At the crack of the starter’s pistol, the Pirates’ Kelly Steffens began the first leg of a long, arduous run on the track at Matanzas High School.
She was competing against 11 other distance runners in 3,200-meter run at the 3A District 6 on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 16.
She paced herself appropriately. Not too fast, not too slow. When it was time to make her move, she did.
As the race wore on, the sun beat down and the rest of the pack started to wilt until only Steffens remained.
Steffens, who also won the 1,600-meter run, completed the race in 12:10.83, which was nearly 38 seconds faster than second-place finisher, Edgewater’s Jennifer Salinas, and about 43 seconds faster than teammate Caitlyn Norfolk, who took third.
Steffens’ performance at the district meet was just one portion of the Pirates’ success. Matanzas’ girls track team finished second behind only Mainland High School at the district meet. The boys team finished third.
Pirates co-head coach Jeremy Schaefer said several athletes “overachieved” on Tuesday. For example: Matanzas coaches predicted that Aubrey Kravantka would place fifth in the discus. She threw a distance of 23.65 meters to earn a bronze medal.
“I’m really proud of how we did,” Schaefer said. “It’s nice to see the hard work culminating at the end.”
"They ran well and competed well. They're improving every meet. That's about all you can ask for."
Tim Kane, Matanzas co-head coach
The regional meet is on April 27 at George Jenkins High School. The Pirates expect to compete as hard as they have the entire season.
“They’ve worked hard and improved every meet,” Pirates sprinter/jumps coach Kingsley Maitland said. “It’s so gratifying to see the results we had. I’m grateful to them because they’ve been doing the work all season, and I expect them to do the same when we go to regionals.”