Track stars of the future include Rosie Poling

Rosie Poling, Tyler Bird and Diane Charles are names for the future in high school track.

Each won three individual events on Saturday at the Collier County Middle School Track Championships on Saturday at Golden Gate High.

Charles, Golden Gate Middle eighth grader, won in the 100, 200 and the long jump.

Byrd, Gulfview Middle eighth grader, won the long jump and 100 and 200 dashes.

Poling, Marco Island Charter Middle seventh grader, won the 800, 1600 and 3,200 meter runs, breaking her own record in the 3200 by 9 seconds.

In the 800 her closest competition was 3 minutes behind. In the 1600, was a closer 18 seconds, but Poling was coasting. In the 3200, forget it. She won by 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

Her record time was 11:51.32.

When coach Roger Raymond told Poling she was about even with the record she set last year going into the final lap, she kicked it into a higher gear, even though she had already done 2800 meters.

“I got anxious,” she said of the final kick. “There was no way that I have worked that hard to not get the record. I wanted to make it impossible so it will be there a long time.”

Guess she forgot she’ll be back next year to chase the record again.

The Eagles Josh Wagner had an incredible run, not to win.

He led for much of the 3200, battling Alejandro Ruiz of Immokalee Middle School and Chad Husted of North Naples Middle School.

Ruiz outkicked the others for the win in a county record of 10:51.87. Wagner came in at 10:54.86. Both broke the present state record time.

“I tried to sprint at the end but I couldn’t catch him,” Wagner said. “I break the state record and still don’t win,” he said with a smile of disbelief. Wagner also came in fourth in the 1600.

Other Eagles standing out included Jaryn Pellant who came in second in the discus with a toss of 73-feet-10-inches. Hayle Foye of Oakview Middle won with a heave of 78-feet-7-inches.

Pellant, a seventh grader, vowed to be the champ next year. “I have thrown farther in practice. I want to throw 90 feet.”

Trevor Dye threw the discus 108 feet for second.

Patrick Michel found out about speed. Easily the fastest at Charter School, his best finishes were fifth in the 100 and 400-yard dashes.

The meet was made up of competitors who had battled in North and South county regional competition, with the best four in each event coming to the championship.

Immokalee and Naples North tied for first place in the boys competition, with 55 points each, followed by Palmetto Ridge, 39, Manatee Middle, 29, Oakridge, 27, Gulfview, 26, Marco Island, 24, Golden Gate, 18, Corkscrew Middle and Cypress Palm, 3 each.

In the girls, Gulfview won easily, tallying 60 points. Followed by Palmetto Ridge, 48, Oakridge, 46, Marco Island, 31, Golden Gate, 24, Corkscrew and North Naples, 20, Immokalee, 12, Cypress Palm, 9, East Naples, 5, and Manatee Middle, 4.

“Our kids performed at a high level, but so did most everyone else,” coach Roger Raymond said. “This is an elite field. There is no weaker competition at this level. If someone was looking for an easy competitor, they’d have to look for one in the bleaches because they are not down here on the field.”

Raymond spoke of Poling as a person to emulate.

“Rosie is an example of the elite athletes, who get there by putting in the time,” Raymond said. “She asks questions and studies how to get better.”

About then Poling came up to tell Raymond that she had recruited some kids for next year.

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