Coach David Halliday seems to never care if the Flagler Palm Coast track team wins a meet (other than the boys at districts), but he always wants them reach the state finals.
The Bulldogs seem to care…a lot. Continuing in their historic season, both boys and girls won the District 4A-1 championships at the same time for a first in FPC history.
“Each year the girls’ team has gotten a little better, and finally we pulled it off,” Halliday said. “We’ve always been second or third, so the girls are really happy. We came in expecting to win on the boys’ side.”
While this marks the eighth district win for the boys in 11 years, the girls have been seeking a win since 2002.
“Going into the meet, we knew it was going to be close, but we were going to do everything in our power to fight for the title,” Darien Halliday said.
On hearing FPC girls’ for first place, Halliday’s teammate, senior Ladeijah Williams added, “You ever get butterflies and your heart starts racing? That’s how I felt, when I heard we had won the title. Words can’t explain. It’s just…great!”
The Bulldogs will look to ride their momentum into the next meet, which is the regional finals at 12 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at FPC.
“You want to do your best at the end of the season, and we’re doing our best,” coach Halliday said. “It would be nice to win regionals, but I just want the most kids to go to the state finals. If they get there, we live to fight another day.”
BOX: Top 4 finishers
For the girls, Devonne Friday won the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, while Josie Davis third and second. Alantra McFadden won the shot put and the discus throw, including a school record 117 feet 5 inches throw. Darien Halliday, Cianna Gopie, Sophia Clark and Anna Walls won the 4x800 meter relay. Chase Kroul took second in the pole vault, and Armani Walker took third in the triple and long jump. The 4x100 relay team finished third. Sada Rowley got fourth in the 400 meter dash, and Sophia Clark took third in the 800 meter run.
For the boys, Que’Shaun Byrd, Marcel Williams and Jimmie Robinson finished took the first three places in the 100 meter dash, respectively, and Byrd and Ra Blanding took first and third in the 200 meter dash. Williams and Dominic Green finished first and third in the 400 meter dash, and Justin Pacifico and Ka’Deem Wynn finished in the Top 2 spots in the 800 meter run. Tim Patrick (first) set a school record in the pole vault with 14 feet 6 inches, and Mark Bertrand finished third. The boys 4x100 (Byrd, Blanding, Green, Mel Cabrera), 4x400 (Green, Pacifico, Wynn, Williams) and 4x800 (Alex Centi, Pacifico, Ashton Garrett, Wynn) teams all won first place. Scott Hammond finished third in the high jump, and LaDale Batson got third and second in the long and triple jump. Michael Peppin took fourth in the shot put and discus throw.