The Franklin County varsity track team will be sending three athletes to the upcoming Class 1A Regionals April 27 at Bishop Snyder in Jacksonville, after two sophomore girls won their events at districts and one senior boy finished fourth.
At the District 2 regionals April 10 at Bozeman, sophomore Tiuana Benjamin won both the high jump and the long jump, and sophomore Ja’mela Ray took top honors in both the shotput and the discus.
Senior Simon Brathwaite finished fourth in the high jump, and so advances to regionals. Sophomore Charlee Winchester was fifth in the discus, just out of the money.
Coach Josh Palmer said Benjamin’s efforts were not personal records, but good enough to best the completion. She leaped 1.42 meters in the high jump, about 4 feet 10 inches, two inches shy of her 5 feet personal best.
In the long jump, she was first with a jump of 4.85 meters, about 15 feet 10 inches, two inches below her personal record.
In the discus, Ray through a personal best 30.91 meters, about 101 feet. In the shot put, she three for 10.27 meters to win, about a half-meter shy of her 10.67 best. Freshman Marina O'Neal threw 5.62 meters, to finish 16th.
In the 400 meters, eighth grader Adia Barber ran a 1:20:64 to finish 15th in the prelims, just ahead of junior Janacia Bunyon, whose 1:20.89 put her at 17th.
In the 800 meters, freshman Marlee Tucker was 17th with a time of 3:31.55. In the 300 meters, sophomore Lindsey Steifel ran eighth, with a 1:08.80 performance.
Among the boys Brathwaite 1.78 meters in the high jump, about 5 feet 10 inches, was “a huge personal record for him,” said Palmer.
In the long jump, Brathwaite leaped 5.03 meters to finish 12th.
In the discus, Winchester threw 31.9 meters, and would have qualified by his showing in the prelims, had he not been knocked out, by about 12 feet, in the finals.
In the shotput, junior Nick Hutchins threw for 9.98 meters to finish 10th.
In the 200 meters prelims, seventh grader Reece Juno ran a 32.27 for 16th place just ahead of seventh grader Lance Peterson with a 32.72.
In the 200 meter dash prelims, freshman Alex Itzkovitz ran a 1:07.61 for 15th place, and Peterson was in 20th with a 1:22.71.
In the 800 meter finals, Itzkovitz ran a 2:40.94 to finish 12th.
In the 1,600 meters, Juno ran a 6:36.20 for 18th place in the finals, just ahead of junior Elijah Bowden who ran a 7:04.34.
“We’re really excited to take advantage of this opportunity. These three athletes have been working really hard every day,” said Palmer. “They’re trying to get PRs and compete against themselves, and not worry about the other competition.”
“We got a lot of young kids,” he said. “After three or four years of work they’ll be right up there.”
In the March 26 Wakulla Quad meet, Bunyon ran a season’s best 14.56 in the 100 meter dash, to finish 23rd, while Steifel ran a season’s best 1:23.80 in the 400 meters to finish in 17th.
In the 800 meters, Bunyon ran a season’s best 3:32.83, good enough for 14th. Tucker ran a 3:44.61 to finish 16th, and freshman Kristen Estes ran 4:33.95 for 17th.
In the 1,600 meters, Barber’s season’s best 7:27.28 put her in sixth place, while Tucker’s season best 7:48.91 placed her seventh.
Benjamin won the high jump with a leap of 1.47 meters, and was second in the long jump, posting a season’s best 4.91 meters.
Ray won the discus, with a throw of 26.2 meters, and won the shotput, with a throw of 10.1 meters. O’Neal threw a season best 6.2 meters to finish fifth.
Among the boys, in the 100 meters, junior Isaiah Barber was 18th with a time of 12.32, Brathwaite was 23rd with a pace of 12.62 and Itzkovitz had a season’s best 14.53 for 32nd place.
In the 200 meters, Juno’s season best 32.91 placed him 31st.
In the 800 meters, Bowden had a season best 3:11.24 for 10th place, and Peterson a season best 3:18.49 to finish 11th.
In the 1,600 meters, Winchester too third, with a time of 5:40.34, and Itzkovitz took fifth with a season best time of 6:22.78. Juno ran seventh, in 6:44.12, and Bowden 12th, with a 7:16.80.
Brathwaite was third in the high jump, with a leap of 1.57 meters, and was eighth in the long jump, with a 5.28 meter jump. Barber was fourth in the long jump, with a leap of 5.9 meters.
In the discus, Winchester’s toss of 30.09 meters earned him sixth place, while Hutchins was eighth, with a throw of 23.61 meters.
In the shot put, Hutchins had a season best 10.54 meter throw to finish eighth.
In the April 2 Wakulla Quad meet, the results were as follows:
100 meter: 19) Bunyon 14.95
200 meter: 20) Barber 34.00 21) Steifel 34.18 (Season Best)
400 meters: 12) Barber 1:24.09
800 meter: 17) Tucker 3:31.99 (Season Best) 19) Estes 4:26.72
High Jump: 2) Benjamin 1.42m
Discus: 3) Ray 27.94m
Shotput: 2) Ray 10.56m (Season Best) 11) O’Neal 5.68m
100 meters: 17) Brathwaite 12.53 (Season Best) 25) Juno 15.01
200 meters: 21) Peterson 33.99
400 meters: 15) Winchester 1:00.73
1,600 meters: 14) Juno 6:23.89 16) Bowden 6:53.32
High Jump: 8) Brathwaite 1.63m (Season Best)
Discus: 4) Winchester 30.15m
Shotput: 12) Hutchins 10.15m