The Lely girls track team did what they were supposed to do and the Lely boys baseball team surprised.
The girls won the Class 3A regional championship on Thursday at Estero High School.
The boys lost in the championship Class 5A-District 14 title game to Estero, but qualified for regional play by finishing second. An achievement not accomplished since 1994.
The boys made the championship game by downing East Lee and favored Lehigh in the semifinals.
Senior pitcher Kit Fowler was in command against Lehigh as he went the distance, tossing a two-hitter, as he struck out 13 batters.
He started the Trojans offense off with a single and senior Miguel Morel gave Lely the early lead with a two-run triple in the first inning. Leading by three after the first inning, Lely tacked on insurance runs in the third and fifth innings.
Before the playoffs started Lely coach Erica Maya had counted on his seniors coming through.
“Senior Kit Fowler pitched very well for us,” Maya said. “He stepped up as a leader and pitched a gem. Miguel Morel, another senior, took on a leadership role tonight and led the offense.”
Lely travels to Cape Coral-Mariner, District 13 champion, playing at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Estero hosts Cape Coral at the same time.
On making the regional playoffs, “I believe it is a big step for the (Lely) program and will give the younger players a good experience going into next year,” Maya said. “Mariner has a very strong team, but we will have Kit pitching, which always gives us a chance. With him on the mound we were able to beat two very strong teams (Barron Collier and Lehigh) and we hope for the same results on Wednesday night.”
In the Class 3A-Region 3 meet, the Lely girls, though few in numbers, still won the district title.
Lely senior Liciane St. Jean leaped her way to titles in the triple and long jumps. She also was part of the 4x100 relay team that set a school record of 48.8 seconds to win the event.
St. Jean, Lisa Nicolas, Shantoy Williams and Kayleen Wilson surged to the 4X100 victory.
Freshman Christy Thorstenson placed fourth in the 800 meter run to advance.
She also ran with freshmen Lauren Hanscom and Taylor Fetzer, and sophomore Johann Charelus to place third in the 4x400 relay to advance. Just missing out, placing fifth in the 4x800, were Thorstenson, Fetzer, Charelus and Darvelyn Dorcelie as the top four in each event advanced.
For the Lely boys, senior Nesly Olbrice won the high jump.
“This is just his first year in track and he has done fantastic,” coach Mark McGarity said.
On Thursday the Trojans battle for medals in the Class 3A State Track Championships.
Co-captains St. Jean and Lisa Ncolas said their goal, as a team, was to get to the state championship.
“We work really hard and we want to show what we are made of,” St. Jean said.
For Lisa Nicolas, she qualified in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and with the 4x100 relay team.
She did it on a bothersome right hamstring.
“Right after the district meet I felt the pain,” she said. “I thought about how hard I have worked over four years and I was determined not to miss state. I’m not one to complain. I sucked it up and ran.”
The winner in the 100 and 200 dashes was Naples freshman Victoria Guerra.
A healthy Nicolas had beaten Guerra.
“In the 200 I was really cautious,” Nicolas said. “I knew the top four advanced and that was my approach.” She placed fourth.
Nicolas was quick to praise Guerra’s showing.
Guerra and her dad came up to Nicolas after an earlier meet where she dominated, to congratulate Nicolas.
“They said I was phenomenal and asked if I had any advice. It was emotional to have a young girl look up to me. I said you really have to want it (success) and work hard.
“I was excited to watch her run. I hope she does well at state.”
The girls and Olbrice want the same result at state. They want to stand on the podium where they receive their medals.