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Kiwanis Invitational: Nature Coast boys, Wesley Chapel girls repeat as champs

Nature Coast’s Howie Williams takes off during the long jump, which he won with a leap of 21 feet, 11 inches. Williams also took first in the high jump and triple jump. “ … When one of us is down, all of us have to come together like we did tonight,” he said of the Sharks’ surge that allowed them to repeat as champs.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR | Special to the Times

Nature Coast’s Howie Williams takes off during the long jump, which he won with a leap of 21 feet, 11 inches. Williams also took first in the high jump and triple jump. “ … When one of us is down, all of us have to come together like we did tonight,” he said of the Sharks’ surge that allowed them to repeat as champs.

BROOKSVILLE — It was deja vu at the Kiwanis Invitational at Hernando on Thursday. Both team champions, Nature Coast boys and Wesley Chapel girls, repeated from the 2008 meet.

The Nature Coast boys title might have been the most impressive because the Sharks (127 points) had to come from behind at the end of the night to overtake Wesley Chapel (105).

Their comeback was led by field star Howie Williams and sprinter Antwan Story. Williams was arguably the most impressive athlete at the meet, winning three individual events to lead the Sharks. He took the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches), triple jump (43-9) and long jump (21-11).

"To help our team come from behind is an amazing feeling for me," Williams said. "We are family here, and when one of us is down, all of us have to come together like we did tonight."

Story also was dominant with victories in the 100 (10.77 seconds) and 200 meters (21.93). He was the anchor in the 4x100 relay, an event the Sharks won by less than a second over Wesley Chapel.

The Wildcats boys were led by Kamran Joyer in the field events. Joyer was the only multiple-event winner for Wesley Chapel, scoring victories in the discus (136 feet, 4 inches) and shot put (55-1). Mitchell Wozniak scored the program's only other event win with a first-place finish in the 300 hurdles (40.99 seconds).

The Wildcats girls led the entire way, surpassing runnerup Nature Coast by 67 points. Wesley Chapel relied on depth, winning six individual events with six athletes.

April Bickham (pole vault), Renee Vaughns (long jump), Dana Cannon (triple jump), Shantel Houston (100 hurdles) and Jessica Furst (1,600) took home individual first-place ribbons. The Wildcats also took the 4x100 relay, defeating Hernando by less than one-tenth of a second.

Kiwanis Invitational: Nature Coast boys, Wesley Chapel girls repeat as champs 03/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 3:29pm]
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