Hundreds compete in annual Hershey track event

ORANGE PARK - Over 150 boys and girls participated in the 8th annual Hershey track and field qualifier at Orange Park High School on Saturday, April 9th. The vast majority of the participants and winners were from Clay County. The winners from this event qualified for the state championships in Miami on June 18th.

The state winners have their performances compared to winners in eight other southeastern states to determine who qualifies for the free trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the North American Finals. This Orange Park event has had a qualifier for four consecutive years. Last year's qualifier, Tyonna Mack repeated her standing long jump victory. The Grove Park 5th grader moved up to the 11-12 age group, and her 6'9 jump was the best of all three age groups (9-10, 11-12, 13-14). She added a victory in the 200-meter dash and was part of the record-setting 4x100-meter relay team.

Deonte Adams, Wilson Corneil, and Ronald Jackson won the 2009 North American Finals 11-12 4x100-meter relay. This year they combined with Amari Dubose to win the 13-14 boys’ relay. Adams, a 7th grader at Orange Park Junior High, anchored the relay and won the 100-meter dash in 12.23. Dubose, last year's 11-12 state 200-meter champion, dropped three seconds off his time from last year to win the 200 in 25.34. Corneil closely followed Dubose for second. Jackson continued his string of softball throw victories. He has won the event for five consecutive years and holds the meet record in each age group.

Jett Isley won the 9-10 boys' 100 and 200-meter dashes. Isley joined with Michael Koziolek, Matthew Koziolek, and Cameron May to win the 4x100-meter relay (1:03.73). Michael Koziolek broke the 9-10 400-meter record set in 2005 with his 1:15.40. Grove Park's Dasean Johnson was edged by Isley in the 100 by .01 seconds but defeated the Koziolek brothers to win the 50-meter dash (7.78).

Damien Toney won the 11-12 boys' 100 and 200-meter dashes. The Lakeside 5th grader hopes to equal his state championship won last year in the 9-10 age group. He was edged out by 3/4 of an inch to Darrell Vann in the standing long jump. Vann was also part of the Grove Park Elementary winning 4x100-meter relay team.

Mack wasn’t the only Grove Park girl winning blue ribbons. Kelsey Solomon set meet records in the 11-12 girls softball throw (123-03) and 100-meter dash (13.68). She joined schoolmates Mack, Lindsey Yakab, and Hannah Kane on the victorious relay squad (1:05.75).

Hannah Koziolek topped her younger brothers with three victories. The Lake Asbury Junior High 7th grader won the 13-14 girls’ 100, 200, and standing long jump.

Other state qualifiers include:

Camilla May (9-10 softball throw)

Valerey Vandegrift (13-14 softball throw)

Alexis Stilianou (9-10 long jump)

Chereece McEwan (9-10 50-meter dash and 4x100 relay)

Jhayda Sykes (9-10 100 and 200-meter dash)

Kayla Konnick (9-10 400-meter dash)

Grace Davis (11-12 400-meter dash)

Mackensie Parliament (11-12 800-meter run)

Larica Solomon (13-14 800 and 1600-meter run)

Bryanisha Maddox, Kayla Konnick, Atlantis Blackshear (9-10 4x100 relay)

Jeremy Monterola (9-10 softball throw)

Austin Morton (11-12 softball throw)

Carlton Gantt (9-10 long jump)

Matthew Mills (13-14 long jump)

Seth Lasater (11-12 400-meter dash and 4x100 relay)

Ricardo Solomon (11-12 800-meter run)

Gary Scott (13-14 800-meter run)

Micah Drum (13-14 1600-mter run)

Keith Monterola and Demarae Byrd (11-12 4x100 relay)