The Flagler Palm Coast boys track-and-field team finished second at the 5-Star Conference meet Friday, April 8, at FPC. The girls team finished in sixth place.
At the beginning of the track season, Flagler Palm Coast High School coach David Halliday reflected on last season.
“In 17 years, I have never had that much ... bad luck and health issues,” Halliday said last month.
And after a promising start to his seventh year as head coach, Halliday is looking in the eye of another injury-riddled season.
The loss of key contributors on both teams was apparent Friday, April 8, at the 5-Star Conference meet, at FPC.
Halliday said the girls team performed well despite missing two of his best runners in Danielle Hagins and Jasmine Moore. Hagins is nursing an ankle injury and Moore is suspended from the team.
However, there were some bright spots on the girls team. Paige Way took first place in the 400-meter dash with a finals time of 1 minute, 0.79 seconds, scoring 10 points for the team and winning by one second. The girls 4x400-meter relay team, which finished first, features Way, Diamond McIntosh, Quiarra Cade and Naomi Thomas. The team finished in 4:21, nearly seven seconds ahead of second-place Deltona.
On the boys side, there were several strong performances, despite missing top sprinter Tyler Cue, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury.
“The boys team lost its first 5-Star Conference title since 2004, before I got here,” Halliday said. “So that was no fun, but we did have some great performances.”
Halliday estimates Cue would have accounted for at least 20 points. The boys lost by 21.
However, the boys team had individual winners, including Yeovanti Williams in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.38 seconds. Mike Hymon took second place with a 50.67-second run. Williams also earned second place in the 800-meter run, finishing in 2:03, just 0.12 seconds behind Andrew Carpenter, of Spruce Creek.
The boys 4x100-meter relay team, featuring Eric Mejias, Gilbert Absolu, Chris Stubbs and Turrel Mathews, won first place.
Absolu won second place in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Stubbs took second place in the long jump. Also, the boys 4x400-meter relay team of Williams, Hymon, Mejias and Josh Walker took first place.
Mario Austinskas won first place in the high jump, clearing the 6-foot-4 bar. Cory Soard won the pole vault, launching 14-feet and setting the school record.
In all, Halliday was satisified with the performances with the athletes who competed and is excited for the upcoming district tournament.
“We just need to get healthy for the district meet,” Halliday added.
The FPC track-and-field team will have one more tuneup meet Thursday, April 14, at Park Vista, in Boynton Beach, before competing Wednesday, April 20, in the District 2-4A meet.