The opening of the track season for many of the 21 schools found a very pleasant day at the Naples High Eagle Invitational on Saturday.
The unusual, but competitively fun event was all relays, with each school having three participants in each competition. Their total scores, by distance or finish, gave them a cumulative score for the event, leading to an overall team score.
The Lely girls team placed eighth, while the boys finished seventh.
Here are the coaches reports.
Nick Young, girls coach
The invitational is a great way to open the track season. It gets a lot of the girls involved, some in events they might not have tried.
Our triple jump team of senior Victoria Howard, junior Da-anna Paul and freshman Liciane St. Jean placed first, with each girl leaping more than 30 feet. Their total of 96-feet-7 3/4 inches easily topped the competition, with Naples second at 84-feet-8 inches.
It was Liciane’s first meet and she also took part in running events, as did Da-anna. Another pleasant surprise was sophomore Angela Arfuso who ran in the 400-yard relay.
The Marco trio of Amber Imm, Jade Dworkin and Emily Hine, each ran 3,200s with their total finish placing them second, behind Community School.
We lost key runners, Manolitha Joseph and Joanne Petitthomme, along with Lindsey Bott in the pole vault to graduation. Right now we are very young, meaning Amber, Jade, Emily and Victoria, also a top competitor in the long jump, making sure they get their points as the young athletes develop. The coaches would like to see them peak at the district competition on April 24.
Our next meet is the Lady Tarpan Invitational. It is a great meet that moves along quicker without the boys and gives the girls a chance to focus better on their competition.
Mark McGarity, boys coach
The Lely boys best finish was in the triple jump. They finished second to Golden Gate.
A key loss from last year was Fortin Faustin who was a county leader in the long and triple jumps. His brother Johny returns, along with Jeff Charelus for those events. They also will be keys in our relay teams.
Our distance leader remains Andy Martinez, along with Johnny Williamceau, who will be our middle distance key. Josh Pinter is coming along in the pole vault.
We, too, don’t have a lot of upper classmen returning, making this a rebuilding year. I plan on making learning fun and making them competitive as they develop for the future.