The Key West boys track and field team successfully defended their district title April 24 at the FHSAA 2A District 16 Championships at Tropical Park. The win marks their seventh title since 2017. The Lady Conchs were the runners-up this season after winning a district title in 2023. In total, more than two dozen athletes from Key West and Coral Shores high schools qualified for the upcoming regional meet. Marathon’s championships were not held as of print time. The top four athletes in each event move on, making track and field one of the best-represented sports for Keys athletes in the postseason.

Helping the Key West boys’ team reach its 180 points were four individual winners, all claiming their wins in field events. Clerf Alexandre won the triple jump event and grabbed another handful of points with a fourth place finish in the 100-meter race, guaranteeing him a spot at regionals in both events. He also ran legs of the 4×100 and 4×400 relays, both of which qualified for regionals, making Alexandre a busy young man next week. Jean Louis was first in the shot put and second in the discus. Noah Mercer was the district discus champ and will also compete at regionals in shot put, in which he placed fourth. Niks-Davis Suharevskis battled through a foot injury to claim the pole vault title.

Other regional qualifiers include Shane Lavallee, who will compete in four events. Lavallee was third in the 100, fourth in javelin, and is a member of the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Walson Morin will be part of the same relays and compete individually in the 200-meter race where he came in fourth. Colbin Hill was fourth in the 3200 and will run on the 4×800 team. Anthony Jenner was third in the 110 high hurdles and the discus. Brondson Etienne was third in high jump, Peyton Zubieta was second in javelin, and Ian Newton and Ian Torrealba were second and fourth in pole vault, respectively. Jeef Dejean will be busy competing in long and triple jump, a pair of events in which he was second, as well as running a leg of the 4×100 relay. Cole Jackson will compete on the 4×400 team and will join Andrew Fedor, Rayan Barrios and William Forster in representing Key West on the 4×800 relay team.

Coral Shores had one district champion in sophomore Xavier Johnson, who won the 110 high hurdles. Joining Johnson at regionals will be Ethan Marguet who was second in the 800, Alaric Rodriguez who took fourth place in the 1600 and who will both be competing on the qualifying 4×800 relay team. Ambrose Sanchez was second in the 400 hurdles and Riley Fromen claimed third in pole vault. Rounding out the ’Canes qualifiers were Adrik Gadea and William Davila, who both qualified for the 4×800 team.

Conch girls track and field team. RICK MACKENZIE/Contributed

Key West’s girls had three district champions, winning all three throwing events. Claire Boyson won the shot put event, Kaylee Matas Cabezuelo won the discus and Audrey Smith won in javelin. Matas Cabezuelo also took third in triple jump and Smith was fourth in discus giving them each a second event at regionals. Other qualifying Lady Conchs were Anabel Portuondo and Riley Richard who were second and third in pole vault. Gemma Nesgaard and Colleen Barter were third and fourth in the high jump. Grace Andrew claimed a trio of thirds, in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles and javelin events. Caylaa Makimaa was second in the 3200 and will run a leg of the qualifying 4×800 and 4×400  relays, giving her multiple regional events. Alyssandra Camargo was fourth in the 400 and will compete on the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Dazmine Jenkins won third in the 100 and will run a leg of the 4×100 relay. Brooke Biskupich will compete on the 4×100 and 4×400 teams. Naima Thomas will do the same on the 4×400 and 4×800 teams. Abigail Cowan will represent on the 4×100, while Emerson Jackson and Laira Anaya will run two laps each on the 4×800 relay team. 

Marathon’s district competition is May 1 at Palmer Trinity. The top four Fin finishers will join Key West and Coral Shores at Calvary Christian High School on May 7 for the FHSAA 1A and 2A Region 4 Championships and a shot at a state appearance this season. State qualifiers will make the long trip to Hodges Stadium at University of North Florida in Jacksonville for the FHSAA State Championships. 1A competes on May 15 while 2A holds their events the following day.

Tracy McDonald
Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.