Boys athlete of the year
Alex Kazanski, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
Few athletes ever enjoy the rise to prominence such as that of Alex Kazanski. After finishing fourth at the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet with a pole vault of 10 feet, Kazanski finally had a breakthrough at the Florida Relays with a vault of 13 feet, then reached the 14-foot mark for the first time at the Brian Jaeger Elite Classic. Kazanski went on to win Class 3A district, region and state titles maxing out at 14 feet, 6 inches at region.
Most impressive accomplishment: Talk about overcoming pressure, Kazanski won the Class 3A state meet even after he discovered all five of his poles had been stolen. Kazanski's personal coach, Bill Cashman of Longwood Lyman, was able to provide a spare pole that allowed Kazanski to compete. Kazanski has worked with Cashman for a year after they met at the Golden South Classic. Each pole, including shipping costs, is roughly $600.
Future plans: Kazanski's short-term goal is to clear 15 feet, which he was attempting at the Golden South Classic on Saturday. Kazanski would like to get a scholarship to college somewhere. His coach believes he has a chance to be at a state-record height by the end of his senior year.
Did you know? Kazanski's grandfather, Ted Kazanski, was an infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1953-58. Kazanski was one of the first baseball players to receive a signing bonus. His was $100,000, which he received out of high school in 1951. In six seasons, Kazanski batted .217 with 14 home runs.
Coach of the year | Jeff Leavey, Mitchell
Leavey guided the Mustangs to a one-point victory against Wiregrass Ranch in the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet, third place at district, then eighth at region. Though not always the highest scoring team on the North Suncoast, Leavey's passion seemed to get the most out of his athletes, particularly at region, where many of his athletes enjoyed breakthrough performances.
100, Ja'Juan Story, Jr., Nature Coast: Finished seventh at state with a time of 10.89 seconds
200, Ricky Trinidad, Jr., Mitchell: Finished second at region in 22.11
400, Tyler Ross, So., Mitchell: Won his region in 49.01
800, Josh Reilly, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Finished seventh at region with a time of 2 minutes, 02.08 seconds
1,600, Bruce Federico, Sr., Nature Coast: Finished sixth at state with a time of 4:23.18
3,200, Matt Schwartz, Sr., Land O'Lakes: Finished ninth at state with a time of 9:51.28
110 hurdles, Brian Adams, Jr., Sunlake: Finished seventh at region with a time of 16.70
300 hurdles, Jeff Wakefield, Jr., Mitchell: Finished third at region with a time of 40.76
Pole vault, Steve James, Fr., Central: Finished eighth in his first region meet with a vault of 12 feet, 6 inches
Long jump, Hakeeme Ishmar, Jr., Pasco: Finished ninth at state with a leap of 21 feet, 91/2 inches
Triple jump, Chaise Dunn, Sr., Pasco: Finished ninth at state with a jump of 44 feet, 6 inches
High jump, Tony Hays, So., Ridgewood: Finished fifth at region with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches
Discus, Tyler Hisamoto, Sr., Sunlake: Finished fifth at region with a throw of 142 feet, 9 inches
Shot put, Ray Nixon, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Finished ninth at state with a throw of 48 feet, 93/4 inches
4x100 relay, Nature Coast (Ja'Juan Story, Tevin Drake, Isaac Bailey, Antwan Story): Finished fourth at state with a time of 41.98
4x400 relay, Wiregrass Ranch (Josh Reilly, Yemi Adetutu, Dylan Bordelon, Larenzo Johnson): Finished eighth at region with a time of 3:29.45
4x800 relay, Wiregrass Ranch (Ian Cassette, Logan Selzer, Josh Reilly, Ermias Biredaa): Finished sixth at region with a time of 8:21.53
100: Antwan Story, Sr., Nature Coast; 200: Ja'Juan Story, Jr., Nature Coast; 400: Theodore Robinson, Sr., Central; 800: Marc Avadikian, Jr., Zephyrhills; 1,600: Mason Chilmonczyk, Sr., Ridgewood; 3,200: Ryan Pulsifer, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch; 110 hurdles: Joe Fauntelory, Jr., Sunlake; 300 hurdles: Larenzo Johnson, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch; pole vault: Andrew Bales, Jr., Mitchell; long jump: Tony Perez, Jr., Ridgewood; triple jump: Tony Perez, Jr., Ridgewood; high jump: Thomas Rodriguez, So., Ridgewood; discus: Morgan Hendrix, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch; shot put: Tevin Drake, Sr., Nature Coast; 4x100 relay: Zephyrhills; 4x400 relay: Springstead; 4x800 relay: Wesley Chapel
Anclote: Dondre Daley; Bishop McLaughlin: Shane Mendoza, Andrew Beeble; Central: Steve James, Steven Read, Justin Battle; Hernando: Chad Woods, Derrick Wilson; Gulf: Jeff Kruse, Nathan Phleager; Hernando: Terrance Owens; Land O'Lakes: Joseph Lonsway; Mitchell: Ryan Jerothe, Matt Michaels, Jeff Wakefield, Colby Sullivan, Taylor Hawks, Michael Irwin, Robbie Wallace; Pasco: Chaise Dunn, David Emmanual, Clifford Phillips, Marcus Hicks, Janarion Grant; Ridgewood: Mason Chilmonczyk; Springstead: Drew Fulcher, Tony Roberts, Thomas Watson, Lou Wendelstedt; Wesley Chapel: Jonnie Edmonds; Wiregrass Ranch: William Ferguson; Zephyrhills: Jordan Lyles, Benjamin Williams, Tyler Pohjolainen, Jamal Roberts, Cody Van Buren