The expectations for Pasco County athletes heading into this past weekend’s Class 1A and 2A track and field state championships at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium were minimal, but many walked away with their heads held high.
Though nobody won a state title, many were able to come out with top-five finishes and a medal. Pasco’s Janarion Grant was unseated from his two-year title run in the long jump by Lakewood’s Shaquem Griffin.
Wesley Chapel high jumper Courtney Prengaman also came up just a bit short of her goal. The Wildcats senior earned a silver medal for her second-place finish. Prengaman cleared 5 feet, 6 inches, while Suwanee’s Logan Boss (5-6) took home the gold medal after having the fewest misses in the event.
Anclote’s Emily Gauvey will likely be a state favorite in next year’s high jump, as the freshman also 5-6 and went home with a third-place bronze medal. Another impressive freshman who took third was Pasco’s Alfreda Steele, who ran a 11.92 in the 100 meters behind Lake Highlands’ Deanna Hill (11.72) and American Heritage’s Diamond Spaulding (11.76).
Other notables from Pasco County who placed were Anclote distance runner Spencer Guerette, who earned a bronze medal for his third-place effort in the 1,600. Gulf senior Nick Buliga also competed in the 1,600 and placed eighth and 14th in the 3,200.
In Class 1A, there was only one athlete from within the county competing in an event and that was Bishop McLaughlin’s Camille Baumrucker in the long and triple jumps. The Hurricanes senior finished 12th in the long jump and eighth in the triple jump.
“Of course going into the meet we knew it was going to be tough,” Bishop McLaughlin coach Marty Williams said. “Our first goal was to get to the finals and then from there just to compete. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into her events she’s in. Friday was a nice cap to a successful high school career.”