Fast times at EA, Northview High

Published 7:22 am Monday, April 18, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Track action over the last two weeks has been fast and furious.
Both Northview and Escambia Academy's track squads have competed in several meets over that time frame.
Thursday, the Northview Chiefs track squad traveled to Gulf Breeze, Fla., to compete in the district track competition. Despite not having a team member qualify for regionals, Coach Mark Heaton was happy with the results.
"They did well and competed well against some bigger schools," Heaton said. "We've got a lot of young guys, but we had a lot of personal bests; whether it be times, or distances, or heights."
Nakita Myles finished eighth in the district triple jump. Teammate Carlos Kyles finished seventh in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Myles and Kyles also competed in the 4×100-meter relay team, along with Wes Leathers, and Caleb Linam and finished sixth.
The girl's 4×100-meter relay team also finished sixth in the competition. The group consisted of Emily Wiggins, Amanda Moretz, Anna Baker, and Courtney Fettler.
"Nakita and Carlos had great days," Heaton said. "We were up against a lot of guys that could run 10.4, 10.6, 10.8, something like that in the 100. It was tough competition. They worked on improving. Now the kids need to keep working. These ninth-graders will be qualifying for regionals in the future. We're just young right now."
The Titans of Woodham won the district competition.
Meanwhile, Thursday, the Escambia Academy track squad was hosting its biggest meet so far this year.
Seven schools (EA, Sparta Academy, Cottage Hill Christian Academy, Mobile Christian Academy, Jackson Academy, Faith Academy and Cornerstone Christian) were represented by 150 athletes on the campus of Escambia Academy, although one school – Cornerstone, an academy around Birmingham – had only one participant.
Faith Academy rolled over the competition, winning the boy's and girl's competitions by 86 and 162 points, respectively.
The boy's squad at EA finished second in the competition, tallying 114 points. The girls came in fourth place, only three points behind second-place finisher Sparta Academy.
Alan Ash and Matthew Rice provided the only first place wins in the meet for EA. Ash won the two-mile run, and Rice placed first in the long jump and triple jump. There were no girls first-place finishers.
"I thought we rose to the level of our competition," Rice said. "I don't mind playing a lot of bigger schools for that reason."
The Cougars also traveled to Selma Monday for a 21-team track meet.
Rice said the Cougars finished in the middle of the pack, but stated that there were several good performances.
"The best performances were Nykia Rolin, who was second in the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the 300-meter hurdles," Rice said. "Kaylie Castleberry finished fourth in the girl's triple-jump, and Matthew Rice finished third in the boy's triple-jump."
Despite success at several meets, Rice was worried about injuries to his team.
"We've been bit by the injury bug," Rice said. "Dalton Murphy, my best sprinter, and Nykia Rolin, my best hurdler, are both hurting right now. So we're going to need them back."
The Northview and Escambia Academy track teams traveled to Jay, Fla., Tuesday, April 5 to see if they were up to a challenge. Despite squaring off against the toughest competition either had seen all season, the teams had strong showings in the 10-team tournament.
The Jay Quarterback Club Invitational Track Meet featured participants from Pensacola Christian Academy (PCA), Jay High School, Walton County High School, Northview, Escambia Academy, Central High School of Allentown, Fla., Baker High School (Fla.), Paxton High School, and Freeport High School (Fla.).
The Northview boy's squad finished fourth and the EA boys finished fifth. The Escambia Academy girls finished tied for eighth place and the Northview girls finished in tenth place.
PCA and Jay finished first and second on both sides of the tournament.
Head Northview track coach Mark Heaton said the tournament was a good opportunity for his team.
"It was a very competitive tournament," Heaton said. "It was a good one. They did a great job with it and it rolled along real smooth. We competed well. It was a lot more competition than we've seen all year.
"This is what we needed," Heaton continued. "Going against this level of competition will really help for the district meet."
EA track &field coach Bert Rice was also happy to see his team invited to the tournament.
"This was the largest meet we've been involved in all year," Rice said. "All nine schools were larger than us and some were significantly larger. We continued to compete well against teams with more depth than we have. I was very pleased."
Northview had numerous point-scorers in the meet, but failed to win an event. Point-scorers were Carlos Kyles, who finished second in the 200-meter dash; Nakita Myles, who finished second in the long jump, third in the 200-meter dash, and fifth in the high jump; Kyle Sebestyen, Levon Kimmons, and Jeff Steadham, who finished third, fourth, and fifth in the pole vault; Wes Leathers, who finished second in the 400-meter dash; and Joe Strobaugh, who finished fifth in the discus. The 4×100-meter relay team, consisting of Wes Leathers, Deonta Davison, Caleb Linam, and Nakita Myles finished third place; and the 4×400-meter relay team, consisting of Wes Leathers, Josh Turner, Caleb Linam, and James Emmons finished fourth place. Emily Wiggins finished fourth in the girls long jump.
Point-scorers for EA were Matt Ash, who finished fifth place in the mile run; Alan Ash, who finished third place in the two-mile run; Matthew Rice, who finished second place in the triple jump; Nykia Rolin, who came in fourth in the 300-meter hurdles; and Andrea Nall, who finished second place in the girls one mile run. The boys 4×100-meter relay team, consisting of Matthew Rice, Nykia Rolin, Dalton Murphy, and Ryan Woods, finished fifth.
Heaton said his the girls track team was hurt by other events.
"Numbers hurt us," he said. "We were missing a lot of girls. Emily Wiggins got almost all of their points."
Rice was pleased with the improvement of his team.
"One thing was that I pay attention and look for kids that are getting better," Rice said. "Almost all of our kids had their best performance so far this year, Tuesday. That is encouraging. It shows progress."

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