Seen here in a preseason meet, Key West’s Caylaa Makimaa turned in second- and third-place individual finishes in the 800m and mile races as well as a trio of podium finishes in the 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays. Photos by ELLA HALL/Keys Weekly

It’s been more than a week since the Key West Conchs saw action on the track due to a cancellation last week, giving the teams some much needed rest after an extremely successful outing at the Big Blue Invitational at Archbishop McCarthy on March 4. The Lady Conchs outscored the home team and the rest of the field of 13, taking top honors in the meet. 

In the field events, Abigail Cowan won the long jump with a 14’8” leap. Rodamaelle Cineus took fourth in the triple jump, Anabel Portuonodo was fourth in pole vault and Angeline Foster won third in the shot put. 

Notable performers on the track were Savannah Chadic, who won the 400m in an incredible 57.76 seconds. Chadic was also part of the team’s second-place 4x100m relay with teammates Dazmine Jenkins, Nikole Tomita and Caylaa Makimaa as well as the third-place 4x400m team with Tomita, Makimaa and Kathryn Smith. 

The Lady Conchs’ distance specialists racked up plenty of points. Makimaa came in second in the open 800m race and third in the mile. Laira Anaya was right behind Makimaa in the mile and ran a leg of the Conchs’ second-place 4x800m team with Makimaa, Alicia Bahri and Naima Thomas. Bahri also took third in the two-mile race. Rounding out the top performers on the track was Ruth Azard with a solid fourth-place finish in the 100m hurdles.  

Seen here in a preseason meet, Key West’s Savannah Chadic turned in a blazing 57.76s finish in the 400m at the Big Blue Invitational. Photos by ELLA HALL/Keys Weekly

Key West’s gentlemen were fourth overall, led by a 10’6” first place finish in the pole vault from Josh Canterbury and a third place finish from Liam Flores, who cleared 10 feet. Kevon Mills cleared the high jump bar at 6 feet which was good enough for second place. Mills also teamed up with Clerf Alexandre, Shane LaVallee and James Reynolds in the Conchs’ fourth-place 4x100m team. The 4x800m relay team took third with a squad of Colbin Hill, Logan Phillips, Williams Forster and Lucas Montiel.

Key West’s throwers made a good showing with a second-place shot put throw from Benndy Ambrose and fourth-place tosses from Canterbury in the discus and Brondson Etienne in javelin.

The Marathon Dolphins sent a handful of athletes to the Miami Elite Invitational on March 11. Vance Bursa blazed to a second-place finish in the mile, running the four laps in 4:36.68. Teammate Justice Lee owned the throwing events, winning the javelin with a toss of 86’7”. Lee also took third in discus and was a last-minute addition to shot put, where she secured another third-place finish.

The Conchs will travel to Calvary Christian for an invitational on Friday, March 17, then are off again for spring break. The Conchs, Coral Shores Hurricanes and Dolphins will race one another in an all-Keys showdown in Key West on Friday, March 31.

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.