The Marco Island Charter Middle School track teams are enthusiastic about their chances in the upcoming Collier County Athletic Conference Track Championship on Saturday, April 21, at Golden Gate High School.
Both teams finished third in the Collier County South qualifying meet on Saturday at Lely High School. But most of their points came in the top four spots and those are the competitors who are eligible for Saturday.
“In the girls competition points we only tallied one point past the fourth spot,” Raymond said. “That hurt us for the overall team title, but got us a number of competitors who have the chance to do well. The boys too can be competitive.”
The South entries combine with the North qualifiers, who also ran on Saturday, to get their top four finishers in each event.
“There will be some outstanding competition, but I think the girls and boys have the chance to finish in the top three for schools,” Raymond said.
Although a team player, seventh grader Rosie Poling will be the one to beat in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs. A year ago she won the 3200 and 1600 and was second in the 800, with all races in less than a three-hour stretch.
On Saturday she won all three and in the 3200 the closest runner was more than the distance of a football field behind as Poling crossed the finish line.
Josh Wagner led the boys with a victory in the 3200 and a second-place finish in the 1600.
Raymond cheerfully admonished Wagner after winning the 3200. Raymond had told his runners that if their position was safe to finish in the top four do not try to win.
Well, in the last 50 yards, Wagner found himself racing, side-to-side with Manatee Middle’s Luis Rubio. The two have battled before and Wagner’s will to win just took over as he crossed the finish line first.
In the 3200 Maddie Bonfitto qualified by placing third. In the 1600 Kelsey Halaschak placed third and Julia Cartwright fourth to advance. BeBe Marroquinn easily ran into third place in the 800.
Trevor Dye, who missed qualifying in the shot put, placed third in the discus to advance in that event.
Patrick Michel took second in the long jump, second in the 400 and third in the 100 meter run. Colin McMullen, who has been nursing a right hip injury, ran well in the 100, but missed qualifying.
Gulfview’s Tyler Byrd won the 100 in 11 seconds flat and the long jump at 20 1/2 feet. His closet competitor in that event was Robert Green at 17-feet-10 inches.
Bailey Greaves ran a strong race to finish third in the 400.
Raymond said the girls’ only problem is that they don’t run well in the sprints where they didn’t score any points.
No one qualified for the girls, or boys, in the shot put, but Jaryn Pellant threw to second in the discus.
The girls and boys 4x100 teams came in fifth to miss qualifying. The 4x400 relay teams finished third to advance. On the boys team were Jonatan Kriqi, Cody Demelavez, Josh Wagner and Patrick Michel. For the girls, BeBe Marroquin, Katie Cookson, Greaves and Ashley Johnson advance.
“Every team will be down to their best in each event on Saturday,” Raymond said. “I think some our best can do very well.”
See more photos at marconews.com.