It was an impressive weekend on the track for Osceola County athletes, as the eight public schools participated in district track meets that saw the Gateway boys’ win a team title and county athletes capturing 30 individual and relay district championships.
Flag football and boys’ volleyball post-season tournaments start this week. In other sports, the seasons ended for Osceola County teams in weightlifting, tennis and lacrosse; while baseball and softball continue to battle for playoff seeding as their seasons enter the final week of regular season play.
A look around the county:
The Gateway boys’ team came away with a championship as they won the Class 3A, District 8 meet at George Jenkins High School in Lakeland with 174 points to outdistance second place Lakeland. Liberty was seventh with 34. The Lady Panthers (95) finished third in the girls meet, Liberty was fifth.
In the Class 4A, District 10 meet in Stuart, Fla., OBC champion Harmony did well as the Longhorn girls placed second and the boys grabbed third in that highly competitive meet that featured state power Vero Beach. Osceola and St. Cloud finished in the middle of the pack in both meets; while the Tohopekliga boys hosted and finished fourth in the Class 4A, District 9 meet. Celebration girls (2nd) and boys (3rd) had solid finishes in the Class 4A, District 5 Championships, which Poinciana also competed in.
Harmony’s individual champions on the girls side included Thora Gaston (javelin), Elizabeth Hernstrom (pole vault) and Drea Thompson (high jump); while the boys saw gold medal winners from Alex Tuyo (110, 300 hurdles) and Jayden Campbell in the high jump. In addition, several Longhorn relay teams on both the boys and girls squads placed in the top four and will move on to regionals.
Gateway district champs included Aaron Campbell (800 and high jump) and Williams Martinez (pole vault) on the boys side and Paige Alise (shot and javelin) and Amela Johnson (100 and 200) winning double gold on the girls side.
Celebration had two individual district champs as Jared Falchook won the 800 meters and Catalina Edwards took both the 800 and 3200 meter runs. Tohopekaliga had district champions in Javan Medina (800), Javan Garcia (3200), and Orlando Descartes (javelin). Other county athletes winning individual district championships included St. Cloud’s Yadiel Rivera-Alonso and Liberty’s Teja Anderson, who won the triple jump in their respective district events.
To qualify for the Regional Championships, individuals and relay teams had to finish in the top four of their district meet. Gateway and Liberty qualifiers will compete in the Class 3A, Region 2 Championships on May 6 at East River High School; Celebration, Poinciana and Tohopekaliga will be at the Class 4A, Region 2 meet at Tampa’s Alonso High on May 7; while Osceola, St. Cloud and Harmony qualifiers will be at the 4A, Region 3 meet at Boone High, also on May 7.
Ray Whobrey’s St. Cloud (14-7) team has won eight of 10 games and will conclude its regular season with a busy week, facing Winter Park (13-6), First Academy (13-6), Lake Howell (9-11) and Eau Gallie (11-9) over the next five days. Senior Hannah Nasco (.558) continues to lead St. Cloud in hitting; while sophomore Brooklyn Scott is 8-4 with a 0.93 ERA on the mound.
St. Cloud’s biggest rival in District 11 is Harmony (13-3), who has won six straight and can wrap up a perfect 7-0 record in Orange Belt Conference play with a win over Celebration (3-8) on Monday. Led by Aurielle Reavis (.658 batting average), the Longhorns have a balanced attack with six starters hitting .400 or higher and eight players with 10 or more runs batted in.
District tournaments begin May 2.
District baseball tournaments also begin May 2. Osceola (17-5) continues to have the best record among county teams, but the Kowboys saw their 11-game winning streak snapped with an 8-5, extra-inning loss to Winter Haven last week. Senior Danny Ramirez is hitting .329 with 19 RBI and is also 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 40.2 innings as Osceola’s ace. Junior Louis Rodriguez leads the Kowboys in both RBI (22) and home runs (5).
Heath Williams’ young Harmony team will take a 9-13 record into the final week of the regular season, where they will play three games – including a Tuesday matchup at state-power First Academy (20-3). Sophomore Cade Walter continues to hit at a blistering pace, batting .540 with 18 RBI and a team-leading 10 extra base hits.
Tohopekaliga (8-7) would need to win two of its final three games to finish with its first winning record in school history. Liberty has won six of eight and has put together a solid 13-8 record. Sophomore Edwardo Diaz was hitting .435 for the Chargers.
A trip to regionals will be on the line when St. Cloud High hosts the Class 1A, District 11 boys’ volleyball tournament, Apr. 25-28. OBC Champion Celebration (18-2) and second seeded St. Cloud (18-6) will receive first round byes; while #4 Harmony will play #5 Poinciana and #3 Tohopekaliga will face #6 Liberty in Monday’s quarterfinal matches. Only the district winners advance to next week’s regional play.
Top seeded Harmony (12-2) and second-seeded Cypress Creek will get byes as the Class 2A, District 9 tournament gets underway today (4/25) at Harmony High School. The Longhorns will meet the winner of the #4 St. Cloud vs. #5 Freedom game on Wednesday; while Cypress Creek awaits the winner of #3 Liberty and #6 Poinciana.
Gateway (7-7) is the third seed in Class 1A, District 11. They will host #6 Horizon on Monday. If they win they will face the winner of #2 Lake Okeechobee vs. #7 Lake Placid on Wednesday. Celebration, a #5 seed at 5-5, will play #4 Windermere on Monday at Evans High School. A win would put them in a Wednesday showdown at Evans against top-seeded Dr. Phillips (12-1).
Boys’ varsity weightlifting came to an end last season with Harmony’s Isaac Balado and St. Cloud’s Julian Sykes each winning double gold medals. The Bulldogs also came in with a pair of top 10 team finishes. You can read more here: https://www.positivelyosceola.com/st-clouds-weightlifter-sykes-blows-away-competition-at-fhsaa-state-championship/
The Celebration Lady Storm, who won a district championship, were the only county team to advance to regionals and their season came to an end last Friday with a tough 16-15 loss to Windermere. You can read the account of that game here: https://www.positivelyosceola.com/celebration-storm-girls-drop-hard-fought-regional-16-15/
The Celebration boys team (10-6-1) and girls team (10-6) both won Orange Belt Conference titles this year and also qualified for regional play via runner-up district finishes. Both teams saw their season come to an end with identical 7-0 losses to state power Lake Nona, who both are undefeated this year.