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Strong finish pleases Hurricanes

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2002


CORAL SPRINGS -- This is the way Citrus senior C.J. Bryant wanted to go out.

CORAL SPRINGS -- This is the way Citrus senior C.J. Bryant wanted to go out.

With two medals around his neck earned Saturday at Coral Springs' Jim Caldwell Field.

The Hurricanes' boys 4x800-meter relay squad of Matt Baum, James Lopiccolo, Tony Lyons and Bryant won the silver medal with a school-record time of 8:09.20, that's 4.76 seconds behind state champion Lincoln Park. Lyons was third in the 3,200 (9:35.63) and Bryant finished fifth in the 800 (1:57.43). The Citrus boys finished 11th.

"I wanted to end the season on a high note," Bryant said. "I've done pretty good all season long, and this just tops it off."

Topping off their seasons were several of the North Suncoast's best.

Citrus' Myesha Hollis placed third in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 10 1/4 inches. She was also 14th in the triple jump (33-4 1/2).

Autumn Yanchunis wanted to swim her way to college, but after Saturday the Wesley Chapel senior wants to vault her way in. She earned the bronze in the pole vault (10-0) to earn the first state medal in school history and is considering pursuing a scholarship in track instead of swimming.

"I looked at the heat sheets and I knew I was going to be in the top eight," she said. "But I didn't know I could do this good. I'm happy."

Wesley Chapel's Angela Medvid knows how to peak at the right time. Last week, she won the school's first regional titles in the hurdles, and Saturday won bronze in the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.79).

"This is just awesome," she said.

Together, the pair led the Wildcat girls to a 19th-place finish.

Wesley Chapel sophomore B.B. Roberts placed fifth in the 400 (50.40) in his first trip to state. Pasco's Garion "Red" Pope took fifth in the triple jump (44-9 1/2) in his first state trip, but said 90-plus degree temperatures and a blazing sun made for difficult jumping conditions.

"It was real hot," he said. "I don't think I drank enough water. I felt light-headed after my first jump."

Crystal Rivers' Chris Bunch was sixth in the 400 (50.47). Citrus' Katie Steelfox was seventh in the pole vault (9).

Pasco's Keymo Pearson entered the meet as a top contender in the high jump, and his leap of 6-4 was an inch better than his leap at state last year. But against a tough field, it was only good enough for eighth.

"Terrible," Pearson said. "It just wasn't my day."

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