Locals stand out at track championships

Wharton junior Zach Godbold, center, was crowned state champion in the FHSAA’s first-ever javelin event, posting a 171-11 mark. (Courtesy of Wharton High athletics)

Local high school athletes ran, jumped and tossed their way to standout showings at the 2019 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state track and field championships.

More than two dozen boys and girls athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area earned medalist honors, or top-eight finishes, across all classifications at the state meet, on May 4 and May 5 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

That included a pair of individual state champions — Zephyrhills senior Cartrell Strong and Wharton junior Zach Godbold.

Strong took first place in the Class 2A triple jump (47-5.25), edging Tallahassee Rickards High’s M’Kharis Lindsey (47-2.5).

Strong, a Morehouse College football signee, also placed fourth in the boys long jump (23-0.5) and was the anchor leg of the Bulldogs’ eighth place 4×100-meter relay team that clocked 43.14. The relay team also featured junior Ja’varrius Wilson, senior Ja’Quan Sheppard and sophomore Clayton Cornelius.

The Zephyrhills boys track and field team finished in ninth place overall in Class 2A, tops among all local programs. This is the Bulldogs’ medalist-earning 4×100 relay team, from left: junior Ja’varrius Wilson, senior Cartrell Strong, sophomore Clayton Cornelius and senior Ja’Quan Sheppard. (Courtesy of Zephyrhills High athletics)

Godbold, meanwhile, captured the state individual title in the boys javelin, posting a 171-11 mark.

The throw bested Calvary Christian’s Jack Garey, who finished second overall with a 163-8 mark.

Godbold’s feat holds some extra significance as he becomes the FHSAA’s first individual boys champion in the javelin. The governing body added the javelin as a provisional event and opted to crown a champion this year after it had been an exhibition event the past two years. Next season, the javelin will begin to accumulate points toward team scores when it becomes the FHSAA’s 18th sanctioned track and field event.

Meantime, Gaither senior LaSarah Hargrove registered the highest finish among local girls by placing second in the Class 3A 100-meter dash, timing 11.74. Hargrove, a University of Iowa track signee, also placed fourth in the 200-meter run (24.15).

Local schools that earned points in the state meet were: Carrollwood Day, Gaither, Steinbrenner, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills.

The Zephyrhills boys track and field team finished ninth overall in Class 2A, tops among all local teams. That was followed by the Carrollwood Day and Gaither girls teams, who earned 14th-place finishes in Classes 1A and 3A, respectively.

Published May 15, 2019

Gaither High senior sprinter LaSarah Hargrove finished Class 3A state-runner up in the 100-meter dash. Hargrove, a University of Iowa track commit, also finished fourth in the 200 meters. (Courtesy of Gaither HIgh athletics)

Class 1A
Boys –Teams
Carrollwood Day School (24th place)


110-meter hurdles- Seth Cribben, Carrollwood, senior (third, 15.33)

Triple Jump – Christopher Sheppard III, Carrollwood, junior (fifth, 43-2.5)

Carrollwood Day (14th place)


4×100 meter – Carrollwood: Camila Garanton, freshman; Emma Architetto, junior; Stephanie Bainbridge, sophomore; Sophie Haag, eighth grade (third, 49.35)

Pole vault – Hailey Crow, Carrollwood, senior (second, 10-4)

Triple jump – Tionna Waters, Carrollwood, junior (fifth, 35-10)

Class 2A
Boys – Teams
Zephyrhills (ninth place)


4×100 meter – Zephyrhills: Ja’varrius Wilson, junior; Jaquan Sheppard, senior; Clayton Cornelius, sophomore; Cartrell Strong, senior (eighth, 43.14)

Long jump – Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, senior (fourth, 23-0.5)

Triple jump – Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, senior (first, 47-5.25); Ja’Quan Sheppard, Zephyrhills, senior (sixth, 45-0.25)

Girls – No results

Class 3A
Boys – Teams
Wesley Chapel (34th place); Sunlake (37th)


400 meter – Donte Sol, Wesley Chapel, senior (third, 48.12)

1600 meters – Dominic Burleson, Sunlake, senior (sixth, 4:24.19)

Discus – Joseph Perez, Sunlake, senior (seventh, 152-2)

Girls – Teams
Gaither (14th place); Sunlake (38th)


100 meter – LaSarah Hargrove, Gaither, senior (second, 11.74)

200 meter – LaSarah Hargrove, Gaither, senior (fourth, 24.15)

Pole vault – Elizabeth Lydon, Gaither, sophomore (third, 11-3.75); Juliette Pacheco, Sunlake, junior (seventh, 10-10)

Class 4A
Boys – Teams
Wharton (32nd place); Steinbrenner (46th); Wiregrass Ranch (53rd)


3200 meter – Tre Rivers, Wharton, senior (third, 9:24.85)

Long jump – Aidan Bitter, Steinbrenner, junior (fifth, 22-1)

Shot put – Kasean Ridgel, Wiregrass Ranch, senior (seventh, 50-0.75)

Javelin – Zach Godbold, Wharton, junior (first, 171-11)

Girls – Teams
Wharton (23rd place); Steinbrenner (40th)


100 meter – Zayne Jack, Steinbrenner, junior (fourth, 11.98)

400 meter – Ken’Naria Gadson, Wharton, junior (third, 54.75)

Pole vault – Marley Derigo, Wharton, junior (fifth, 10-4)


Speak Your Mind


%d bloggers like this: