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Spring Hill gymnast Nichols, 7, earns state meet berths

Lester Nichols, 7, of Spring Hill competed recently at an AAU state-qualifying gymnastics meet in Brandon and a U.S. Gymnastics Federation state qualifier in Oldsmar.

Nichols, a Level 6 competitor coached by Christian Agudelo at Top Contenders gym in Hudson, qualified to compete in AAU and USGF state-championship meets, both of which will be held in April.

Nichols won two events, floor exercise and high bar, and was third in rings and all-around in the 7-9 age division of the 18-team AAU meet.

He scored 28.3 points in the USGF meet, 1.3 more than needed to advance to state competition.

Free-throw shooting: Four Hernando County youths qualified for state competition by winning their age divisions in the regional round of the Knights of Columbus free-throw shooting contest, held last Saturday at Springstead High in Spring Hill.

Rick Colon, a Parrott Middle School student, hit 25 of 25 attempts to win the boys age-11 division. Colon also went 25-for-25 in winning his district contest one week earlier.

The other local winners, all representing the Spring Hill-based St. Jude Council, were Floyd Elementary's Chris LoBianco, 10-year-old boy; Andrea Dill of Powell Middle, 11-year-old girl; and Brandon Browning of West Hernando Middle, 12-year-old boy.

The field of the regional contest included district winners from Brooksville, Citrus County and Pasco County. Regional winners advance to the state contest, scheduled March 12 at Bishop Moore High in Orlando.

Storm II under-13 soccer: The Storm II under-13 competitive soccer team won its division championship last weekend with a 2-1 victory over former co-leader West Pasco and a 2-2 tie with Southside St. Petersburg.

John Robinson and R.J. Dofka scored goals in the victory over West Pasco. Dofka had both goals against Southside St. Petersburg. Storm II, which finished the regular season 13-1-2, next plays Saturday against the Sarasota Dragons in a C-6 Cup game at Cape Coral.

Storm I under-13 soccer: The Storm I under-13 competitive soccer team ended its regular season with a 4-2 loss to the Palm Harbor Nighthawks last weekend. Steven Welch and Mike Sanders scored goals for Storm I, which finished 7-6-1.

Tennis: The parks and recreation departments in Hernando and Citrus counties are looking for volunteers to help start a summer youth tennis league.

Anyone interested in coaching and helping to run the league should call 754-4031 in Hernando County or (904) 795-2202 in Citrus County.

Sun Run: Youth divisions for the 16th annual Sun Run, a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race presented by the Hernando County Family YMCA in Spring Hill, are 14-and-under and 15-19 (there are also 10 adult age divisions).

The run, held on a TAC-certified course, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 19, followed by a free 1-mile run/walk at 9:15 a.m. Pre-registration for the 5K costs $10 until March 16; registration thereafter and on race day beginning at 7 a.m. is $12.

Net proceeds benefit the YMCA Children's Scholarship Fund. Awards will be presented to top male and female runners and top-three finishers in each male and female age division. Shirts are guaranteed to all pre-registered 5K runners. For more information or an entry form, call Harry Johnson at 688-9622 or Joyce or Leo Curran at 683-2822.

To report information about Hernando County youth sports, write to the Hernando Times at 161 East Jefferson St., Brooksville, Fl., 34601; fax information to 754-6133; or call 754-6117. Please be sure to include a telephone number.

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