christian girls, with no athlete beyond the ninth grade, placed sixth.

Seventh-grader Taylor Cooke continued to impress, placing second in the 1,600 and third in the 3,200. She was on the winning 4x800 team with Rachel Ebert, Cassidy Rash and Karissa Gandee. Ebert and Gandee qualified in the 800, and the 4x400 squad of Rachel Capra, Bethany Woods, Rash and Gandee was fourth.

Shawn Allen (high jump, long jump, 4x400) qualified for the boys, along with Damian Lyons, Jesse Woods and Chris Roth, all 4x400 members.

"This is just a heck of a way to end the year," Warriors coach Scott Lyons said.

NO SURPRISE: Lecanto girls coach Freddie Bullock wasn't sure the Panthers could challenge Belleview for the Class 3A, District 6 championship. She should have known better.

The Panthers, behind seniors Kate Wheeler, Kylene Colasanti and Amanda Howard, won easily with 219.50 points. Belleview was second, 131.

Wheeler won the high jump, long jump and 100 hurdles and was third in the triple jump and 300 hurdles. Colasanti took second in the 300 hurdles and 4x400, third in the 100 hurdles and pole vault and fourth in the high jump. Howard won the 1,600 and 3,200. Nicole Gasiorek was the 400 champ.

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