On Friday, May 12, Coach Isaacs and the 2023 FLYRA State team traveled to Bradenton to the IMG Academy for the state championship meet.

Saturday morning saw an early start to the competition with eighth grade girls, Makiya Cash, Sian Garrett, and Madison Varnes, headed straight to the field events for Shot put and Discus. A wonderful finish for all three girls! Congratulations to Madison Varnes, placing tenth in the Florida Middle School Girls’ Discus with a throw of 83’ 08.25”. Sian Garrett has been a fierce competitor this season and threw her personal best of 33’05.5” which landed her the 12th place finish and the newest record holder for WMS in Shot Put. Makiya Cash came in 35th overall with a 29’07” toss. These girls have worked so hard, and their results are the reward.

While the girls were throwing, the boys were jumping! We have our kings of the jump pits taking over the top of the results charts. Danny Godbolt, blowing away the previous year’s Long Jump record with an astounding 20’ 06.75” jump. This landed him the 3rd place finish in the state of Florida!

Jaylen Jones competed in both long and triple jump and medaled in both. JJ jumped into 5th place with a 19’03.00” Long Jump and brought home 7th in the Triple Jump at 37’10.75”.

Jayden Jean had a stellar performance this weekend as well with his long and triple jumps. Jayden brought home ninth place following an 18’07.25” Long Jump and then medaled in the Triple Jump with a mind-blowing 39’00.5” leap. Jayden is the new record holder for this event and may be for quite some time!

David Whitaker competed in Triple Jump bring home 11th place at 36’08.5”.

Makiya worked her way over to the Triple Jump pit after her shot-put event and took home 14th in the state with a record breaking 31’03.25” jump. Makiya holds the top 6 spots for the Triple Jump at Wakulla Middle School.

Brandon Hayes took to the track while the rest of the team was jumping for his 400m individual run. The 400 has been Brandon’s specialty this season and for good reason! He is the current record holder for WMS and placed 29th in the state with a time of 56.34 seconds.

Finally, our boys 4x100m Relay team lined up for their season’s best time. Coming in .12 seconds shy of the current school record but setting their own PR at 47.79 seconds, the team placed 21st overall with Aries Travis, Trace Callaghan, Brandon Hayes, and Danny Godbolt.

The Wakulla Middle School team is now ranked 12th in the state for Middle School Boys performances.

This wraps up the 2023 Track & Field season for WMS and for all these athletes it marks the end of their middle school career. Coach Isaacs would like to thank all the parents of the athletes this season for their time and support and patience. Without you, these kids wouldn’t be the successes they are, so thank you! Thank you to the 2023 sponsors, your financial contribution has allowed this team to travel and experience something bigger than ourselves. You have given a gift of a dream and they will not forget the impact of it. Thank you to all the administrators, teachers, and staff at Wakulla Middle for your support and patience during this season as well. Finally, thank you to the residents of Wakulla County who continue to support in any way they can. It takes a village, and we have the very best one.

Athletes, I hope you are holding your head high. You have accomplished great things in these last 5 months. You have trained and overcome, you have pushed and been rewarded. You have dreamed and set your bar high, and you have felt the air of success. Don’t let that feeling fade. Everything you set your mind to do, you are capable of – you have seen it in yourself this year. It is possible, if only you are brave enough to dream it and work for it. I will truly miss each of you and the joy you have brought to our school, our team, our community, and to me personally. Now, go fly high as War Eagles and do great things.

Katherine Lilly can be reached by klilly@thewakullanews.com.

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