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Preps

Mustangs leave rivals in dust

Mitchell teams edge Citrus for their second meet wins in a week.

By KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER
Published April 2, 2003

INVERNESS - After winning Friday's River Ridge Invitational, the Mitchell boys and girls track teams picked up where they left off. Both were first in the team standings at Tuesday's Citrus Invitational.

Mustang boys coach Bill Napolitano said different competition, which included Citrus, Crystal River, Hernando and Seven Rivers Christian in addition to Pasco, provided a nice change of pace.

"There's great runners-up here," Napolitano said. "The way it was looking, I thought it was going to be a struggle for us to win it."

Mitchell edged Citrus 141-121 in the boys standings, with the stable of Mustangs distance runners leading the way. Jeff Masterson won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 36.32 seconds and then held off Citrus standout Tony Lyons in the 3,200 with a time of 9:43.

The two, who competed at a meet at Mitchell two weeks ago, have a healthy respect for each other when they race.

"Whenever I race against Tony, I'm always in it for a good race and I always know he's got something for me," Masterson said.

Although Lyons did not win, Masterson could hear him behind him in the 3,200.

"He's an awesome competitor and a great racer. All props to him and everybody else that ran today," Lyons said.

The sprints were dominated by Citrus County. Seven Rivers Christian's Chris Roth won the 100, 200 and 400.

Although he didn't feel like he was running that fast, the senior said you can't complain when you win.

"My starts were kind of sloppy. I didn't come out of the blocks very well in a couple of the races," Roth said. "But I did well."

Other multiple event winners included Crystal River's Chianta Smith (triple jump, shot put) and Citrus' Jamaal Galloway (long jump, triple jump).

The Mitchell girls were impressive in relays and about everything else in earning the second meet victory in the program's history. Ashley Zappacosta had wins in the high jump and the 800 with a time of 2:35.

Taylor Cooke, an eighth-grader from Seven Rivers Christian, won the 1,600 in 5:52 and the 3,200 in 12:48.9. Cooke lost to Zappacosta in the 800 and said the Mustang athlete was one of the best she has seen.

"I liked my 800 the best," Cooke said. "One girl from Mitchell who ran a 2:35 and a really good race pushed me pretty good."

Pasco standout LaShawn Vaughns dominated with wins in the 100, 200 and 400. Citrus' Myesha Hollis was second in the 100 and 200 while placing first in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 5 inches and in the triple jump with a 2-9, but she was unhappy with her performance.

"I wasn't satisfied, but we've still got districts, regionals and state," Hollis said.

The Mitchell girls finished ahead of Citrus 157-127. [Last modified April 2, 2003, 02:03:29]

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