Bulldogs' strength is speed, versatility
By BOB PUTNAM
Published May 29, 2005
The eyes cannot fix on Bryan Thomas with just one look.
He is among the fastest and most versatile athletes on the track, the Zephyrhills junior with the relentless spirit.
Did you see him?
No, too late. Now he's over in the long jump pit, leaping past opponents.
No, you must look quicker. Now he's on the runway, sprinting to another victory.
Missed him again?
Now he's on the victory stand, holding the hardware for another individual title.
Thomas was everywhere on the track, the do-it-all leader who competed in as many as five events, the maximum allowed, this season.
Participating in the preliminaries and finals of the long jump, high jump, 400 meters, 4x100 and 4x400 relay meant Thomas ran six races and made six jumps at each meet.
"It's tiring," Thomas said. "I'm always on the go. I just try to help my team by being versatile."
How versatile? Just for fun, Thomas decided to throw the shot put in practice. He heaved the metal ball far enough that coach Dave Jones entered Thomas in the event the first meet of the season. Thomas won.
By competing and winning a number of events, Thomas scored points in bunches for the Bulldogs. He accounted for more than half his team's total at most meets and helped Zephyrhills finish in the top three at the Eastside Invitational and the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet.
His load didn't get any easier in the postseason. Thomas was a region and state qualifier in the long jump, 400, 4x100 and 4x400 relay. At the Class 2A state meet in Coral Springs, Thomas finished second in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 6 inches.
He was in the lead until he was surpassed in the final round by Key West's Terrence Moore, who went 23-71/2.
"That was tough," Thomas said.
"I was right there."
But Thomas didn't have time to dwell on what could have been.
His state plate was still full.
Up next was the 4x100 relay, an event that has been a disappointment for the Bulldogs the past two seasons.
Cannelios Ansley aggravated a pulled muscle sustained the week before and struggled through the first leg as Zephyrhills ran one of its slowest times in the prelims and failed to make the final.
Last season, Ansley's pulled groin acted up right before the final. He was out and his alternate somewhere in the stands, out of uniform. So Jones pulled another runner out of the stands, and the new lineup finished eighth.
This time, Jones did not have an alternate, and the 4x400 had to withdraw after Ansley's injury.
"That was hard to shake," Thomas said of the 4x100 team coming up short. "I think it affected me the rest of the state meet."
Thomas ended his day with a fourth-place finish in the 400 (49.08).
"My time was a season-best, But I know I could have done better," Thomas said.
Still, he made progress after finishing sixth in the long jump and 12th in the 400 at the 2004 state meet.
His prospects for a state title next season are good considering he is the top returner in both events.
"I just want to improve and help me my team where I can," Thomas said.
"If I do that, then everything else will come along, too."
COACH OF THE YEAR: Brian Colding, Wesley Chapel
Colding has knack for finding athletes and turning them into track stars.
Take Cameron Knight.
A state champion golfer, Knight competed in track for the first time. By season's end, he was a region qualifier in the 400 meters and 4x400. Colding's ability to find guys such as Knight was a big reason the county's deepest, best team continued to dominate.
The Wildcats won their fourth straight Sunshine Athletic Conference and district titles and placed sixth in the 4x100 at the Class 3A state meet.
ALL-PASCO COUNTY BOYS TRACK TEAM
TRIPLE JUMP: Nigel Bryant, Sr., Wesley Chapel
POLE VAULT: Anthony Napolitano, Sr., Mitchell
LONG JUMP: Bryan Thomas, Jr., Zephyrhills
SHOT PUT: Mike Toncich, Mitchell
DISCUS: Mike Galizia, Ridgewood
HIGH JUMP: Joe Farver, Jr., Hudson
110 HURDLES: Chandler Preddy, Wesley Chapel
100: Aaron Dickler, Wesley Chapel
1,600: Steven Bell, Land O'Lakes
4x100: Wesley Chapel (Rashad Cole, Araon Dickler, Nigel Bryant, Jason Wells)
400: Bryan Thomas, Jr., Zephyrhills
300 HURDLES: Chandler Preddy, Wesley Chapel
800: Jose Espinoza, Sr., Zephyrhills
200: Aaron Dickler, Wesley Chapel, Best time in county.
3,200: Jeff Masterson, Sr., Mitchell
4x400: Zephyrhills (Sederrik Cunningham, Cannelios Ansley, Jose Espinoza, Dale Humphreys)
4x800: Land O'Lakes (Max Johnson, Tommy Spock, Steven Bell, Billy Lang, Jake Proudfoot, Steven Lang)
Triple jump - Forrest Murphy, Mitchell. Pole vault - Jason DeBeaumont, Gulf. Long jump - Tony Smith, Pasco. Shot put - Patrick Morris, River Ridge. Discus - Mike Toncich, Mitchell. High jump - Marcus Neeson, Gulf. 110 hurdles - Matt DeSantis, Ridgewood. 100 - Rashad Cole, Wesley Chapel. 1,600 - Jeff Masterson, Mitchell. 4x100 - Zephyrhills (Cannelios Ansley, Sederrik Cunningham, Jose Espinoza, Bryan Thomas, Mike O'Donnell, William Patterson). 400 - J.J. Campbell, Mitchell. 300 hurdles - Zach Carter, Wesley Chapel. 800 - Justin Coile, River Ridge. 200 - Jason Wells, Wesley Chapel. 3,200 - Steven Bell, Land O'Lakes. 4x400 - Wesley Chapel (Jon Heiser, Cameron Knight, Kevin Forstad, Jason Wells, Chandler Preddy). 4x800 - Wesley Chapel (Jamie Parslow, Dhanial Murally, Stephen Sikes, Kevin Forstad).
