Track Sharks pick up steam against Chiefland

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By Jenna McKenna

Cedar Key girls won at Chiefland in Friday's meet, with an overpowering team score of 140 to 104 for second-place Bell. Key to the win were dominant performances by Sam Beckham and Kacey Miller, including Miller's new school record in the high jump at 5'3 1/2".

Cedar Key boys fared less well, coming in last among full teams with 68 points; as at the Cedar Key Relays last week, a shortage of team members hobbled their performance. Fortunately, senior Justin Speegle is back and ready to murder his events in next week's county meet.

Track head coach Brad Penney was exuberant about the girls' win, which he called "the best performance I've seen in a long time."

He was philosophical about the boys' result, and the meet over all, saying, "We're still at the phase of the year where we're just trying to get people to their events on time."

Not that the track team has a problem with organization - they might be one of the best-organized teams in the district. But because Cedar Key Track is so small, Penney enters almost everyone in multiple events - often three or four per meet. And they might not be the same events every time.

"We try to put people in events we think we can win," he has said. "It's all about scoring the most points."

That makes even the most game athletes a little spooky, but the Sharks are showing a sense of humor about it.

"I think we're doing better about getting people in multiple events," Penney said. "Everyone's getting more comfortable with it.

What all this shape-shifting is aiming at is a chance for the girls to three-peat at next week's county meet, and a hope for real success at districts and beyond. Penney will turn his tiny squad loose against the hordes of Chiefland and Williston and simply demand that his highly versatile, highly fit athletes will insinuate themselves into the rankings.

Both boys and girls will have their work cut out for them, as both Williston and Chiefland have imported their highly athletic football squads, with Williston getting huge mileage out of the inexperienced but elastic Travis Evans. The girls have already seen what Chiefland's Allie Wheeler and Williston's Suzie Smith can do.

"I'll tell you one thing about next week," he said. "Whoever wins the girls' will win it by less than 10 points."

Team results:

Girls: Cedar Key, 140; Bell, 104; Trenton, 65; Chiefland, 49; Williston, 45; Dixie County, 41.

Boys: Trenton, 117; Williston, 109; Chiefland, 94; Bell, 70; Cedar Key, 68.

Event high finishes:


Discus, Sam Beckham, first, 83'11"

4x800, Cedar Key, second, 12:49

High jump, Kacey Miller, first, 5'3 1/2"

Triple jump, Sam Beckham, first, 31'3"

Long jump, Sam Beckham, second, 14'5 1/2"

110 hurdles, Deanna Littlefield, third, 20.7

1600, Megan Stuber, second, 7:01

400, Kacey Miller, first, 1:05

300 hurdles, Sam Beckham, first, 51.9

800, Kacey Miller, first, 4:49.03


Shot put, Josh Lumley, first, 40'11"

4x800, Cedar Key, third, 9:54.05

High jump, Justin Speegle, third, 5'6"

Triple jump, Justin Speegle, third, 35'8"

300 hurdles, Josh Loyd, third, 52.19