By Eugenio Torrens
Freedom’s Sandra Akachukwu claimed one title and had three second-place performances at the Class 4A-District 6 meet April 17 at Leto.
Akachukwu bested the competition in the girls 100-meter by finishing in 12.41 seconds. Add in the runner-ups in the 200 (25.33), high jump (5 feet) and long jump (17-09.25) and junior earned 34 of the Patriots’ 96 points.
Though Akachukwu was frustrated with her day afterward, her coach Dwight Smith didn’t seem as concerned.
“We always tell her she needs to channel her emotions to the next race,” Smith said. “She ran in four events. She made it through to regionals in four events. She’s district runner-up in three, district champion in one. I mean you still had a great day.”
Neither Freedom nor Wharton could wrestle the team title from Plant, which scored 195.5 points. The Wildcats took second with 139.5 and the Patriots finished fourth.
Wharton was boosted by Mikayla Barber, who won the 100 and 300 hurdles.
“Like many goals in my life that I want to achieve, if I come on the track scared all the time I’ll never get there,” Barber said. “I came out here with the mindset that I want to conquer.”
Teammate Tyler Watson was right behind Barber in the 300. Watson also got second in the triple jump.
Barber and Watson were part of the winning 4×400 relay that clocked in at 4:01.11, nearly 10 seconds faster than Alonso.
The Plant boys also won team gold with 210.5. Freedom took third (87.5) and Wharton was fourth (72.5).
Apart from second-place finishes by Vernon Hargreaves in the long jump, Britton Lewis in the 300 hurdles and Jayren Barginere in the 800 run, the Wildcats’ best effort came in the 4×800 relay, which they won with a time of 8:12.14.
The top four in each event advance to regionals at Leto April 25 starting at noon.
–Results as recorded by the Florida High School Athletic Association