All-Area girls track: Stephanie Schappert, Pope John Paul II
Saturday, June 04, 2011
by Matt Porter
Stephanie Schappert won her first individual state track championship when no one expected her to win. That made her a champion.
She became a great champion this year by winning when everyone expected she would.
The Pope John Paul II senior captured her second consecutive pair of gold medals in the Class 2A state meet, winning the 800 and 1,600 with a killer kick.
She won the 800 in 2:12.65, more than six seconds ahead of the pack. She ran a tight race and then opened it up at the end, making the back stretch a showcase. Her kick in the 1,600, which she ran in 4:54.98, was less pronounced, but she still finished three seconds ahead of the runner-up.
"I knew my best chance of winning was to let no one have a shot at coming back on me," she said.
Schappert, who won double gold in both events as a junior and silver in both as a sophomore, held off a field that "had nothing to lose," she said. She admitted she was nervous beforehand, feeling the butterflies that come with great expectations.
"When I was a sophomore, it was easy to go out there and not be nervous," she said, "because if I get fifth place, that's pretty dang good for a sophomore, and if I win, I'm the dark horse that came out of nowhere and everyone's shocked and that's awesome."
Despite a charge from super sixth-grader Daesha Rogers of Plantation-American Heritage, who beat Schappert at the regional meet, she ran a pair of season-low times to defend her state championships.
"It's a lot harder to do the second time around," said Schappert, The Post's athlete of the year in track last year and cross-country runner of the year in the fall. "The target's on your back."
Now she heads to Villanova, home of the two-time defending national cross-country champions, looking to uphold the tradition and eager to create more winning expectations.
Won gold in shot put and bronze in discus at 4A state meet.
Took silver in long jump and fifth in 300 hurdles at states.
Palm Beach Central, Soph.
State gold medal winner in triple jump, seventh in long jump.
Royal Palm Beach, Sr.
Placed third in triple jump at state meet, was top qualifier in event.
King's Academy, Jr.
Placed fourth in 100 at 1A states, part of 1600 relay (fifth).
King's Academy, Sr.
Fifth in 400 at 1A states, part of fifth-place 1600 relay.
Palm Beach Lakes, Jr.
Qualified for Class 3A state meet in 400 and triple jump.
Park Vista, Jr.
Despite sprained ankle, eighth in state long jump and triple jump.
Lake Worth, Soph.
Fourth in the high jump at states, anchored state-qualifier 1600 relay.
Seminole Ridge, Soph.
Placed seventh in the 400 at Class 4A state meet.
Jamie Fisher, Benjamin, Jr.
Alexandria Jackson, Seminole Ridge, Soph.
Jaylisha Griffith, Palm Beach Gardens, Jr.
Taylor Cogsil, Benjamin, Jr.
Jillian Collins, Royal Palm Beach, Sr.
Sofi Ingram, Santaluces, Sr.
Shakira Bartley, Lake Worth, Soph.
Tatianna Etienne, Lake Worth, Soph.
Aluntrea Davis, Suncoast, Soph.
Meredith Anderson, Benjamin, Jr.
American Heritage Alexandra Price; Benjamin Jeanelle Ackerman, Ariel Adams, Meg Downy, Rachel Harris, Ashley Reback; Dwyer Reilly Dawson, Julyanna Espinal, Patterson McDulin, Shanie Pettigrew, Mary Sodders, Jordan Zielinski; Glades Central Johnsheka Huggins, Carvel Lawrence, Carnisha Michel, Fabrianna Nation; Jupiter Christian Brennan McMichael, Lindsey Powers; King's Academy Cathryn Urso; Palm Beach Central Makeira Brown; Park Vista Kayley Doyle, Sophia Bou-Ghannam, Jascity Hutchinson, Kylie Steele; Seminole Ridge Precious Johnson; St. Andrew's Angela Alvarez; Suncoast Aluntrea Davis.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jay Seider, Glades Central
Legendary coach battled male breast cancer to coach another group of at states. Dedication to the sport unmatched by others.
BEST OF THE TREASURE COAST
Jensen Beach Mallory Gillespie, Taylor Morris, Lauren Ricchiuti; Lincoln Park Stephanie Ball, Kelly O'Hara, Kelly Hensley, Tia-Rose Raymond; South Fork Kelly Sime, Casey Fearns, Kelly Scott, Laurie Scott. Most valuable athlete: Mallory Gillespie.