2014 Hernando Today All-County Boys Track and Field Team

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Springstead senior Bobby Harris was named Athlete of the Year for the third straight season. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Athlete of the Year

Bobby Harris

High jump/Triple jump

Springstead – Senior

COMMENTS: Third straight Athlete of the Year and All-County selection … After finishing as the Class 3A state runner-up and state champion in high jump the past two seasons, placed fifth (6-4) in this year’s FHSAA Finals to earn another state medal … He finished first in all 10 previous meets on the season, collecting a third consecutive county title (6-0 at Hernando/Citrus Championship), repeat district crown (6-6 in 3A-7) and his first regional championship (6-6 in 3A-II) … Three times he cleared the bar at a county-best 6-8, in the Charles Johnson Invitational at Tampa-King on Feb. 22, the USF/George M. Steinbrenner Invitational on March 15, and the FSU Relays on March 21 … Also paced the county in the triple jump with a 44-1 3/4, finishing sixth at regionals … Became a repeat regional qualifier in the triple jump by taking second in 3A-7 (42-9) … Added a county title in the triple jump, with a second-place 42-4 at Hernando/Citrus Championship … Signed with Division I University of North Florida.

QUOTES: “I think if you ask him personally, he’d have mixed emotions about this year. But he earned himself a Division I scholarship That’s more impressive than anything else. … He got to states to defend his title. That day just wasn’t his day. He didn’t have a terrible day. … This year he jumped 6-8 consistently. Last year he jumped 6-9, but (back then) it was like if we can get 6-6 consistently that’s where we wanted to be. He didn’t have one meet this year where he just exploded, but he should be proud of what he did this year. … As far as track athletes, he’ll go down as one of the top Springstead athletes of all-time. I can’t say enough about him.”

– Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

James Amodie

800 meter

Springstead – Senior

COMMENTS: Ran a county-best 2:00.52 while taking seventh at the 3A-II Meet … Earned both county and district titles, placing first at the Hernando/Citrus Championship (2:02.02) and 3A-7 Meet (2:03.14).

QUOTES: “He had the kind of year I know he was hoping for. His goal was to qualify for states and he came within a tenth of a second of doing so. … He always wanted to do the two mile and mile. He didn’t have it in those events but he had the speed. This year he saw (the 800) as an event where he could take the reins and that’s what he did.”

– Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Christian Coleman

Pole vault

Nature Coast – Sophomore

COMMENTS: Tied for the county-high, clearing 10-0 twice, at Tavares’ Bulldog Invitational on Feb. 28 and at Weeki Wachee on March 13.

QUOTES: “I’ve got to give credit to (assistant coach) Greg Champagne. He really worked with pole vault and got Christian’s technique a lot stronger. … Every second Christian had he was down at pole vault. He was one of the first kids there and the last one to leave. … In practice he was getting 10-6. Hopefully he can get to 11-6, 12-0 and become really competitive.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Connor Foradas

Shot put

Hernando – Senior

COMMENTS: Third consecutive All-County nod, the previous two in discus … Registered a county-high 44-10 in shot put, taking third in 2A-7 … Finished 10th at regionals (42-3) … A two-time county champ in discus, earned a county title in shot put with a second-place 43-8 at Hernando/Citrus Championship.

QUOTES: “He had a pretty decent year, but then he got sick right at districts. He had problems with his equilibrium. … He’s a big kid, 6’5”, 295 (pounds). He just worked at (shot put) a little harder this year. With hard work, you get decent results.”

– Hernando head coach Rodney Byrd

James Harkless

400 meter/1,600 meter

Nature Coast – Senior

COMMENTS: Two-time All-County selection as an individual, having made it as a sophomore in the 800 and 1,600 … Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year … Ran county-best 4:33.01 to take second in 2A-II and advance to states for the second time in three years in that race … Finished 11th at states in 4:35.10 … Also made states in the 800, taking 12th (2:04.08) … Took first at the Hernando/Citrus Championship in the 1,600 (4:40.37) and 400 (county-best 52.80) to capture a pair of county crowns, after being county champ in the 1,600 and 800 in 2012 … Added a second in the 800 at Hernando/Citrus Championship (2:03.03) to help Sharks claim another county team title … In the 800, took second in district (2:09.30) and fourth in region (2:02.79) … Third in district in 1,600 (4:39.81) … Signed with NAIA Warner University for cross country and track.

