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Zephyrhills' Schleicher fifth at Golden West with 6-8 leap

Kevin Schleicher's high school high-jump career came to an end Saturday. Unfortunately, he did not go out _ or over _ on top.

Schleicher, who jumped 7 feet, 2\ inches for Zephyrhills High while winning the district title last month, failed to clear 6-10 and finished fifth in the 34th annual Golden West National High School Seniors Invitational at Sacramento, Calif.

"Kevin was too close to the bar on his takeoffs and he didn't gather himself after each jump," said Zephyrhills assistant track coach Dave Jones, who accompanied him to the meet. "He came out here and did the best he could under the circumstances. I feel comfortable with his performance. Obviously, Kevin is not satisfied with it, but this will help his motivation down the road."

Schleicher failed on three attempts at 6-10 after clearing 6 feet, 6-2, 6-4, 6-6 and 6-8 on his first attempts at the American River College.

"It didn't take 7 feet to win in a competition like this," said Schleicher, who recently accepted a track scholarship to Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. "That makes me so mad. If I'd cleared 6-10 I'd have had this meet in my hands.

"I'm going to promise myself never to let this happen again, but I did have fun out here, meeting new friends and experiencing national competition for the first time."

Californians took gold and silver medals as season-long national leader Jeff Neadau cleared 6-10 on his first attempt. Todd Kelly finished second by clearing 6-10 on his second attempt, while Xavier Skillman of Phoenix took the bronze by clearing 6-10 on his third attempt.

Safe boating course: An eight-hour course in safe boating will be offered free to the public Saturday at the Hernando Beach Marina on Shoal Line Boulevard in Hernando Beach.

Dick Sharp will serve as instructor for the course, which begins at 8 a.m. and is offered by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

Pre-registration is required by Friday.

For more information, call (904) 596-2952.