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2A-9 track: Wiregrass girls show off depth on way to first title

Nature Coast’s Howie Williams soars to a win in the triple jump. His jump of 44 feet, 9 inches earned the victory at Wiregrass Ranch.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Nature Coast’s Howie Williams soars to a win in the triple jump. His jump of 44 feet, 9 inches earned the victory at Wiregrass Ranch.

WESLEY CHAPEL — As she crossed the finish line of the girls 100-meter dash Thursday afternoon, Zephyrhills sophomore Jamieshia Parker thought diminutive Hernando senior Ryane Ledington had crossed it a fraction of a second sooner.

Fortunately for Parker, the finish-line camera lens was a tad faster than both of them.

Parker's breathtaking victory against Ledington, followed by a photo finish in the boys 100, highlighted the Class 2A, District 9 meet on a sublime spring day at Wiregrass Ranch.

The host Bulls, who won their first Sunshine Athletic Conference title on the same track two weeks before, clinched their inaugural district crown on the strength of their depth and distance specialists. Wiregrass Ranch's 153 points were 37 more than runnerup Zephyrhills.

The big individual winner was Parker, who captured the 100, 200 and long jump, and ran the anchor leg on the victorious 4x100 relay team. She finished the 100 in 12.77 seconds; Ledington in 12.79.

"I thought she had me," said Parker, who edged Ledington by a slightly wider margin in the 200. "I was surprised."

Contrarily, Leopards alumnus and 2000 U.S. Olympian John Capel said he knew Parker had the race early on, but anticipates a dramatic rematch next Friday at the Region 3 meet in Naples.

"I knew from the first two steps that (Ledington) took, she kind of came up a little bit out of the blocks, and I knew (Parker) would outdrive her because of her height," said Capel, assisting with the Leopards sprinters this spring. "So we'll fix that for regionals."

Upstaging the Parker-Ledington duel was Nature Coast junior Antwan Story's victory — by one hundredth of a second — over Pasco's Marcus Hicks. The post-race photo showed Hicks' head protruding slightly in front of Story's torso, contrasting with Story's recollection.

"I thought I had it because I leaned," said Story, who finished in 10.97. "Everything counts, like the little things you do. If he would've leaned, he probably would've won."

Story's team (116 points) finished a distant second to Jesuit (154.5) in the team standings.

Other big individual winners included Nature Coast junior Danielle Doucet, who posted a season-best time in winning the 400 (58 seconds), and used a strong kick down the straightaway to outrun Wiregrass Ranch's Megan Ibison in the 800 (2:24.29).

Bulls sophomore Ariel Grey prevailed in the 1,600 and 3,200. In the longer race, she earned nearly a 13-second win against Berkeley Prep senior Olivia D'Angelo, who topped her by almost eight seconds in the same race last season.

2A-9 track: Wiregrass girls show off depth on way to first title 04/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:11pm]
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