By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
BRADENTON — North Port and Charlotte shared top honors with three medals each among area teams in the FHSAA track and field state championships that ended Saturday evening at IMG Academy.
The Bobcats got medals in Class 4A from Morgan Gloster in the pole vault, Alexis Francavilla in the long jump and their girls 4×800 relay team.
The Class 3A Tarpons earned their trio from pole vaulter Natalie Jen as well as the boys 4×100 and 4×800 relay teams. Lemon Bay, in Class 2A, got two medals from Ronnie Blem’s fifth in the high jump and the girls 4×800 relay team.
Charlotte’s 4×100 team was among the medal-winners on the final day of action, finishing seventh in a time of 42.28 seconds.
“This is my first time ever making it to states, so it’s a good way to go out,” lead runner Stantley Thomas said. “There was a lot of hard work, but it go us here. So it was worth it.”
All three schools brought a 4×800 relay team to Bradenton, and all three picked up a medal.
North Port girls had the top area 4×800 squad, placing sixth in Class 4A with a time of 9 minutes, 47.68 seconds. In Class 2A, Lemon Bay’s girls took seventh with a time of 9:55.88.
“This is definitely one to remember,” anchor runner Shelby Cutchineal said. “Not making it to states (in cross country) was hard, but this is beyond what I could have expected.”
Just like the Lemon Bay girls team in 2A, the Charlotte’s boys 4×800 unit grabbed seventh in 3A with a time of 8:05.98.
Three runners from those 4×800 teams also were involved in 1600-meter races later in the day.
Marshall Dillon, in the final race of his high school career, finished 14th 3A, with a time of 4:43.34.
The 1600 also was the final race in Abigayle Weinfeld’s career. She struggled at the end, placing 15th in 5:34.69, while junior teammate Kelsi Ogilvie was 10th in 5:26.30.
“They put it all out there and ran hard,” Lemon Bay coach Joe Casale said of Weinfeld and Ogilvie. “It wasn’t an easy season. One was banged up all year, the other had a rough night last night.”
Kendall Chavarria was the lone area athlete to compete in a field event Saturday. Chavarria, a senior, placed ninth in the shot put with a toss of 37 feet, one inch, a foot short of eighth and a medal.
Pole vault: Natalie Jen, 2nd
Shot put: Kendall Chavarria, 9th
3200/1600: Marshall Dillon, 10th/14th
4×800: Uebelacker, Daniele, Graham, Dillon, 7th
4×100: Thomas, Hicks, Price, Warren, 7th
High jump: Ronnie Blem, 5th
Discus: Rob Cerami, 13th
3200: Kelsi Ogilvie, 12th; Abigayle Weinfeld DNF
1600: Ogilvie, 10th; Weinfeld 15th
4×800: Weinfeld, Ogilvie, Robinson, Welch, 7th
Pole vault: Morgan Gloster, 6th
Long jump: Alexis Francavilla, 8th
4×800: Boethig, Raczka, Boethig, Cutchineal, 6th