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Preps

Golden Eagles have banner day

Indian Rocks Christian places in six events and finishes a county-best fifth.

By BOB PUTNAM
Published April 30, 2004

GAINESVILLE - Indian Rocks Christian waltzed through the regular season, winning every meet when it had a full lineup.

But Golden Eagles coach Kris Williams knew that winning a team title at the Class A state meet would be difficult, especially after the 4x100 relay team was disqualified after a false start on the first exchange at last week's region meet.

Still, Indian Rocks Christian came close to winning, despite not being at full strength.

The Golden Eagles placed in six events and finished fifth with 34 points, the highest among county boys teams and the school's best showing at state.

And it could have been better.

IRC's 4x100 was ranked among the top three in Class A. Had the relay team won, the Golden Eagles would have been the runnerup.

But Williams didn't want to think about what could have been.

"I'm more interested in the individual results," he said.

The big winner was Nate Holden. The senior, who was the defending state champion in the 3,200 meters, won again in 9 minutes, 25.70 seconds, almost 35 seconds faster than his seed mark entering the race.

"I always seem to save my best for last," he said.

Much like last year's race, Holden's biggest challenge came from Jacksonville Holy Trinity's Austin Joiner. They were side by side when Holden surged in the final lap.

Northside Christian's Erik Anderson was the county's other state champion. The senior cleared 13 feet in the pole vault to win his first title.

"The wind was blowing pretty hard and I knew there was going to be some difficulties," said Anderson, who missed his personal best by 6 feet.

Anderson's teammate, Zach Cole, took seventh in the pole vault (11-6).

Shorecrest's Paul Dlugozima was seventh in the shot put (48-33/4).

The rest of the day belonged to the Golden Eagles.

IRC's 4x800 team of Mike Mayleben, Zach Rousenolos, Holden and Matt Kotchman ran 8:16.80 to finish fourth.

Daniel Reiff threw the discus 133 feet to finish seventh. Clint Hamm was fourth in the 200 (22.65), sixth in the 100 (11.34) and eighth in the triple jump (42-83/4).

Brian Large, a transfer from Seminole, was second in the 300 hurdles, finishing in 39.51 seconds.

The senior finished first in the preliminaries with a personal-best 38.97 but couldn't keep pace with Hollywood Christian's Reuben Granger in the final.

"I'm still happy," Large said. "I ran fast and set a personal record. I've had to overcome so much this year that this was a nice way to finish my career."

Large violated school rules at Seminole and was reassigned. He opted to be home schooled and run track at IRC.

"It's tough because I've been around a great team this year," Large said.

"It's the best this school has ever known."

[Last modified April 30, 2004, 01:05:39]


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