By:  J. Daniel Pearson for Positively Osceola

For the first time in four years, a school other than Harmony sits on top of the county girls’ track hierarchy.

While the Longhorn boys once again won the Orange Belt Conference Track championship, the St. Cloud girls slipped by Harmony to claim their seventh title in the last 12 years — but first since 2018.  The Lady Bulldogs won four individual events and a relay to tally 167.5 points to beat the Lady Longhorns (160.5), Osceola (111) was third and Gateway (83.50).

On the boys side, Harmony won just four of 17 events but picked up three second place finishes and seven thirds to pile up 160 points and easily out-distance Gateway (119), who many thought would challenge for the team title.

Kyla Perez won the 800 and 3200 and ran a leg on the winning 4 x 800 relay to take home three gold.   In addition to Perez and the 4 x 800 relay team, the Bulldogs got wins from Sofia Hauser in the pole vault and a record-setting performance from Priscilla Rodriguez in the 400 hurdles. 

“Kyla either scored or had a hand in 38 team points and that was certainly huge for us,” St. Cloud coach Kevin Harkema said.  “But it was a total team effort.  A six-point margin can be erased with a couple of fourth and fifth place finishes, so every point was huge today and I am really proud of how everyone competed.”

Other stars of the girls meet included Gateway’s Aniyah Radcliff, the only athlete on either the boys or girls championship to win three individual events.  She took the long jump, triple jump and 100 hurdles.  Osceola’s Zanaya Bright doubled the glamor events of the 100 and 200 meters; while Norlena Rodriguez gave the Kowboys a sweep in the sprints with a win in the 400.

Mason Shafer (Pole Vault), Noah Tribe (Long Jump), Jaylen Cobb (Discus) and Ivaniel Ramos (Javelin) picked up wins for the Longhorns; but again it was their depth that made the big difference. Overall, Harmony had two or more athletes score points in nine of 14 individual events – including the javelin where they went 1-2-3.

“Winning a fourth straight title was great but we certainly were not following any script,” Harmony coach Debra Richardson said.  “We got a lot of points from unexpected places and had some placements we were not expecting.  I am really proud of how we competed today.”

Although they came up short in the team race, Gateway was a solid second.  

Darius Young, Jose Calderon, Kaleb Hill and Halo Serrano put a strong showing in the meet’s final event by running away with thee 4 x 400 meter relay by more than four seconds after falling behind by a considerable margin after two legs. Caldron was a double winner for the Panthers, taking the 400-meter run. 

St. Cloud saw Jahleek Lawrence lead a 1-2-3 sweep in the high jump, while Jayden Chofooklun (800 meters) and its 4 x 800 relay team (Chofooklun, Silas Corchado, Ariel Espinal and Brody Ansbaugh) also picked up OBC Championships, with that relay team setting an OBC meet record in 8:16.36.

Poinciana’s Levi Lee, the 2023-24 boys cross country championship, has a huge meet for the Eagles, he won the 400 hurdles and 1600-meter run, ran a leg on the second place 4 x 400 meter relay and a leg on the second place 4 x 800 relay to take home two golds and two silvers in the meet.  He either individually scored or had a hand in over a third of Poinciana’s 90 team points. “We have a lot of really good athletes in Osceola County and Levi Lee is not only one of them, but a guy who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves,” veteran St. Cloud coach Chad Ansbaugh said.  “To win a cross country championship, the 1600 meters and then win the 400 hurdles is remarkable achievement.”

Girls Team Scores

1.  St. Cloud 167.50; 2.  Harmony 161.50; 3.  Osceola  111; 4.  Gateway 83.50; 5 Celebration 62; 6.  Tohopekaliga 54; 7.Poinciana 43.50;  8. Liberty 14

OBC Champions

  • High Jump:   Sanaa Charles, Tohopekaliga, 1.62m  (5′ 3.75″)
  • Pole Vault:  Sofia Hauser, St. Cloud, 3.00m (9′ 10″)
  • Long Jump:  Aniyah Radcliff, Gateway, 4.99m (16′ 4.5″)
  • Triple Jump:  Aniyah Radcliff, Gateway, 10.97m (36′ 0″)
  • Discus:  Sofia Delgado, Tohopekaliga 33.34m (109′ 5″)
  • Shot: Malayna Stevenson, Gateway, 9.95m (32′ 7.75″)
  • Javelin:  Kamara Hostetter, Harmony, 27.97m (91′ 9″)
  • 4 x 800 Relay:  St. Cloud (Kyla Perez, Alisson Sandoval, Jada Shroyer, Hannah Kline) 10:15.72 
  • 100 Hurdles:  Aniyah Radcliff, Gateway, 15.72
  • 100 Meters:  Zanaya Bright, Osceola, 13.02
  • 1600 Meters:  Lailana Decker, Harmony, 5:32.57
  • 4 x100 Relay:  Poinciana (Olivia Barber, Zaria Burnham, Joy Duncan,  Natalia Calderon) 49.88
  • 400 Meter Run:  Norelena Forde, Osceola, 59.96
  • 400 Hurdles:  Priscilla Rodriguez, St. Cloud, 1:06.54*&
  • 200 Meters:  Zanaya Bright, Osceola, 26.27
  • 800 Meter Run:  Kyla Perez, St. Cloud, 2:29.05
  • 3200 Meter Run:  Kyla Perez, St. Cloud, 12:17.36
  • 4 x 400 Relay:  Celebration (Anna Balba Evelyn Juden Sophia Meadows Carly Robbins) 4:12.17 
  • Boys Team Scores
  • 1.Harmony 160; 2. Gateway 119, . St. Cloud 97, 4. Tohopkaliga 91; 5. Poinciana 90, 6. Osceola 87; 7. Celebration 50, 8. Liberty 3 

OBC Champions

  • High Jump:  Jahleek Lawrence, St. Cloud, 1.95m (6′ 4.75″)
  • Pole Vault: Mason Shafer, Harmony, 3.6m (11′ 9.75″)
  • Long Jump: Noah Tribe, Harmony, 6.40m (21′ 0″)
  • Triple Jump: Jordan Mundle Osceola , 13.27m (43′ 6.5″)
  • Discus:  Jaylen Cobb, Harmony, 37.65m (123′ 6″)
  • Shot: Gavin Konopka, Celebration, 13.66m (44′ 9.75″)
  • Javelin:  Ivaniel Ramos, Harmony, 48.70m (159′ 9″)
  • 4 x 800 Relay:  St. Cloud (Jayden Chofooklun, Silas Corchado, Ariel Espinal Brody Ansbaugh) 8:16.36*
  • 110 Hurdles: Tony Doss, Osceola, 15.95
  • 100 Meters: Hakeem Alvena, Poinciana, 11.32
  • 1600 Meters: Levi Lee, Poinciana, 4:28.87
  • 4 x 100 Relay: Osceola (Taevion Swint,  Zavon Gooden,  Jakyri Watson,  Tony Doss) 43.47
  • 400 Meter Run:  Jose Calderon, Gateway, 49.08
  • 400 Hurdles: Levi Lee, Poinciana, 58.94
  • 200 Meters:  Hakeema Alvena, Poinciana, 22.52