Gulf - Thomas Accara (1,600); David Dorsey (PV). Hudson - Joey Buono (PV). Land O'Lakes - Andy-Marc LaFontant (4x400); Billy Lang (4x800); Steven Lang (1600, 3200); Jake Proudfoot (4x400); Nick Rees (PV); Mike Torro (4x400); Tony White (4x400). Mitchell - Ian Beckett (4x800); J.J. Campbell (100, 200); Mike Holl (4x800); Jeff Masterson (800); Anthony Napolitano (110H); Steve Skaggs (4x800); Mike Stein (4x800); Jeff Surmin (4x800, 3200); John Tuccio (1600); Chris Vanname (300H); Zach Walker (4x800). Pasco - Anthony Cicanese (DC); Chance Finlay (4x400); Todd Jeter (4x400); William Johnston (100, 4x100, 200); Demetrius Larry (LJ, 4x100, 4x400); Adam Plazewski (400, 4x400); Anthony Smith (4x100); Marcus Tookes (4x100, 4x400). Ridgewood - Mike Deleon (400, 4x400); Matt DeSantis (110H); Joe Drotis (4x100); Kevin Galason (4x100); Mike Galizia (4x100); Randy Jones (4x100); Mike Kern (4x400); Adam Lawson (4x400); Douglas McGruder (4x100); Kyle Sechrist (4x400); Dan Spector (400, 4x400). River Ridge - Sam Bell (4x100); Adam Bulgrin (DC); Justin Coile (4x800); Austin Gibson (4x800, 800); Darell Grady (4x100); Alan Klyap (4x800); Brian Lewandowski (4x100, 300H); Brett Litak (4x800); Zach McDevett (4x100); Philip Petrini (4x100); Bryce Sliz (4x800). Wesley Chapel - Nigel Bryant (HJ, LJ); Zach Carter (110H); Rashad Cole (LJ, 200); Kevin Forstad (800); Cameron Knight (400); Bob Leidel (PV); Jamie Parslow (HJ). Zephyrhills - Cannelios Ansley (100); Robert Aurie (4x800); Mike Avadikian (4x800); Sederrick Cunningham (100); Dale Humphreys (4x800); Cory Miller (110H)' Mike O'Donnell (TJ); Andrew Patrias (4x800); Jarrod Pinnegar (4x800); Bryan Reed (4x800).
Triple jump - Bryant (WC) 41-111/4, Murphy (Mit) 41-9, O'Donnell (Zep) 39-10; Pole vault - Napolitano (Mit) 12-9, Debeamont (Gulf) 11-11, Coffee (Rw) 11-0, Rees (LOL) 11-0; Long jump - Thomas (Zep) 23-6, Smith (Pas) 21-11, Murphy (Mit) 20-91/4; Shot put - Toncich (Mit) 51-10, Morris (RR) 46-9, Minichino (Rw) 45-9; Discus - Galizia (Rw) 142-4, Toncich (Mit) 142-31/2, Bulgrin (RR) 138-3; High jump - Farver (Hud) 6-2, Neesan (Gulf) 6-0, Bryant (WC) 5-10, Pasquine (RR) 5-10, Larpy (Pas) 5-10, Thomas (Zep) 5-10; 110 hurdles - DeSantis (Rw) 15.24, Preddy (WC) 15.39, Campbell (Mit) 15.77; 100 - Campbell (Mit) 10.69, Johnston (Pas) 10.80, Dickler (WC) 10.86; 1600 - Bell (LOL) 4:20.09, Masterson (Mit) 4:25, Lang (LOL) 4:27.53; 400 relay - Zephyrhills 42.91, Wesley Chapel 43.02, Pasco 44.0; 400 - Thomas (Zep) 49.08, Campbell (Mit) 50.57, Cunningham (Zep) 52.0; 300 hurdles - Carter (WC) 41.16, Preddy (WC) 41.50, Lewandowski (RR) 42.31; 800 - Espinoza (Zep) 1:58.53, Coile (RR) 1:58.53, Forstad (WC) 1:59.96; 200 - Dickler (WC) 22.59, Wells (WC) 23.05, Johnston (Pas) 23.06; 3200 - Masterson (Mit) 9:25, Bell (LOL) 9:39.60, Lang (LOL) 9:56; 1600 relay - Zephyrhills 3:32, Wesley Chapel 3:33.30, Ridgewood 3:44.20; 3200 relay - Land O'Lakes 8:15.66, Mitchell 8:16, Wesley Chapel 8:30.43.
[Last modified May 29, 2005, 01:05:19]
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