June 26, 2024

Lake County Students Medal At Puerto Rican Track & Field Championships

1.7 min read| Published On: June 26th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Lake County Students Medal At Puerto Rican Track & Field Championships

1.7 min read| Published On: June 26th, 2024|

CLERMONT, Fla. – Two track student-athletes from Lake-Sumter State College were standouts at the Puerto Rican National Championships held at Estadio Jose A. Figueroa Freyre in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Despite weather delays affecting the schedule, both Santos Aguilar and Darwin Vega Ramos achieved personal best times in their respective events.

Aguilar and Vega Ramos were joined in Puerto Rico by LSSC’s Track Head Coach Cristy Snellgroves.

Sophomore Santos Aguilar ran the 800 meters in 1:53.62, finishing 5th in the senior division. His event was rescheduled to Saturday, moving all athletes straight to the finals.

“Santos ran a strategic race against a field of world-class and talented athletes in his first international race,” said LSSC Head Track Coach Cristy Snellgroves. “With his potential still untapped, I expect Santos to have many great races ahead of him as a leader on our Lakehawk team.”

Incoming freshman Darwin Vega Ramos competed in the 400-meter hurdles, achieving a personal best of 59.13 seconds. In a thrilling finish, Darwin secured the bronze medal in the 18-19-year-old division by just 0.05 seconds.

(Santos Aguilar competing in the 800m at the Puerto Rican National Championships.)

“We are excited to welcome Darwin to our team at Lake-Sumter State College,” said Snellgroves. “His strategic and smart racing at this event shows his immense talent and potential.”

“LSSC Track is grateful for the support from the Puerto Rican Federation and leadership from FAPUR, especially Luis Dieppa, and Félix Díaz, Puerto Rican National Coach,” shared Snellgroves. “Félix provided guidance and support to our student-athletes and ultimately made this trip possible by going above and beyond in his efforts. We are proud that our athletes were able to represent Puerto Rico and appreciate the support of these leaders.”

(Darwin Vega Ramos earned a bronze medal for his performance in the 400m hurdles.)

“These student-athletes’ performances highlight the promising future of the College’s track program.”

LSSC Head Coach Snellgroves has experience coaching and competing at the international level. She was the Women’s Distance Coach for Team USA at both the World Indoor Championships in March 2024 and the Pan American U20 Championships in August 2023. Coincidentally, Snellgroves was familiar with this location as the Pan Am Championships were held at the same stadium in Puerto Rico.

Snellgroves also boasts an impressive resume as a two-time U.S. medalist in the 50-mile National Championships, a bronze medalist at the Comrades Marathon 89k in South Africa, and over 130 marathons completed in her running career.

Snellgroves provided coaching and support to the student-athletes at this national championship in accordance with NJCAA guidelines.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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