By: J. Daniel Pearson
For Positively Osceola
It was fairly close on one side, but the Harmony boys’ and girls’ track and field teams each won Orange Belt Conference Championships on Wednesday afternoon.
With the two championships, it was the Longhorns fourth team championship of the spring season and has all but locked up Harmony’s third consecutive All-Sports Team Championship and their 11th in the last 16 years.
Harmony entered the spring with a 93-83 lead over Celebration through the winter sports season, but with championships in flag football, baseball and now both boys’ and girls’ track and a second place finish in boys’ weightlifting the Longhorns have scored 39 of a possible 40 team points this spring.
On the girls’ side, it was a bit of a runaway as the Longhorns won five individual events and used its superior team depth to score 170 points to get by second place St. Cloud (145). Osceola was third (133) and Celebration – last year’s runner-up – was fourth with 113. The Longhorns boys’ team needed almost all of their 150.5 points to edge second place Osceola (145), who did extremely well in the sprints and field events. Tohopekaliga (129) was a respectable third; while Gateway (88) was fourth.
In the meet, the Longhorns posted champions in five girls’ events and four boys’ events. Winners included Hallie Vickers in the Javelin and Hannah Vickers on Pole Vault and a double by Alex Tuyo in the 110 and 400-meter hurdles. Lailana Decker (3200-meters) and Chloe Barrett (shot put) won girls’ OBC titles; while Bryce Sanchez (400 meter run) and David Hunter (Javelin) posted Longhorn first-place finishes on the boys’ side.
But Harmony’s overall depth was the key factor in both wins. On the boys’ side, Harmony scored 66 ½ points in events where they did not have a first place finisher and added an additional 25 placement points in the events they also won. Overall, the Longhorn boys picked up 18 points in the javelin, 11 in the pole vault and 12 in the 3200-meter run.
On the girls’ side for the Longhorns, Sinagoga and Vickers tied for first in the pole vault, which was good for 16 team points. Shelby Fertic and Brynn Magner finished second and third in the 800-meter run and Magner and Decker finished 2-3 in the 1600-meter run as those duos added 28 points to Harmony’s team score.
“Even though Covid prevented them from getting an OBC title as freshmen, our seniors go out having never lost an OBC team track championship,” Longhorns girls coach Adam Kerns noted. “I can’t say enough about the leadership these seniors have provided. Conditions were not great today, but they fought through it, which is really the personality of this team.”
Longhorns boys’ coach Debra Richardson echoed the sentiments. “The key to the win was everyone did their jobs today,” Richardson said. “We definitely had some surprises like Aiden Peterson stepping up in getting third in the 100 when he wasn’t one of the top eight seeds; and Bryce Sanchez winning the 400. But we were solid in the events we felt we should have won, including Alex Tuyo winning both hurdle races and David Hunter winning in the javelin.”
There were several individual standouts on the girls’ side, including Osceola sprinter Shannon Levy, who picked up four golds on the afternoon by winning the 100 (12.02), 200 (25.81), long jump (16’-4”) and also running a leg on the winning 4 x 100 meter relay team.
Celebration won four events, as Catalina Edwards took both the 800 (2:24.48) and 1600 meters (5:28.61). The Florida State commit also ran a leg on the winning 4 x 800 meter relay team. The Storm’s other championship came from sophomore Makenna McBroom, who won the 400-hurdles in an OBC meet and Osceola County record time of 1:07.11.
Freshman Sanaa Charles won the triple jump (34’-3 ¼”) for St. Cloud and was also second in the high jump. Basketball standout Hallie Collins was a multiple point scorer for the Lady Bulldogs with a first place finish in the discus (94’-2”); she was also second in the shot put and fourth in the javelin. In addition to tie for first in the pole vault by Toho’s Rodriguez, the other individual winner was Gateway’s Amela Johnson, who won the 400-meters in 58.84.
