May 22, 2024

Tavares Patriots Track & Field Team Set Records At State Championships

2.5 min read| Published On: May 22nd, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Tavares Patriots Track & Field Team Set Records At State Championships

2.5 min read| Published On: May 22nd, 2024|

For the 4th consecutive year which is an unofficial School Track & Field State Championship record, the Tavares Patriots Middle School Track & Field girls team are the #1 Florida school at the state championships. The girls team placed 5th overall but what a performance by this team! The boys meanwhile finished as the 17th ranked school in Florida and finished 33rd overall.

The Tavares Middle School Patriots squad qualified an incredible 29 different athletes (18 girls, 9 boys) in 17 different events, by far more than any other team in Florida! Athletes qualify by achieving a qualification standard that is set near the top 1% of all athletes in that age group for each event.

Eighth grader Helen Robertson won FOUR state medals, highlighted by setting the school record in the 400m with a time of 58.22 which is faster than the Tavares High School record! Seventh grader Jimena Nava-Garcia took home THREE medals in the 4x800m, 3000m, and 1500m while Sophia Maldonado and Laken Hartley each earned TWO state medals and Greenlea Salazar and Danica David earned medals in the 600g javelin.

Both the Boys and Girls 4x800m squads ran incredible races, each placing 2nd in the state and earning silver medals. The boys 4x800m team of Tahjier Neal, Eric Chen, Emiliano Lozano, and Navid Lozano tied the 2019 team’s school record to the millisecond of 9:04.05, which featured 3 Tavares athletes who now run in college at Division I schools (Florida & Clemson). The girls team of Jimena Nava-Garcia, Sophia Maldonado, Laken Hartley, and Helen Robertson ran a time of 10:06.41, which ranks currently as USA #6 for middle schools right now.

The TMS Patriots 4x400m team of Helen Robertson, Laken Hartley, Sofia Dalmau, and Lindsey Mishler also medaled in 8th place with a time of 4:18.92, just a second off the school record.

Amazingly, the Tavares girls have been the #1 school team in Florida for an unbelievable SEVEN consecutive cross-country and track seasons. Starting with the 2021 girls track team, we have won consecutive school state championships in order: 2021 track, 2021 cross-country, 2022 track, 2022 cross-country, 2023 track, 2023 cross-country, and 2024 track!

Individual State Qualifier Results

Girls 3000m

Jimena Nava-Garcia: 6th place, medalist (10:45.58)

Sophia Maldonado: 7th place, medalist (10:56.83)

Lindsey Mishler: 16th place (11:19.92)

Laken Hartley: 19th place (11:29.42)

Boys 3000m

Omar Castillo: 18th place (9:51.11)

Eric Chen: 34th place (10:11.70)

Nick Alvarez: 45th place (10:23.63)

Emiliano Lozano: 46th place (10:24.48)

Navid Lozano: 47th place (10:24.53)

Girls 1500m

Jimena Nava-Garcia: 8th place, medalist (4:59.10)

Laken Hartley: 24th place (5:16.32)

Lindsey Mishler: 42nd place (5:23.47)

Isabella Neal: 47th place (5:25.20)

Sophia Maldonado: 48th place (5:25.42)

Boys 1500m

Omar Castillo: 32nd place (4:44.25)

Nick Alvarez: 38th place (4:47.41)

Eric Chen: 40th place (4:48.18)

Emiliano Lozano: 41st place (4:48.90)

Navid Lozano: 42nd place (4:49.13)

Girls 400m

Helen Robertson: 5th place, medalist & School Record (58.22)

Girls 800m

Jimena Nava-Garcia: 37th place (2:35.18)

Boys 800m

Eric Chen: 24th place (2:17.54)

Girls Shot Put

Danica David: 29th place (9.02m)

Boys Triple Jump

Cameron Manacle: 15th place (10.18m)

Girls High Jump

Helen Robertson: 6th place, medalist (1.47m)

Girls Discus

Shaelynn Jackson: 26th place (21.59m)

Girls 600g Javelin

Greenlea Salazar: 3rd place, medalist (29.60m)

Danica David: 6th place, medalist (25.70m)

Ruby Hinckley: 11th place (24.22m)

Shaelynn Jackson: 24th place (20.98m)


Girls 4×800 Relay A

  • 2nd place, medalists (10:06.41)
  • Team: Helen Robertson, Laken Hartley, Sophia Maldonado, Jimena Nava-Garcia

Girls 4×800 Relay B

  • 23rd place (11:01.00)
  • Team: Isabella Neal, Lindsey Mishler, Jillan Hernandez, Emily Santos

Boys 4×800 Relay

  • 2nd place (9:04.05) Tied School Record!
  • Team: Eric Chen, Emiliano Lozano, Navid Lozano, Tahjier Neal

Girls 4x400m Relay

  • 8th place, medalist (4:18.92)
  • Team: Helen Robertson, Lindsey Mishler, Sophia Dalmau, Laken Hartley

Boys 4x400m Relay

  • 12th place (3:53.61)
  • Team: Asa Thompson, Emiliano Lozano, Jeycob Torres, Tahjier Neal

Girls 4×100 Relay

  • 20th place (55.17)
  • Team: Sophia Dalmau, Neveah Miller, Janessa Saincilaire, Journi Cuyler (Chloe Walker as alternate)

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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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