For the second straight year, the Sunlake High track and field program reigned supreme at the Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) Eastside championship meet, as its boys and girls teams earned first-place overall finishes to best six other east Pasco high schools.
The Sunlake boys team tallied 189 points, comfortably ahead of second place Wiregrass Ranch (101) and third place Land O’ Lakes (94.5).
The Sunlake girls team registered 253.5 points, more than doubling the point totals of both Wiregrass Ranch and Land O’ Lakes, who tied for second with 125 points.
Cypress Creek, Pasco, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills also participated in the April 3 meet at Cypress Creek Middle High School in Wesley Chapel.
Both Seahawks squads combined to place first in 18 of the 34 events.
That included a near sweep of middle and long distance events, which encompasses the 4×800 relay, 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs. Land O’ Lakes senior Natalie Abernathy was the lone non-Sunlake distance runner to win an event, placing first in the girls 3200-meter, clocking 11:46.60.
The feats by many of Sunlake’s distance runners shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the success of the school’s cross-country teams this past fall. At the 2018 FHSAA Class 3A state championships in Tallahassee, the Seahawks boys team finished fourth overall and the girls placed 10th.
Grueling summer and fall workouts for cross-country hence laid the groundwork for track season, Sunlake distance coach Randal Reeves said.
“We kind of knew we were going to be out front,” Reeves said of the conference meet.
“They’ve been working their butts off.”
Sunlake junior distance runner Liina Winborn turned in one of the more noteworthy meet performances.
She took first place — and set personal bests — in both the girls 1600-meter (5:09.25) and 800-meter (2:27.35). She opted not to compete the 3200-meter run, though she was seeded No. 2 entering the event.
Winborn’s mark in the 1600-meter was particularly eye-opening — a whopping 21 seconds quicker than second-place finisher, Abernathy (5:30.49), a two-time SAC East Track Athlete of the Year.
“I feel really great because I PR’d and I tried my best, and I had a lot of great supporters out here,” Winborn said of her meet results.
“I want to do my best every race. I don’t really have a specific time in mind. I just set my goals high to where they can be achievable.”
Winborn has picked up right where she left off in the fall, where she finished sixth in the Class 3A cross country state meet.
Established as one the state’s top distance runners, Winborn is receiving looks from “quite a few” NCAA Division I programs, her coach said.
“Overall, as a runner, she’s probably top 10 in the state, performance-wise,” Reeves said.
Her achievements — in track and cross-country — don’t come by accident.
Reeves said the distance runner has never missed a practice — even in times when she’s been sick. The coach added Winborn also makes it a point to train alongside the top distance runners on the boys team.
“She is a coach’s dream,” Reeves said. “She does everything I ask of her — and asks for more. Her dedication really says it all. She puts it all out there, and she’s a leader in that regard.”
2019 Pasco County Sunshine Athletic Conference Eastside championships
Team Scores (Boys)
1) Sunlake (189 points)
2) Wiregrass Ranch (101)
3) Land O’ Lakes (94.5)
4) Wesley Chapel (84)
5) Zephyrhills (75.5)
6) Cypress Creek (68)
7) Pasco (28)
100-meter dash: Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, senior (11.22)
200-meter dash: Donte Sol, Wesley Chapel, senior (22.62)
400-meter dash: Donte Sol, Wesley Chapel, senior (48.75)
800-meter run: Edward Scheid, Sunlake, junior (2:03.38)
1600-meter run: Dominic Burleson, Sunlake, senior (4:32.20)
3200-meter run: Dominic Burleson, Sunlake, senior (10:15.09)
110-meter hurdles: Brian Parker, Wiregrass Ranch, junior (15:46)
300-meter hurdles: Brian Parker, Wiregrass Ranch, junior (40.64)
4×100-meter relay: Zephyrhills — Maguire Neal, freshman; Ja’Quan Sheppard, senior; Clayton Cornelius, sophomore; Cartrell Strong, senior (43.33)
4×400-meter relay: Sunlake — Issac Taveras, junior; Ludcheel Colas, junior; Cade Whitfield, sophomore; Edward Scheid, junior (3:31.51)
4×800: Sunlake — Dominic Burleson, senior; Edward Scheid, junior; Cade Whitfield, sophomore; Ludcheel Colas, junior (8:10.62)
High jump: Isaiah Burns, Wesley Chapel, sophomore (5 feet, 10.75 inches)
Pole vault: Shayne Tenpow, Sunlake, senior (11 feet, 0.25 inches)
Long jump: Jacquez Mobley, Pasco, senior (20 feet, 6.50 inches)
Triple jump: Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, senior (43 feet, 8.50 inches)
Shot put: Kasean Ridgel, Wiregrass Ranch, senior (49 feet, 10.50 inches)
Discus: Joseph Perez, Sunlake, senior (151 feet, 9 inches)
Team Scores (Girls)
1) Sunlake (253.5 points)
2) Wiregrass Ranch (125)
2) Land O’ Lakes (125)
4) Cypress Creek (60.5)
5) Wesley Chapel (39)
6) Zephyrhills (33)
7) Pasco (9)
100-meter dash: Delcina Gilespie, Cypress Creek, junior (12.58)
200-meter dash: Gianna Levy, Sunlake, junior (26.70)
400-meter dash: Gianna Levy, Sunlake, junior (1:02.18)
800-meter run: Liina Winborn, Sunlake, junior (2:27.35)
1600-meter run: Liina Winborn, Sunlake, junior (5:09.25)
3200-meter run: Natalie Abernathy, Land O’ Lakes, senior (11:46.60)
100-meter hurdles: Allison Fleming, Wiregrass Ranch, junior (16:35)
300-meter hurdles: Allison Fleming, Wiregrass Ranch, junior (47.63)
4×100-meter relay: Sunlake — Nia Johnson, junior; Jaymonda Calmes, Gianna Levy, junior; Hannah Kilmer, junior (49.97)
4×400-meter relay: Land O’ Lakes — Ashley Doers, junior; Lauren Bates, junior; Abigail Perez, junior; Lizzie Epps, freshman (4:19.01)
4×800-meter relay: Sunlake — Shannon Gordy, sophomore; Ashley Spires, sophomore; Emma Burleson, freshman; Justine Ruhlman, senior (10:19.77)
High jump: Ondrasha Joel, Wiregrass Ranch, freshman (4 feet, 11 inches)
Pole vault: Juliette Pacheco, Sunlake, junior (10 feet)
Long jump: Gianna Levy, Sunlake, junior (17 feet, 2 inches)
Triple jump: Jayda Forester, Sunlake, junior (33 feet, 8 inches)
Shot put: Lauryn Beacham, Sunlake, senior (38 feet, 4.25 inches)
Discus: Lauryn Beacham, Sunlake, senior (108 feet, 10 inches)
Published April 10, 2019
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.