tampabay.com

If practice makes perfect, well ...

By KELLIE DIXON
Published March 20, 2007


The Crystal River boys have the practice part down.

After the first half of the season and many canceled meets, the Pirates probably feel like that's all they have done. Crystal River has competed in just three meets out of seven scheduled so far. Most of the meets were canceled due to bad weather.

"It's difficult to get the kids to progress because some of them haven't raced as much as they probably should have," Pirates coach Tim Byrne said.

It also means the Pirates haven't had a chance to see some of the other district teams like West Port and Dunnellon.

But the Class 2A, District 6 runnerups are optimistic about the second half of the season, and they're focused on the April 10 district meet. The Pirates will host the meet for the first time.

"We just got to keep practicing and maintain our focus on that," said Byrne, in his sixth year as coach. "The kids that are true track athletes will do what they need to do."

Kevin Spivey, Blair Beeler and Pat Edwards have led the Pirates so far.

Spivey competes in the pole vault and the hurdles. His personal record for the pole vault is 12 feet 6 inches, and Byrne said the senior would like to add another 2 feet by districts.

Beeler, a junior, runs primarily the 800 meters and the 4x100-meter relay, but he also has been known to do the half-mile and the 1,600 meters.

Edwards, a senior, is a quarter-miler and 200-meter sprinter.

Byrne said the bottom line is the team is excited about hosting the district meet for the first time.

"It's one of those things where they're performing in front of their home crowd," Byrne said.

Kellie Dixon can be reached at kdixon@sptimes.com or 352 544-9480.