QUOTES: “We’ve had OK captains; we’ve had horrible captains and very few great captains. James was a great captain. James never shined as a bright as he did this year. He really took the captainship by the reins and showed them how it’s done. … There’s no replacing James Harkless. James is just a great human being to be around. … James is somebody you could bank on in the mile (1600), half (800), quarter (400); a couple weeks he did the two mile (3,200), as well. Sometimes he’d win three or four events. He was somebody you’d say, ‘We need you, buddy, to do to this,’ and he’d do it. He was a point-scorer. He’s a big part of the reason we’d win meets.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Brian Haygood

100 meter

Nature Coast – Freshman

COMMENTS: Paced the county with an 11.03 at the Bulldog Invitational … Qualified for states in the triple jump, finishing 14th in 2A (40-11 1/4) … Placed fourth in triple jump at districts (40 4 1/2) and regionals (42-3).

QUOTES: “Brian is chock-full of natural talent. … My understanding is he really likes the 100. He really enjoys it. … He can only get faster. He can only get stronger. We’re hoping he’ll knock our socks off by the time he’s a senior.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Tyler Mahla

110-meter hurdles/300-meter hurdles

Springstead – Senior

COMMENTS: First-year track participant after three years as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, earning Player of the Year in football this past season … Paced the county in both hurdles races, running season bests of 15.70 in the 110 while earning a county crown by taking first at the Hernando/Citrus Championship, and 42.44 for the 3A-7 title in the 300 … At regionals, took 11th in the 110 (16.91) and 13th in the 300 (44.62).

QUOTES: “I’ve been trying to get him out for track the last few years. … He didn’t have his best day at regionals, but there’s no doubt in my mind he was capable of being a state-qualifying hurdler. … When I watched him run in football, he had natural athletic ability and a good stride.”

– Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Austin Mulyck

3,200 meter

Nature Coast – Sophomore

COMMENTS: Ran a county-best 10:18.89 at Lecanto Invitational … Finished second in 2A-7 (10:31.16) to qualify for regionals …. Placed sixth in 2A-II (10:27.03).

QUOTES: “He’s a hard-working individual. That’s a quality you want to associate with. Austin Mulyck represents that. … He loved the two mile (3,200). That’s his event. That’s his bread and butter. Austin has exactly what you need to excel in that event. You need to be a little crazy and have a lot of desire. He’s got both.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

DeShawn Smith

Long jump/200 meter

Nature Coast – Sophomore

COMMENTS: Posted county bests in long jump, a 21-3 while finishing seventh in 2A-II, and the 200, a 23.40 at the Lecanto Invitational … County champ in the 100, taking first at the Hernando/Citrus Championship in 11.50 … Finished third in the district in the long jump (20-6) and 100 (11.33) … Placed 11th in the region in the 100 (11.35).

QUOTES: “He had a breakout season. He really worked hard in practice and it showed in meets. … He’s so agile. He’s able to adjust in every situation and to boot he’s a great individual.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Jacob Tinch


Weeki Wachee – Sophomore

COMMENTS: Threw a county-high 137-10 to place fourth at the 2A-II Meet and qualify for states … Earned a county crown with a first-place 132-0 at the Hernando/Citrus Championship … Finished second in the district (137-8) … Placed 16th at 2A FHSAA Finals (97-6).

QUOTES: “It was pouring rain at states. I think he could have done better. He had his personal best this year. He’ll be all right next season. … He actually started to work harder over the summer. He got stronger. His hips got looser. He’s only a sophomore, but with that jump from a freshman to a sophomore, he did pretty well. … He’s starting to grow up and get more mature. I think that had a lot to do with it.”