On the boys’ side, Osceola picked up huge points in the sprints as junior Henly Placide doubled in the 100 (11.16) and 200-meter dashes (22.66) and ran a leg on the winning 4 x 100 relay with Taevion Swint, Alijah Jenkins and Jakari Watson. Swint had his hand in 31 team points with his second place finishes in the long jump and 200-meter run and his fourth place finish in the 100-meters. Senior David Buggs had a huge meet for the Kowboys with 26 points as he won the discus (132’-8 ¼’) and shot put (46’-0 ¾”) and also posted a third place finish in the javelin.
Tohopekaliga, who finished second on the boys’ side in 2022, had four winners, including Johan Comacho, who doubled in the 1600 (4:29.56) and 3200-meters (9:35.66). Javon Andrew Brown, a standout on the Tigers basketball and boys’ volleyball team, won the triple jump (43’-11 ¾”); while Angel Mendoza took the pole vault (12’-11 ½”). Other boys championships went to Gateway in the 4 x 400 relay; Celebration in the 4 x 800 relay and with Evan Amay’s win in the 800-meter run (8:34.51). St. Cloud’s Jahleek Lawrence took the high jump with a leap of 6’-5 ¼”; while Poinciana’s Hakeem Alvena won the long jump (21’-7 ¾”).
One week remains in the regular season before the start of district competitions.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES: Harmony 170, St. Cloud 145, Osceola 133, Celebration 113, Tohopekaliga 49, Gateway 43, Poinciana 28, Liberty 20
2023 OBC GIRLS TRACK CHAMPIONS
100-Meter Run: Shannon Levy (OSC) 12.66
200-Meter Run: Levy (OSC) 25.81
400-Meter Run: Amela Johnson (GATE) 58.84
800-Meter Run: Catalina Edwards (CEL) 2:24.48
1600-Meter Run: Edwards (CEL) 5:28.61
3200-Meter Run: Lailana Decker (HAR) 12:07.48
100-Meter Hurdles: Priscilla Rodriguez (ST. CL) 16.43
400-Meter Hurdles: Makenna McBlood (CEL) 1:07:11^ $
4 x100 Relay: Osceola 49.59
4 x 400 Relay: Osceola 4:10.37
4 x 800 Relay: Celebration 10:16.67
High Jump: Drea Thompson (HAR) 5’-6”
Long Jump: Levy (OSC) 16’-4”
Triple Jump: Sanaa Charles (ST. CL) 34’-3 ¾”
Pole Vault: Kacey Sinagoga (HAR), Hannah Vickers (HAR), Brianna Rodriguez (TOHO) tie- 8’-10 ¼”
Discus: Haley Collins (ST. CL) 94’-2”
Shot Put: Chloe Barrett (HAR) 30’-8”
Javelin: Vickers (HAR) 95’-7”
BOYS TEAM SCORES: Harmony 151.5, Osceola 145, Tohopekaliga 129, Gateway 88, St. Cloud 70.5, Celebration 60, Poinciana 50, Liberty 2
2023 OBC BOY TRACK CHAMPIONS
100-Meter Run: Henly Placide (OSC) 11.66
200-Meter Run: Placide (OSC) 22.96
400-Meter Run: Bryce Sanchez (HAR) 50.73
800-Meter Run: Evan Amaya (CEL) 1:58.88
1600-Meter Run: Johan Camacho (TOHO): 4:47.37
3200-Meter Run: Comacho (TOHO) 9:35.56
110-Meter Hurdles: Alex Tuyo (HAR) 14.76
400-Meter Hurdles: Tuyo (HAR) 56.55^
4 x100 Relay: Osceola 43.59
4 x 400 Relay: Gateway 3:30.78
4 x 800 Relay: Celebration 8:34.57
High Jump: Jahleek Lawrence (St. CL) 6’-5 ¼”
Long Jump: Hakeem Alvena (POIN) 21’-7 ¾”
Triple Jump: Javon Andrew-Brown (TOHO) 43’-11 ¾”
Pole Vault: Angel Mendoza (TOHO) 12’-11 ½”
Discus: David Buggs (OSC) 132’-8 ¼”
Shot Put: Buggs (OSC) 46’-0 ¾”
Javelin: David Hunter (HAR) 148’-4 ¼”
^New OBC Meet Record
$ New County Record