Ridaught: Eastside boys track regional runner-up, state bound

Eastside boys track and field team.
The Eastside boys track and field team finished second behind Montverde Academy at Tuesday's FHSAA Class 2A-Region 2 meet.
Courtesy of Eastside Athletics

The Eastside boys track and field team finished as FHSAA Class 2A-Region 2 runners-up this past Tuesday at Mount Dora Christian Academy.

The Rams, who had a score of 83, finished second behind Montverde Academy (102) and will get a little over a week off before next week’s state meet. The Lady Rams also had a top-10 finish.

“The day was unseasonably hot and over 1,200 athletes, plus coaches, parents, and supporters competed in 1A and 2A (Region-2 championships),” said Eastside track and field coach Byers Hickmon. “The Eastside High School boys team delivered an outstanding performance finishing second behind the private school recruiting powerhouse Montverde and received the runner-up trophy again this year, while the girls team finished ninth overall.”

Despite not winning the team award, the Eastside boys had a pair of individual championships and several top-five finishes.

“Senior Kennith Martin delivered a stellar performance,” Hickmon said. “Kennith won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.42 [seconds] and also won the 200-meter dash with a season-best time of 20.94.”

Senior Jamo Williams delivered an outstanding performance with a pair of top-five finishes. He was fifth in the 100-meter dash (10.96) and fourth in the 200-meter dash (22.22) to earn a spot at the state meet.

Senior Antoneo Wilson qualified for next week’s state meet by finishing second in the boys’ 110 hurdles (14.76) and fifth in the 400 hurdles (59.58).

Another senior, Declan Odwyer, qualified for the state meet with a second-place finish in the 1600 (4 minutes, 32.01 seconds), while senior Jerrod Miller qualified in the high jump (fifth – 6 feet, 1 1/2 inches) and senior Tajoun Waldon qualified in the long jump (4th – 22-5 1/4) and the Triple Jump (third – 44-11).

The 4X400 relay team of Martin, Williams, Miller and Wilson finished second (3:26.55) behind Montverde Academy (3:16.04).

The Rams’ 4X800 relay team of Joe Blanchard, Luke Engels, Jonas Traktuev and Amir Morris finished sixth (8:25.26).

Both qualified for the state meet.

The Lady Rams delivered outstanding performances as well with the 4X800 relay team of Beatriz Engels, Ingrid Astrom, Sofi White, and Quinn Altieri finishing first (10:00.50).

Senior Arielle Livingston qualified for the state meet in both the 100 hurdles with a fourth-place finish (14.40) and the 400 hurdles (fifth – 1:06.19) while sophomore Tyesha Smith qualified for state in the triple jump with an eighth-place finish (35-5 3/4).

The FHSAA Class 2A Track & Field State Championships will be held on the campus of the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium on Thursday, May 16.

“The state championships will be very competitive, and the Rams are excited for the challenge,” Hickman said.

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