Local Sports

Six Marathon runners head to state

What started as a hopeful first season for some Class 1A Marathon High track and field athletes turned into a District 16 championship win, a trip to the Region 4 meet and, now, a trip to the state meet for five boys and one girl.

Westminster Academy hosted the Florida High School Athletic Association Region 4 meet in Palmetto Bay Friday where individual track and field athletes from Marathon competed against those from 26 other schools.

Keygan Jeffries, Joel Zaila, Aydan Child, Jonathan Pitchford and Noah Pitchford finished in the top four in five events and advanced to the state championship along with Takara McKnight, who finished third in the 200-meter dash.

Jeffries finished fourth in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run while Zaila finished first in the 1,600-meter run. Zaila and Child finished second and third, respectively, in the 3,200-meter run. The boys finished second in the four-by-800-meter relay.

The state championship will be held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Friday and Saturday, where track coach James Murphy said the boys hope to finish in the top eight.

“It’s been a good season,” he said. “The idea was to introduce everyone to track and getting kids to states this year was awesome. No one has been to IMG Academy before, which is one of the top athletic complexes in the United States.”

Class 2A Key West High runners Nicole Matysik, Robert Pedroza and Owen Allen will also be heading to Bradenton this weekend, along with pole vaulter Lily Costa from 2A Coral Shores.

“There are a lot of recognizable names that will be in the races,” he said. “The kids have been going at it pretty strong the last couple weeks so they’re at their peak.”

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219