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LECANTO GIRLS, HERNANDO BOYS TOP FIELD

The field was a little smaller, and the names changed a bit, too, but Lecanto was able to repeat its girls title at the annual Kiwanis Invitational at Hernando on Friday.

The Panthers dominated the girls field from start to finish with their depth and performances from Erin Carpenter leading the way. Lecanto finished with 192 points, more than 75 ahead of second-place Crystal River (117.5).

Carpenter swept titles in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles and the long jump, single-handedly putting her program far enough in front that depth carried the Panthers the rest of the way.

Thrower Shaneatha Gates bested two Central throwers in the shot put with her launch of 35 feet, 7 inches. Tikeisi Relaford (32-9) and Courtney LeCours (32-6) of Central rounded out the top three.

The breakout performance came from Nature Coast freshman Danielle Doucet. Last season, Springstead's Taylor Tuomey burst onto the scene with standout times in the 400-meter run. Doucet beat out both Tuomey and Springstead teammate, Jackie White with a time of 59.69 to win that event.

The Sharks sprinter also took first overall in the 100-meter run with a time of 13.28 and the 200-meter run with a time of 26.58.

Hernando beat Lecanto to take a very close race on the boys side. The Leopards' total of 144 points was enough for them to recapture their home meet title from the team that won last season.

As expected, Central's Jesse Hartman, the defending district champion in both throwing events, took first in the discus with a toss of 143 feet, 10.5 inches. Right on his heels was Lecanto's James McMurray (141-11.5) with his best throw less than two feet behind Hartman's.

Hernando's Ben Martucci, a state qualifier in the distance events last season, dominated the field in the 1,600 with a time of 4:24. The Leopards took three of the top five in the event with Chris Martin (4:39) coming in third place and Drew Martucci (4:43) coming in fifth. Drew Martucci is coming off of a knee injury and is not 100 percent.

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