By Andy Warrener
The Laker/Lutz News Correspondent
First-year Carrollwood Day School (CDS) track and field coach Travis Hall showed he has a budding crop of young Patriots at the Class 1A-District 8 meet April 12 at Calvary Christian.
The CDS boys, who scored only 15 points at the same meet last year, totaled 48 to finish fifth at the event. The girls posted 36, eight more than a season ago, to place fourth.
“It’s been fun, and I think they (the kids) have fun too,” Hall said. “We sacrifice points to build team camaraderie and overall sportsmanship.”
The two standouts of the day were Elias Earley on the boys side and Kailiece Harris for the girls.
Earley won district championship in the 200 meters (22.97 seconds), which also set a new personal record. The sophomore also took second in the 400 (52.02) to earn a regional berth.
“After running the 400 I was so tired (for the 200),” Earley said. “I didn’t expect to win, but once I hit the turn and I saw only the Seffner kid (Robbie Shell) in front, I just kicked it into gear.”
Harris, who is only a seventh-grader, won the 400 in 59.27. She also helped the 4×400 relay take third.
The Patriots duo will be joined by four teammates at regionals.
Sophomore Lauren Meaney took second in the 1,600 with a time of 5:50.07. Freshman Stephen Yafee placed third in the 400 (53.84), and seventh-grader Jack Pironti got the fourth qualifying spot in the 1,600 (5:08.67).
Pironti fought off a late attempt from Seffner Christian’s Danny Pontello to keep his qualifying spot.
“I never thought I could do it,” Pironti said. “I usually lose those because the other guy has longer strides. I was surprised I actually beat him.”
Senior Adam Morse also qualified with a fourth-place throw in disc (108-feet, 9-inches), but the Patriot effort belonged to the youth.
“As more students see kids like Harris and Jack they will come out and join the team,” Hall said. “It’s going to help us being a strong program the next couple years.”
Academy at the Lakes senior Alex Gittens also qualified for regionals in the girls 800 by placing fourth (2:36.20).
Advancing athletes compete in regionals at Orlando First Academy April 18. Those who finish in the top four of their events earn a berth in states April 26 at the University of North Florida.
//‘Canes claim four district titles
The Bishop McLaughlin girls track and field team captured four titles at the Class 1A-District 9 meet April 11 at Clearwater Central Catholic.
Hurricanes senior Camill Baumrucker claimed championships in the long (16-feet, 2-inches) and triple (33-09.50) jumps, while juniors Rachel Verscharen and Desireé Nathe took first in the discus throw (93-11) and high jump (5), respectively.
Nathe also earned a regional berth by taking third in the 400 meters (1 minute, 4.37 seconds), as did sophomore Kate Comfort by finishing as the district runner-up in the 800 (4:43.60).
The ‘Canes earned 79 points to place fourth at the event, while the boys totaled 15 to take sixth at the eight-team meet.
Advancing athletes compete in regionals at Shorecrest Prep. Those who finish in the top four of their events earn a berth in states April 26 at the University of North Florida.
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