PHS track team

Poinciana's boys track team celebrates Tuesday after winning its first district championship.

Longhorn girls dominate 800, 1600, 3200 to win their 3A-8 championship; regionals next week

Using a little bit of depth and a distance runner just welcomed to the program, the Poinciana boys track team claimed the first district championship in school history Tuesday in Lakeland.

The Eagles scored 116 points to just outpace Auburndale (108) and Winter Haven (105) at the District 3A-8 meet. Poinciana athletes qualified in 18 spots for the Region 2 meet next Saturday at George Jenkins High School.

“With that I expect us to win the region,” PHS Coach Cathy Esposito said. “We worked a district lineup that asked some boys to run four races well. They, and the kids who got us the fifth and sixth-place finishes to get us the win did outstanding.

In the girls race, Harmony let its dominant distance program do the talking to claim its own 3A-8 district title with 151.5 points over Auburndale (144) and Liberty (133.5), who was powered by Christelle Bonzil, who swept all three jumping events like she did at the Orange Belt Conference meet.

Poinciana’s Aaron Hernandez backed up his wins in the OBC meet with district titles in the 110 hurdles (15.94 seconds, just .01 seconds ahead of teammate John Sanchez) and long ump (21’9”). Guy Bond did the same in the high jump (6’ 5.5”), and sophomore runner Omario Windett won the 800 (1:58.34) and 1600 (4:45.16).

“Omario had a pretty special meet, he changed the whole thing,” Esposito said.

The Eagles other regional qualifiers (all those in the top four in their events) were Theodore Nelson (third in 100 meters, 11.06; second in 200, 21.85), the 4x100 (third in 43.81) and 4x400 (fourth in 3:32.73) teams, John Sanchez (fourth in the triple jump, 42’ 5.25”), Ryan Martin (fourth in shot put, 38’11”)

Harmony (90.5) was fifth and Liberty (16) was eighth. The Longhorns’ Christian Taylor won the 400 (51.10), the Longhorns’ 4x400 team was third (3:30.11), 4x800 team was fourth (8:54.37), Stephen Romer was fourth in the 3200, (10:33.39), Garret Palmer long-jumped 21 feet for second, Jarrin Dunn went third in the shot put (39’2.25”) and Ben Butler was third in the discus (113 feet).

In the girls race, Alanie Rivera (800, 2:24.67), Allison Hicks (1600, 5:33.85) and Vanessa Bolen (3200, 12:22.20, Hicks was second) took championships, then teamed with Brooke Mullins, who was second in the 800, to win the 4x800 (10:02.59). Mullins and Bolen shaped a 1-2-3 Longhorn finish in the 1600. Jalen O’Boyle (7’6”) won the pole vault ahead of teammate Caroline Munns.

Liberty’s Bonzil won the high jump (5’3.75”), long jump (16’6.5”) and triple jump (36’6.75”). Manoucheca Pierre won the shot put (31’9.25”). Alandi Jacobs was third in the 100 (12.49) and 200 (25.64), and she was on the 4x100 team that went third (49.65).

Poinciana’s Shyann Jackson won the 400 (57.28). Chanel Davis also qualified for the Eagles (third in the shot put, 29’ 9.5”).

In the District 4A-5 race, also at George Jenkins and including the rest of the county’s public schools, St. Cloud tied for second (83) with Kathleen thanks to its distance runners, and Osceola (80) was fourth thanks to its sprinters. Celebration (35), Tohopekaliga (34) and Gateway (2) also competed as Jenkins (204) ran away with the district title.

The Bulldogs claimed titles in the 800 (Alex Miranda, 1:59.32), 1600 and 3200 (Zach Cloud, 4:28.89 and 9:58.80.

Osceola’s Markevus Jackson won the 400 (48.46) and anchored the 4x400 team (3:23.91). He also took second in the 200 (21.79), Elijah Gotshall was second in the 800 (2:00.41) and Celebration’s Jared Falchook (2:00.65) was third.

In the girls 4A-5 meet, Jenkins (195) again topped the field but Osceola (139), St. Cloud (97) and Celebration (51) went 2-3-4. Tohopekaliga (38) was seventh and Gateway (5) was 10th.

It was the Kowboys’ Amaya Phillips who starred in the hurdles, winning the 100 (15.20) and 300 (45.10). Alliann Johnson backed up her OBC wins by taking the 100 (11.89) and 200 (24.26) sprints, and those two were also on the winning 4x100 (48.98) and 4x400 (4:02.30) teams.

Jetzymar Rivera was second (1:00.80) in the 400 and Lanisa Gibson was second in the 800 (2:28.26) and 1600 (5:23.47).

St. Cloud’s Haudie Whitston took the triple jump (34’) and dominated the pole vault (10’ 5.5”, a 2’5” win over teammate Jessica Kelly). Paige Alise was second in the discus (100’9”) and held the lead until the final throw of the day.

Tohopekaliga Alysa Whetro won the high jump (5’1”) and long jump (16’8”) to become the Tigers’ first district track champion.

Celebration’s Helena Huyke was second in the 100 hurdles (15.25) and 300 hurdles (46.01). Kendall Matoska was second in the high jump (4’11”) The Storm’s 4x800 team ran second (10:25.70).

For the full list of regional qualifiers, go to The top four in each event at regionals will qualify for the state meet at the University of North Florida in Gainesville May 3-4.