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Lady Sharks Run Away With Fourth Straight Crown

By Danny Aiello Jr

Twitter: @DannyAielloJr


For the fourth straight district meet, the Lady Sharks of Nature Coast proved too much on the track. While Nature Coast claimed their fourth district title in a row, Monday’s conclusion to the 2A-7 district track meet proved huge for Hernando County Sprinters.

With the top four track and field competitors in each event advancing to the Regionals, which are held Thursday at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, both the boys and girls participants found various ways to punch their tickets.

The meet was originally supposed to take place Thursday, but heavy rain and lightning forced officials to postpone the meet before finals could begin.

When Monday’s restart happened rain continued to fall, but Hernando County runners kept pushing through.

On the girls side of things, Nature Coast led the qualifying contingent, sending seven athletes and three relays.

Ashley Gentz (100,200,400,Long Jump) qualified in four events for the Sharks, while Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez (200,400, Long Jump, 4×400) joined her teammate in advancing. Rounding out the district-champions are Eboni Johnson (400), Katilyn Pierce (Triple Jump), Emmalee Harris (High Jump), Theresa Garynik (Pole Vault), Rita Jarque (Shot Put) and the 4×100, 4×400, and 4×800 relay teams.

Nilsa Marie/ Gentz

Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez (left) and Ashley Gentz (lane 2)


Hernando would send four athletes and a relay team, led by hurdler Jasha Patrick, who won the 100 and 300M hurdles with ease. Patrick will also compete for the Leopards in the Long Jump, while teammates Kaitlyn Batten (100 Hurdles), Ashley Morris (3200), and Lauren Plaugher (Discus) as well as the 4×800 relay squad.

Weeki Wachee and Central will each send one athlete, with Erika Herzek representing the Hornets in the 3200M while Marli Grey will be the Bears athlete in the pole vault. The Hornets will also send their 4×100 team.

Jasha Patrick

Jasha Patrick cruises to victory in the 300M Hurdles


While South Sumter claimed the boys title with relative ease, all four of the county’s 2A schools will also be represented in the regional meet by male competitors.

Nature Coast will be sending five athletes, while Weeki Wachee will send one field athlete and three relays. Hernando will send three athletes and a relay while Central will have a lone competitor advancing.

Trevor Foley will be leading the Sharks, competing the the 3200 and 1600, while Kyle McInerney will be throwing the discus and shot put. Michael Berg (400), Mathew DiMuccio (Shot Put), and Chistian Coleman (Pole Vault) will make up the remainder of the Nature Coast squad.

Michael Berg

Michael Berg fights the slick track to win the 400M


Weeki Wachee found success in the relays, sending their 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 teams as well as Jacob Tinch who will be returning to regionals for a second straight year in the discus event.

The Leopards 4×800 relay team advanced, as well as Mark Wilson (800) and long jump district-champion Derrell Holland who leapt an impressive 20-08.00. Christian Dowdell rounds out the Hernando squad as he seeks a medal in the triple jump.

Central’s lone athlete is Ruoshon Thomas who will look to improve on his 19-06.00 triple jump in his quest for a regional medal.

Girls Recap:

100 M Hurdles – 1. Jasha Patrick 17.10 (Hernando) 4. Kaitlyn Batten 18.59 (Hernando)

100 M – 2. Ashley Gentz 12.93 (Nature Coast)

200 M – 2. Nilsa-Mare Rodriguez 26.15 (Nature Coast) 3. Ashley Gentz 26.94 (Nature Coast)

300 M Hurdles – 1. Jasha Patrick 47.12 (Hernando)

3200 M – 2. Ashley Morris 13:11.39 (Hernando) 4. Erika Herzek 13:45.97 (Weeki Wachee)

400M – 2. Ashley Gentz 1:01.14 (Nature Coast) 3. Eboni Johnson 1:02.11 (Nature Coast)

4×100 Relay – 2. Santina Paonessa, Jessica Osborne, Kaitlyn Pierce, Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez 52.52 (Nature Coast) 3. Juliya Ssosse, Josie Collier, Ashelie Campagna, Zoe Murchio 54.29 (Weeki Wachee)

4×400 Relay – 1. Stephanie Garcia, Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez, Eboni Johnson, Kaitlyn Pierce 4:15.21 (Nature Coast)

4×800 Relay – 2. Megan Mcdowell, Miranda Varner, Sydney Papa, Ashley Morris 12:06.89 (Hernando) 4. Nature Coast 12:55.12

Discus – 2. Lauren Plaugher 104-08.00 (Hernando)

High Jump – 4. Emmalee Harris 4-06.00 (Nature Coast)

Long Jump – 2. Jasha Patrick 16-05.50 (Hernando) 3. Ashley Gentz 16-00.00 (Nature Coast) 3. Nilsa-Marie Rodriguez 16-00.00 (Nature Coast)

Pole Vault – 3. Theresa Gardynik 7-06.00 (Nature Coast) 4. Marli Grey 7-06.00 (Central)

Shot Put – 1. Rita Jarque 35-03.50 (Nature Coast)

Triple Jump – 4. Kaitlyn Pierce 31-09.50 (Nature Coast)

Team Scores:

1. Nature Coast – 137

5. Hernando – 63

9. Central – 24

10. Weeki Wachee – 20

Boys Recap:

1600M – 2. Trevor Foley 4:37.51 (Nature Coast)

3200M – 2. Trevor Foley 10:22.25 (Nature Coast)

400M – 1. Michael Berg 52.60 (Nature Coast)

4×100 Relay – 4. Zachary Nelson, Marcus Jones, Shawn O’Gorman, Kwashawn Oliver 45.94 (Weeki Wachee)

4×400 Relay – 4. Monte Bostic, Donte Young, Arestead Alvarez, Kwashawn Oliver 3:45.69 (Weeki Wachee)

4×800 Relay – 3. Mark Wilson, Joel Wilson, Noah Batten, Tyler Pantley 8:53.58 (Hernando) 4. Jonathan Puig, Anthony Valante, Donte Young, Adam Macchione 8:56.24 (Weeki Wachee)

800M – 2. Mark Wilson 2:06.91 (Hernando)

Discus – 3. Jacob Tinch 125-04.00 (Weeki Wachee) 4. Kyle McInerney-Solberg 122-01.00 (Nature Coast)

Long Jump – 1. Derrell Holland 20-08.00 (Hernando) 4. Ruoshon Thomas 19-06.00 (Central)

Pole Vault – 3. Christian Coleman 8-00.00 (Nature Coast)

Shot Put – 2. Kyle McInerney-Solberg 44-05.50 (Nature Coast) 4. Mathew DiMuccio 43-11.00 (Nature Coast)

Triple Jump – 4. Christian Dowdell 37-05.00 (Hernando)

Team Scores:

5. Nature Coast – 65

7. Hernando – 45

9. Weeki Wachee – 31

11. Central – 8

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