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Gulf County track athletes heading to state finals

Wewa’s Bailey Cox and PJ Garrison, along with Port St. Joe’s Mari Johnson, took home gold medals in their events at the FHSAA 1A Region 1 track and field meet in Jacksonville on Saturday, May 6. 

With their first place finishes, the trio will advance to the FHSAA State Finals on Wednesday, May 17, which will also be held at the University of North Florida’s Jax Track at Hodges Stadium. Wewahitchka’s Corbin Hysmith and Port St. Joe’s Daniel Nguyen will also be advancing to state.

Only a freshman, Cox hurled the javelin 157-00 feet, nearly two feet farther than the runner-up, a junior from North Florida Christian. 

In addition, Cox placed second in the discus event with a throw of 136-09, coming in a few feet behind likely Division 1 football signee Artavious Jones of Blountstown. The Gator freshman also competed in the shot put, coming in 14th overall with a toss of 36-03. 

Garrison, a senior who has committed to play on the gridiron at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, continued to impress with his first place finish in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.98, a half-second faster than the runner-up. 

Another Gator, sophomore Corbin Hysmith, also earned accolades with his third place finish in the high jump competition. Hysmith’s best leap was for 5-09.75, not quite two inches behind the winning jump. 

Overall, Cox, Garrison, and Hysmith enabled the Wewa boys to finish seventh overall. Pensacola Christian took top honors in the boys half of the action at the 31-team regional meet. 

Here’s a look at the other Gator boys at the meet: 

David Rich, a junior, finished 8th in the 1600 meter run (4:56.92), and 14th in the 3200 meter run (11:24.28), while sophomore Tyran Williams came in 14th in javelin (102-02). 

The 4 x 400 relay team of Zahvon Turner, David Rich, Tyran Williams, Lukas Moore), and the 4 x 800 relay team of Brice Ethridge, Camden Winder, Davy Gray, Lukas Moore both came in 15th. 

The Port St. Joe boys finished 22nd overall at Saturday’s event, highlighted by Daniel Nguyen’s fourth place finish in the 400 meter hurdles. The junior had a time of 58.47, less than half a second behind the third place runner. 

Nguyen also finished 11th in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 18.27. 

Sophomore Daren Angelino claimed sixth place in the triple jump with a leap of 40-02.25. 

The 4 x 100 relay team of Devin Cuttino, Angelino, Nguyen, and Donnell Hill placed 13th, while the 4 x 400 team of Angelino, Nguyen, Nathan Lipford, and Hill finished in 9th place.

In girls events, Maclay won the team gold medal, while Port St. Joe took sixth place. 

Mari Johnson, the only senior on the Tiger Shark squad, won first place in the triple jump with a length of 35-11.5. 

She also finished second in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.92, fifth in the long jump (15-03.5), and eighth in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:18.12. 

Here is a list of how both the Port St. Joe (P) and Wewa (W) girls did at the regional meet: 

● 200 meter race – 8th grader Jayla Hill (P) 11th (28.55) 

9th grader Arianna Myers (W) 14th (29.21) 

● 400 meter race – 8th grader Molly Partin (P) 11th (1:06.89) 

11th grader Claire Hatchell (P) 13th (1:10.84) 

● 800 meter run – 10th grader Hannah DaCosta (P) 10th (2:38.02) 

● 1600 meter run – 9th grader Katie Trochessett (P) 10th (6:06.21) 

7th grader Libby White (P) 11th (6:28.88) 

7th grader Kate Patrick (P) 12th (6:30.26) 

● 3200 meter run – Trochessett (P) 12th (14:31. 37 

White (P) 13th (14:41.12) 

Patrick (P) 14th (14:41.53) 

● 100 m hurdles – 8th grader Ava Tannehill (P) 14th (20.17) 

9th grader Avery Forehand (W) 15th 21.17) 

● 400 m hurdles – 8th grader RJ Gerlach (P) 12th 1:20.25 

Tannehill (P) 13th (1:24.60 

● 4 x 100 relay – Madelyn Shoaf, Tannehill, Joselen Hernandez, Ella Dimitrijerich (P) 10th (54.75) Myers, Janessa Small, Forehand, Kate Meyer (W) 13th (57.39) 

● 4 x 400 relay – DaCosta, Hill, Hatchell, Partin (P) 9th (4:40.22) 

Kyleigh Catrett, Kameron Easter, Forehand, Meyer (W) 14th (5:10.12) 

● 4 x 800 relay – Gerlach, Hatchell, Partin, Hill (P) 9th (11:39.44) 

● High Jump – 7th grader Chloe Cook (P) 5th (4-04) 

● Long Jump – Myers (W) 15th (14-03.75) 

● Triple Jump – Hill (P) 5th (32-05) 

Partin (P) 9th (31-03.75) 

● Pole Vault – Partin (P) 8th (6-10.75) 

● Discus – 11th grader TyShawn Shackleford (P) 7th (94-01) 

7th grader Lilly Earley (P) 13th (71-06) 

● Javelin – Shackleford (P) 8th (91-01) 

8th grader Anna Vauheerden (P) 10th (89-00) 

● Shot Put – Shackleford (P) 8th (31-04.75) 

“It was a great day for us,” said St. Joe coach Keion McNair. Times were still good even though it was rainy and chilly.”

“I’m proud of our guys and girls teams, and looking forward to State in a couple of weeks,” he said. 

Wewa’s head coach, Karen Shiver, also expressed positive feelings about her team, saying “We are truly proud of them.” 

“Bailey Cox, PJ Garrison, and Corbin Hysmith had a great day in spite of the weather,” she said. “The 4×100 team (Avery Forehand, Kate Meyer, Janessa Small, and Arianna Myers) got their best time of the year, and David Rich (got a) PR (personal record) in both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.” 

“This meet was a learning experience for the rest of the team,” she added. “We will be back! Go Gators!”

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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