Thy didn’t bring home any medals, but a trio of Franklin County High School athletes competed last weekend at the state track meet at the University of North Florida.
The best result came from sophomore Ja’mela Ray, who had earned a return trip to the Class 1A state track and field meet. Last year she had finished eighth in the shotput and this year she competed in discus.
On her first throw, Ray threw 92 feet 11.2 inches, or 28.34 meters, and that would be her best toss of the day.
She went on to throw for 92 feet 11 inches, or 27.84 meters; 91 feet 4 inches, or 26.03 meters; and then throws of 85 feet 4 inches, and 84 feet 11 inches.
Ray finished 15th best in the state. The winner, senior Rebekah Bergquist, from Southwest Florida Christian, won with a toss of 159 feet 1 inch.
With a throw of 31.90 meters, the equivalent of 104 feet 8 inches, at the Region 1-AA meet at Bishop Snyder in Jacksonville, Ray had taken second, just missing winning regionals by about two feet.
The girls team’s other state qualifier, sophomore Tiauna Benjamin, competed in the high jump.
She failed to top the first height, 4 feet 9.75 inches, or 1.52 meters, and so did not figure into the standings.
“It wasn’t her day,” said coach Josh Palmer.
In the boys high jump, senior Simon Brathwaite cleared the first jump, 5 feet 9.75 inches, or 1.77 meters, but was unable to top the second jump height, of 5 feet 11.5 inches, or 1.87 meters.
Brathwaite finished in 17th place. The event was won by Brandon Pottinger, a freshman at Florida Christian, who leaped 6 feet 1.5 inches, or 1.92 meters.
“With all the rain delays, it put everybody’s kids at a disadvantage,” Palmer said. “They went out there and did their best. It gave experience for the girls for next year.”