Commentary | Runners from Manatee County shine at First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay

March 18, 2014 

Manatee County runners fared well in Sunday's ninth annual First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay.

The race drew a record-breaking number of participants with 4,500.

In the men's division, Fort Lauderdale's Evan DeHart took first place with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 24 seconds.

Bradenton's Matthew McFall clocked in at 1:16:45 to produce a third-place showing and the best time among county male runners in the event.

Other male division winners included: Fort Lauderdale's Brian Keno (Masters, 1:20:42) and Sarasota's Robert Hammond (Grand Masters, 1:28:18).

On the female side, Tampa's Sara Petrick ran the race in 1 hour, 22 minutes flat for her third consecutive title.

Bradenton Christian alum Emily Egan finished in 1:34:46 to snag fifth place and the best showing among county female runners.

Other female division winners included: Lehigh Acres' Lisa Boehler (Masters, 1:27:48) and New Port Richey's Diane Skiles (Grand Masters, 1:37:49).

Volleyballers spike rivals

Three local volleyball players recently competed with the Tampa Bay Volleyball Academy in a re

gional qualifying tournament in Denver, Colo., and returned with a silver medal.

That means Bradenton's Grayson Hall (Manatee High freshman) and Gabby and Jojo Coulter (Sarasota School of the Arts eighth-graders) earned an invitation to the Junior Olympics/Junior Nationals in Minneapolis this summer.

Cyclones 2nd in tourney

Earlier this month, the Bradenton Cyclones travel basketball team took second place in their division of the Sarasota Xplosion tournament.

The club finished 3-3, losing twice to Division I teams and falling to High Hoops, out of Fort Myers, 57-56 in the final.

The Cyclones biggest margin of victory was by 31 points.

Standout performers for the weekend event were: Jaylin Pauley (16 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, three steals per game, Cyclones team Most Valuable Player), Jermaine Graham (20 rpg, Hustler award for work on the boards), Bona Baker (16 ppg, 8 rpg), Shawn Buck (6 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 spg) and Miguel Rodriguez (6 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 spg). The Cyclones head to Port Charlotte on April 11 for their next tournament.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.

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