By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PUNTA GORDA — Marshall Dillon sat on the back of a golf cart during the 800-meter race at Thursday’s Regional 3A-3 championships.
With an ice pack on his ankle, Dillon would limp over to the scoreboard after each lap, to see how the times compared to how he would’ve run.
Dillon was supposed to be in that race, but earlier in the day, during the 1600 meters, he felt a tug in his ankle.
The tug turned into a pop, and with each step, he could feel the bones in his ankle awkwardly coexist.
“It hurt at the mile, but not so bad that I couldn’t finish the race,” Dillon said. “It was frustrating (to watch the 800). Seeing them go 1:56.15, when I can get 1:54 was rough. At the end of the day, it all worked out. I’m hurting right now, but it’s nothing as bad as I thought it would be.”
The Charlotte High School senior hobbled his way to a third-place finish in the 1600 meters with a time of 4 minutes, 30.79 seconds. The top-four finishers in each event advance to the state meet.
“He’s a pretty courageous young man,” Charlotte coach Jerry Voss said. “To go and do what he’s tried to do with the four events. I feel badly that an injury had to take him out of the 800, but he came back and showed what he’s meant to us over the last four years.”
It was one of three events Dillon qualified for states in, as he also took home top-four finishes in the 3200 and 4×800 races.
That 4×800 team, with Justin Uebelacker, Chris Daniele and Chauncey Graham, finished second, becoming the eighth straight 4×800 squad from Charlotte to advance to states.
“I think it has a lot to do with what coach (Chris) George has fostered here,” Voss said. “I think it’s one of those things that has evolved. Charlotte High and the 4×800, kids want to be on that team. Kids want to be part of something successful and build on it.”
Dillon qualified in the 3200 hours after he elected to skip the 800. After sitting in sixth place for a majority of the race, Dillon made a late move, passing almost everyone in front of him, and finished with a runner-up time of 9:54.61.
Not to be out done, the boys 4×100 team set a school record with a time of 41.89. Stantley Thomas, D’Andre Hicks, D’Vonte Price and Savorion Warren are all headed to states with their third-place finish.
Price also made it to states as an individual in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing thirdin a time of 15.17.
The Charlotte boys totaled 38 points on Thursday, which was good enough for seventh place as a team.
REGION 3A-3 CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Charlotte High School
1. Fort Myers 78. 2. Naples 54.50, 3. Hillsborough 50, 4. Ida Baker 42. 7. Charlotte 38, 13. Venice 18, 33. Port Charlotte 1.
High jump: 1. Kyle Marois (V) 6-06.00. Pole vault: 1. Thomas Barselou (SFM) 15-00.0. Long jump: 1. Xavier Hardy (F) 22-02.25. Triple jump: 1. Joshua Norville (L) 45-07.00, 8. Tyreece Luther (PC) 43-05.25. Discus: 1. Amos Corgelas (FM) 150-06, 8. D’Vonte Price (CHS) 130-10. Shot put: 1. Colton Strickland (N) 52-06.00, 7. Jack Fining (CHS) 45-01.00.
4×800 relay: 1. Fort Myers (Jean, Carpenter, Kennedy, Babatz) 8:01.34, 2. Charlotte (Uebelacker, Daniele, Graham, Dillon) 8:04.38. 110 hurdles: 1. Luis Colon (IB) 14.64, 3. D’Vonte Price (HS) 14.81. 100: 1. Kadrin Williams (TBT) 10.54. 1600: 1. Sean Heera (CL) 4:26.91, 3. Marshall Dillon 4:30.79. 4×100 relay: 1. South Fort Myers (Gouin, Dorris, Leontes, Scott) 41.39, 3. Charlotte (Thomas, Hicks, Price, Warren) 41.89. 400: 1. Brandon Cachon (BC) 48.36. 300 hurdles: 1. Josias Jean (FM) 38.52; 800: 1. Sean Hera (CL) 1:56.15; 200: 1. Brandon Cachon (BC) 21.54; 3200: 1. Josh Jennedy (GM) 9:52.38, 2. Marshall Dillon (CHS) 9:54.61; 4×400 relay: 1. Barron Collier 3:18.50, 8. Charlotte (Hicks, Warren, Graham, Uebelacker).