Not that they necessarily needed it, but the Blanche Ely boys’ track team enjoyed “home-track” advantage on Thursday night as it cruised to a first-place finish in the Class 4A, Region 3 track meet at Ely High School.
Led by the 1,600 relay team of Markevious Roach, Kevin Scott, Israel Walquer and anchor Thomas Geddis, the Tigers finished comfortably ahead of second-place Royal Palm Beach with 106 points to RPB’s 79.5 and will now take their traveling running show to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville for the state meet on May 3.
And the Ely boys closed it out in style in the evening’s final event, the 1,600 in which Geddis, after falling behind initially in the final lap, saved his best kick for last and flew past two runners to take first.
“They gave us a run for it but I felt like I was in good shape, even after he passed me on the second turn, I knew I was saving up to get that last kick when I hit the last turn,” said Geddis. “It feels great to close it out this way tonight. Feel blessed being on our home track today with so many here rooting for us, it definitely helped.”
“I’m very proud of the boys today, first time regional champs since I’ve been coaching them,” said Blanche Ely boys coach Anthony Jordan. “You get out of what you put in to it, and these boys deserve everything they got here today. Great way to close out the night winning that 4 x 400 relay.”
On the girls’ side, it was the Eagles of Douglas stepping up to the plate as terrific individual performances from the likes of Alexis Wilson and Jilian Morrison led to a fourth-place finish and a trip to Jacksonville for the entire team.
Wilson won the 100-meter dash and finished third in the 200-meter to lead the way for her team.
“Since the beginning of the year once they won the Walter Dix Invitational, and from that point on we knew we had a special team and they continued to work hard,” said Douglas coach Justin Boruch. “Then later on in the season when things got more competitive, they stuck together, broke a bunch of school records and now we’re taking them to Jacksonville and it’s great. The 4 by 800 girls as a group stepped up, Alexis Wilson qualifying in 100 and 200 and battling injuries and Jilian Morrison as well, a great team effort if there ever was one.”
WP: Fortuno. LP: Bonilla. Top performers: R. Dodge 1-2, 2 RBI. E. Rivera 1-1, 2 RBI.