– Weeki Wachee head coach Jon Malandrucco

Michael Tippett

Pole vault

Central – Junior

COMMENTS: Tied for the county high of 10-0, achieved three times: the Lecanto Invitational on Feb. 18, Hernando/Citrus Championship and 2A-7 Meet … Earned county title with third-place finish at Hernando/Citrus Championship.

QUOTES: “He had to deal with a lot of adversity. … I think he could have done better if that adversity had not existed. Also, he had to mix track and field with ROTC. … He’s a dedicated kid. He gives 100 percent and more all the time. He studies vault real hard. He’s not the most coordinated kid in the world, but he did great with what he had.”

– Central head coach Vic Cervizzi

Travis Undestad

Pole vault

Central – Junior

COMMENTS: Tied for the county high of 10-0, clearing that height at the Weeki Wachee Hornet Invitational on Feb. 21 … Couldn’t finish out the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

QUOTES: “His size and strength and speed (made him excel). Also, he ran sprints. So that helped a lot. He had good speed down the runway. He’s very well-coordinated.”

– Central head coach Vic Cervizzi


Jeff Amodie, James Amodie, Josh Page, Jai Jackson



COMMENTS: Combined for a county best of 8:33.31 while placing eighth in 3A-II … Placed fourth in 3A-7 (8:37.63) … Earned county title, running a second-place 8:57.85 at Hernando/Citrus Championship … Seniors James Amodie and Jackson were both part of last year’s All-County 4×800 … The junior Page and sophomore Jeff Amodie should return next season.

QUOTES: “I think a big key is I had Jai and Jimmy Amodie returning from last year’s team. Having two guys returning and knowing what it takes and both being seniors was definitely a good starting point. Then we had Josh who was kind of an alternate for that team last year. … Also having four guys in cross country, they all knew each other and how to keep each other focused.”

– Springstead head coach Brandon Wright

Smith, Jalen McFarlane, Haygood, Jordan Burkes


Nature Coast

COMMENTS: Ran a third-place 43.40 at regionals to advance to states … Placed ninth at states (43.82) … Won a district title behind a 44.29 … Only Burkes was a senior, while McFarlane was a sophomore.

QUOTES: “We juggled it for a little while. That was a group we knew early on to put them together at the very end. We were impressed with how well they did and how far they got. They really meshed well together.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Smith, Harkless, Burkes, Nick Conway


Nature Coast

COMMENTS: Won a district crown with the county’s fastest time, a 3:37.69 in the 2A-7 Meet … Placed 14th in 2A-II (3:43.37) … Smith was the only non-senior … Conway, Harkless, Smith and Gilbert Delgado combined to collect a county title with a first-place 3:43.32 at the Hernando/Citrus Championship.

QUOTES: “That 4×4 changed probably more than any other event because of the rigors of a track meet and the competitiveness of those kids. We got the right combination at the end. … Early on the boys were not on the same page. They worked on it a little bit.”

– Nature Coast head coach Eric Milholland

Coach of the Year

Eric Milholland

Nature Coast – 1st year

COMMENTS: Guided Sharks to first place in the Hernando/Citrus Championship and a seventh consecutive county crown … Nature Coast followed by winning the 2A-7 Meet, its third straight district title and fifth in seventh seasons … Sharks finished first in 6-of-9 regularly formatted meets prior to placing ninth in the region … Two individuals (Harkless and Haygood) as well as the 4×100 qualified for states … Milholland was also named Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year for the fifth time in six seasons.

QUOTES: “It means a lot. I have been a head track coach before. I don’t mind riding shotgun being an assistant. … I was nervous about keeping the tradition going of winning county; winning districts. I wanted to make sure we placed them correctly so that they went as far as they possibly could. … (Girls coach) Ryan Wilson had my back. Greg Champagne was great with the pole vault and hurdles, he had my back. And then there was (assistant coach) Rudy Story. … It’s nice to get Coach of the Year. That being said, I couldn’t have done it without the other coaches. … Yeah we’d have liked to win some medals at states. Beyond that, it (the season) fulfilled all my expectations. … Great team. Very few problems with the boys. … Just having that legacy going on, that was all it took for a few of these boys.”

– Milholland