A total of 10 Osceola County athletes brought home 14 medals for top-eight finishes from last week’s FHSAA state track meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Considering bad weather forced a handful of delays that turned the meet into two 12-hour days of improvisation, county coaches generally said it was a good meet for their athletes.
“With the weather delays and an already crazy schedule, you get what we got, and it can be hard on the kids,” said OHS Coach Eric Pinellas said. “We got six podiums, which under the circumstances isn’t bad.”
The top finish from the county came from St. Cloud pole vaulter Haudie Whitston. The Bulldogs’ lone medalist cleared 10 feet, 10 inches to tie for third place in the Class 4A event.
Osceola sprinter Alliann Johnson was fifth in the 100 meters (12 seconds flat) and eighth in the 200 (24.63), and hurdler Amaya Phillips was seventh in both the 100 high (14.96) and 300 intermediate hurdles (44.33). Those finishes earned the Kowboys a tie for 24th place with nine points in the team competition. The 4x400 relay team was ninth (3:56.01), an agonizing .03 seconds out of eighth.
On the boys side, sophomore Markevous Jackson ran seventh in both the 200 (22.12) and 400 meters (400), and those four points put OHS in a tie for 46th.
“It was the end of a real good season for Markevous,” Pinellas said.
In the Class 3A meet, Liberty’s girls finished in 28th thanks mostly to jumper Christelle Bonzil, who tied for eighth in the high jump (4’ 11.75”), finished eighth in the long jump (17’ 4”) and sixth in the triple jump (37’ 2.5”). The Chargers 4x400 relay team of Kanitria Antenor, Alandi Jacobs, Breanna Moss and Nyidjah Ives ran eighth (3:59.54) and the 4x100 team just missed another podium finish in ninth.
"On Friday it did rain but it was just the waiting and going and waiting and going and warming up and getting cold again do to the lightning delays," Chargers Coach Mickey Smith said. "It would have easily put the regular athlete out of the state of mind to compete but I can say Christelle stood strong and she finished at the top of her competition. Compared to the rest of her season her numbers wasn't where they usually are but they were good enough for her to get on the podium.
"As for the rest of the team I'm also proud of the way they competed. Nydijiah, a freshman, actually ran her best time in the 400 which she didn't make it into the finals but she gave them a run for their money for her first state competition. Our 4x4 team which has two sophomores and one freshman and they placed eighth."
Also in the girls’ 3A races, Poinciana’s Shayann Jackson ran eighth in the 400 (57.59).
For the boys, Poinciana’s Guy Bond was sixth in the high jump (6’ 3.5”).
In Class 1A, City of Life’s Kianie Cummings was sixth in the high jump (5’ 1.75”) and Debra Buggs was eighth in the long jump (16’ .5”).
The rest of the county finishers at the state meet:
Girls — Osceola: Jetzymar Rivera, 23rd in the 400 (1:00.32); Isabella Pancake, 16th in the discus (107 feet); Celebration: Helena Huyke, 15th in 100 hurdles (16.12), 18th in 300 hurdles (47.71); St. Cloud: Simone Giggets, 16th in 100 hurdles (16.15); Poinciana: Jackson, 20th in 200 (26.00); Harmony: Alanie Rivera, 19th in 800 (2:20.98); Brooke Mullins, 13th in 1,600 (5:17.88); 4x800 relay team (Mullins, Rivera, Vanessa Bolen, Allison Hicks), 12th in 9:48.83; Liberty: Jacobs, 21st in 100 (13.00); Ives, 17th in 400 (59.79); City of Life: Buggs, 17th in 100 hurdles (17.48).
Boys — Osceola: 4x400 relay (Jackson, Elijah Gotshall, Marvin Gatlin, Jacquez Jones), 14th in 3:22.46; Celebration: 4x400 relay (Oscar Newman, Keshawn Peterson, Chase Robbins, Jared Falchook), 22nd in 3:25.06; St. Cloud: Zach Cloud, 12th in 1,600 (4:30.10) and 11th in 3,200 (9:50.30); Harmony: Christian Taylor, 15th in 400 (50.11); Garrett Palmer, 17th in long jump (20’ 9”); 4x400 relay (Taylor, Kareem Dinzey, Josh Grimes, Gibson Gaston), 21st in 3:35.19; Poinciana: Theodore Nelson, 19th in 100 (11.34) and 15th in 200 (22.52); Omario Windett, 21st in 800 (1:59.63); John Sanchez, 23rd in 110 hurdles (20.38); Aaron Hernandez, 11th in long jump (21’ 8.75”).