Kowboys, Lady Dogs, Liberty win district track crowns
News-Gazette Photo/Donald Lamb
Trayquel Hazley won the 300 hurdles championship for Osceola Tuesday to help the Kowboys win the 4A-5 district crown at St. Cloud.
By Rick Pedone
Osceola County track athletes will prepare for the regional meets next week after many turned in outstanding performances at the 4A-5 district meet at St. Cloud.
A highlight at the 4A-5 meet Tuesday was Osceola’s boys district championship, its first of the new century.
The Kowboys (161.5), under Coach Ray Hines, easily won over Celebration (95.5), Lakeland Jenkins (80.5), Lakeland (75), Gateway (66) and St. Cloud (56) at the nine-team event.
St. Cloud (156.16) won the girl’s championship in a tight race over Jenkins (135.5). Gateway (86), Osceola (79), Haines City (61) and Celebration (57.33) followed.
The top four athletes in each event advanced to the 4A-2 regional Wednesday at Tampa Leto.
Liberty (218.5) won the boys 3A-6 district meet at Lake Minneola Thursday as DevariusTurner won 100 and 200 meters championships.
Osceola’s district champs included triple jumper Akiel Hamilton (45-2), low hurdler Trayquel Hazley (40.02) and 400 meters winner Marcus Jackson (52.12).
The Kowboys had runners-up with high jumper Jalen Tyson (6-2), long jumper Hamilton (22-.075), discus thrower Jean Barreiro (130-1.5), 200 meters sprinter Carlos Becker (22.85). 3,200 runner Edwin Estrella (4:42.29) and Hazley (14.96) in the low hurdles.
Osceola also finished second in the 4×400 (3:32.50) with Jackson, Dashawn Glass, Jalen Tyson and Armani Helligar.
Hines, who has transformed the OHS program after taking over last year, had predicted a Kowboys victory.
“It speaks to our kids. We had a pretty good meet, much like we have had all year,” Hines said. “It’s all about the Johnnies and Joes, not the x’s and o’s. I like our kids. It’s not the workouts or the training or the coaches; I like their mental makeup.”
The Kowboys fumbled an exchange in the 4×100 preliminaries which probably cost them a district championship, Hines said.
“I had them fifth in the region next week and getting faster because the times from our 100 meters runners continue to drop each week. That one is gonna burn for a while,” he said. “Really, all three relays should have made it out.”
St. Cloud’s girls added a district championship to their conference title with championship efforts from Yairaliz Hernandez (102-0) in the discus, Jessica Martin (1:02.60) in the 400 and Karissa Solorzano (12:26.81), who won the 3,200.
Second for the Lady Dogs were Tori Robinson (5-4) in the high jump, Kiana Ruff (8-) in the pole vault, Kirsten Chambers (15.90) in the high hurdles and the 4×800 (10:09.63) with Solorzano, Octavia Gonzalez, Devin Montalvo and Grace Miller.
“The girls did a great job.We were the underdogs to George Jenkins going into the meet. The girls stayed positive and performed well all day,” St. Cloud Coach Kevin Harkema said. “We only had a couple mishaps and a lot more great efforts. I am proud of the entire team.”
The Celebration boys had one of their best district meet performances, led by two-event winner Jhonny Victor.
Victor won the high jump (6-8) and long jump (22-6) crowns, and was runner-up in the triple jump (44-5).
Coach Joel Fox didn’t expect Victor to win the long jump. “We just wanted to get a few points. The 22-6 as actually his first attempt and he passed the remaining five,” Fox said. “We’re happy with second (place); it’s where we thought we could finish. Coach Hines has added a lot of depth (at OHS) so we knew we didn’t have enough to get him. It was good to see the county so well represented for boys and girls.”
Celebration had second-place efforts from Deonti Carrington (45-1.5) in the shot put, Alexis Escotto (40.09) in the 300 hurdles and Justin Corinealdi (2:07.5) in the 800. The Storm (8:42.91) was second in the 4×800 with Diego Sanchez, Corinealdi, Foster Starks and Luke Vilardo.
Gateway’s Deja Clayton continued her excellence in the hurdles, winning both the 100 (15.70) and 300 (47.02) championships.
Gateway’s Mariana Herrera (39-4) won the triple jump.
“My girls performed well, I’m proud of them,” Lady Panthers coach Cliff
“I have a great group of young ladies. Daja has really bought into the system we have in place. I was proud of Tricia Davis for hanging in there and competing with a hip flexor injury. She’s a tough kid and qualified for regionals in the 100 (4th, 13.06) with her injury. We have a solid team that believes they can compete against good competition, which will make them better.”
Osceola’s girls (4:10.70) won the 4×400 with Selia Robinson, Cayla William, Shantivia Huggins and Sahvani Staple.
Gateway’s boys (43.62) won the 4×100 with Treavonte Wheeler, Devin Vega, Henry Miller and Jason Owens, and the 4×800 (8:42.91) with Jonathan Damiani, Robert Rodriguez, Samuel Espada and Nafees Zaman.
St. Cloud’s boys (3:30.87) won the 4×400 with Steven Overbay, Kendrick Calixte, Jovane Parkinson and Leonardo Nunez.
New Dimensions high jumper Georges Chery (6-0) placed second at the A-2 regional at The First Academy Wednesday.
He will compete at the Class A state meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville May 2.
No athletes from Poinciana advanced from the 2A-2 regional Wednesday.
Josh Wilson (22-6.25) won the long jump and Markel Brown (43-6) won the triple jump for Liberty at the 3A-6 meet. Rogelio Araiza (4:36.26) won the 1,600 meter, Kyle Sharman (11-0) won the pole vault and Phillip Auguste (6-2) took the high jump for the Chargers. The 4×100 (42.17) and 4×800 (8:08) also won a district crowns. Harmony’s boys (84) were fourth.
Harmony’s Amanda Smith (50.71) won the low hurdles for the Lady Horns (68) who placed fourth.
The 3A-2 regional is at Lake Minneola Wednesday.