King's Academy leads local teams at Class 1A state track meet
Friday, April 27, 2012
by Matt Porter
"Amazing," was King's Academy senior Chris Machiela's one-word assessment of his team's 4x100 relay performance, said with a mixture of elation and surprise and without a hint of boasting.
"We were seeded 11th coming in," added senior Brian Grove. "If we got a medal, we were going to freak out."
Their bronze was one of eight individual or relay medals King's took home from the Class 1A state meet at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium.
The boys finished 11th, with 19 points. The girls, bolstered by three medals from senior Kimberly Ruch, finished seventh with 23.
King's senior Ricardo Roy won silver in the 400, finishing three-tenths out of first in 47.58. He ran that moments after finishing the 4x100 - with Machiela, Grove and junior Zach Fraga - in 42.499, five-hundredths of a second behind second-place Moore Haven.
Ruch grabbed bronze (12.71) in the 100 and fifth in the 200. She and King's 4x100 relay finished second with a personal-best 48.6 seconds. Sophomores Katie Wentz and Tia Francavilla, Ruch and sophomore Sarah Collins placed sixth-tenths of a second out of first.
The 4x800 relay of sophomore Ashley Pisciottano and juniors Emily Cohen, Julia Corley and Cat Urso finished eighth. They edged ninth-place Benjamin and senior Meredith Anderson, who also placed eighth in the 1600.
For a moment, it looked like the Lions would end with their only gold - but a disqualification in the final event, the boys 4x400 relay, left a bitter taste.
In the third leg, senior Ricardo Roy charged from fifth place to first. He handed off to his brother, junior Gregory Roy, who held a stride's distance over Moore Haven senior James Maurice heading into the final turn. With 50 yards to go, Roy looked over his shoulder and appeared to drift in front of Maurice. He crossed the finish a step ahead.
Officials said Roy's maneuver pushed Maurice away from the finish line. King's was disqualified, stripping 10 points that could have put them in sixth.
"I've been coaching over 36 years, and I've never had a problem with that," King's coach Glenn Roeback said, claiming Maurice also "leaned on" Roy.
Benjamin senior Trenton Saunders took bronze in the discus and silver in the shot put.
In the discus, Saunders finished third with a best throw of 153 feet, 11 inches. Jacksonville-Trinity Christian's Selwyn Carrol won with a throw of 169 feet.
In the shot, Saunders threw a personal-best 50-10.5 on his final throw, short of Sneads' Michael Cassidy (51-10).