May 16, 2024

Tavares High School’s Unified Girls Track & Field Team Win State Championship

1.7 min read| Published On: May 16th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Tavares High School’s Unified Girls Track & Field Team Win State Championship

1.7 min read| Published On: May 16th, 2024|

The Tavares High School Unified Special Olympic Athletes competed in the FHSAA Track & Field Championships yesterday. They had an amazing day despite a small weather delay and took home some hardware.

The Tavares Girls 4X100 team put in a terrific effort and were able to take home 1st place in the 4X100 race. The girls winning the race were Kendall Blackmon, Valeny Castillo, Jasmine Gale, and Valeria Vaughn. This was a significant accomplishment, and we are so happy for each and every athlete who got to stand on top of that podium. They worked incredibly hard. They finished with a time of 1:12 seconds, beating Bishop Moore by 8 seconds.

(The Tavares Unified Special Olympic Girls 4X100 team stand at the top of the podium as the Class 1A Unified State Champions! Congratulations!)

Meanwhile, the boys would place 3rd in the 4X100 race. The team consisted of Jonathan Metheny, Elliot (EJ) Middleton, Jacob Richards, and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Tavares also earned individual medals in the shot put, 100m, 200m, 400m, and long jump events. It was a fun and long day for all the athletes, but Tavares once again showed up and made Lake County proud! Michelle Metheny and the amazing staff in Lake County do so much for these athletes and we couldn’t be more proud of all the success these athletes have shown this year.

(The Tavares High School Unified Boys 4X100 team finished 3rd. They were all smiles and very happy to have had the honor to compete.)

We also have to give a shoutout to all the East Ridge High School and Lake Minneola High School athletes who took part in the State Championships. They raced and competed very hard and some of them medaled as well. You can see the full Class 1A & Unified Track & Field State Championship Results Here. 

It’s always amazing to see the Unified Special Olympic Athletes share the same field with the Class 1A student-athletes. Unified Special Olympics is a special thing to have in Florida. To watch these kids have fun no matter what the outcome brings out the best in everyone.

(The Tavares High School Unified Athletes showing off the medals they won at the FHSAA State Championships.)

Once again, congratulations to the Tavares High School Unified Special Olympians and all the Lake County Special Olympians who made it to States and competed at the highest level in High School!

Photos Provided By – Tavares High Best Buddies & Unified Special Olympics

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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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