April 30, 2024

Tavares Patriots Dominate 2024 Track & Field Championships

2.8 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Tavares Patriots Dominate 2024 Track & Field Championships

2.8 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

The Lake County Track & Field Championship of 2024 was nothing short of spectacular, a whirlwind of triumphs, records, and exceptional performances that would test these young athletes like never before. It has been an amazing year for the Tavares Patriots Cross-Counry team including Track & Field season. Coach Kevin Von Maxey and his wife April Von Maxey have worked hard to build this youth program into one of the most successful in the state of Florida.

Tavares came into the competition as the clear favorites but they dominated from start to finish. The Tavares boys and girls teams emerged as the undisputed champions of the meet along with 14 Individual District Champions! The boys, led by stalwarts like Asa Thompson and Tahjier Neal, amassed an incredible 265 points, leaving their competitors in awe. The closest team to the boys squad was Lake Pointe with 61 points while Mt. Dora finished a respectable 3rd with 4 points.  Meanwhile, the Tavares girls, spearheaded by the indomitable Helen Robertson and her feats, clinched victory with a commanding 255 points. A shout out to Mount Dora finishing 2nd with 139 points and Minneola Charter with 22 points taking home 3rd.

(No stranger to winning here was the Cross-Country team earlier this year when they won the FLYRA State Championship late last year.)

Individually, stars shone brightly. Asa Thompson blazed through the tracks, claiming the title in both the 100m and 200m sprints, while Helen Robertson not only broke her own school record in the 400m but also soared to victory in the high jump. Their performances were not just feats of athleticism but a symbol of the hard work and dedication it takes by the coaches to achieve such goals.

But the glory wasn’t confined to the winners alone. Fourteen individual district champions and five relay district champions emerged during the competition, each leaving their mark on the track in a display of sheer excellence. From Jimena Nava-Garcia’s remarkable triple crown in the 1500m, 800m, and 3000m races to Rocco Kaufman’s dominating throws in shot put and discus, every victory was a testament to grit and determination.

The relay races were battles of nerves and strategy, with teams pushing themselves to the limit. Whether it was the lightning-fast Boys 4x100A team or the Girls 4x800A squad setting a blistering pace, each relay victory was a collective triumph. The teams worked well together and very minimal mistakes led to an amazing performance by The Tavares Patriots in the relay events.

Amongst all of the excitement, two names stood out with a special shine. Shaelynn Jackson’s qualification for the state in discus with a throw of 23.05 meters and Helen Robertson’s breathtaking performance, breaking her own school record in the 400m with a time of 59.08 were the highlight moments of the meet and really the culmination of the year. These students are entering their peak at this point and we couldn’t be happier for them!

Congratulations to all the athletes including the 14 Individual District Champions. A big congratulations to the boys and girls teams for winning the District Championships. It takes a team effort and everyone did a great job. We will put all the winners and scores down below.

1st Tavares- 265
2nd Lake Pointe- 61
3rd Mt. Dora- 44
4th Oak Park- 38
5th Aurelia Cole- 32
6th Minneola Charter- 14
7th Round Lake-2
1st Tavares- 255
2nd Mt. Dora- 139
3rd Minneola Charter- 22
4th Lake Pointe- 12
5th Round Lake- 10
6th Oak Park- 9
7th Aurelia Cole- 3
Asa Thompson: 100m (12.78), 200m (25.26)
Jimena Nava-Garcia: 1500m (5:05.27), 800m (2:34.47), 3000m (11:38.14)
Eric Chen: 1500m (4:43.70)
Helen Robertson: 400m (59.08), 200m (27.24), High Jump (1.22m)
Tahjier Neal: 400m (59.32)
Omar Castillo: 3000m (10:11.79)
Cameron Manacle: High Jump (1.22m)
Rocco Kaufman: Shot Put (11.46m), Discus (32.60m)
Girls 4x800A (10:12.86) – Helen Robertson, Laken Hartley, Sophia Maldonado, Jimena Nava-Garcia
Boys 4x800A (9:07.86) – Eric Chen, Emiliano Lozano, Navid Lozano, Tahjier Neal
Boys 4x100A (49.51) – Tyler Gatewood, Asa Thompson, Jeycob Torres, Tahjier Neal
Girls 4x400A (4:23.84) – Laken Hartley, Lindsey Mishler, Sophia Dalmau, Helen Robertson
Boys 4x400A (4:01.26) – Asa Thompson, Emiliano Lozano, Jeycob Torres, Tahjier Neal
Photo Provided By: Lacey Lewis & Emily Babington

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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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