Posted: 5:05 pm Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Class 4A state track: Plenty of medals coming back to Palm Beach County 

By Matt Porter

WINTER PARK – Halfway through the Class 4A state track meet, Palm Beach County has plenty to be proud of.

Santaluces junior Miriam Pierre was one of four area athletes to pick up double medals, with the distance events, hurdles and sprint finals still to come.

Pierre won gold in the shot put (43-1.75) and held off a bundle of nerves to win bronze in the discus (128-9). “I was treating it like it was the last track meet I’ll have. I could have calmed down a bit,” Pierre said.

John I. Leonard’s 3200 relay won silver, boosted by a best-ever time from lead leg Alex Hepburn, who ran a 2:15. Junior Anderson Charles ran a 1:54.6, senior Josh Visi-Clark ran a 1:55.6, and senior Ryan Pickering put up a 1:57. Pickering will go for gold in the 1600 and 3200 later Saturday evening. Charles will run the 800, along with Park Vista senior Matthew Wadford.

Palm Beach Central sophomore Lia King won gold in the triple jump (39-6.25) and took seventh in the long jump. She beat Royal Palm Beach senior Trisha Leger, who finished third (38-10.25). Leger, who will jump at Florida State next season, had never lost to King.

Park Vista junior Alexa Wood took eighth in the girls long jump and triple jump despite spraining her ankle on Wednesday. She sat out the rest of the week and hoped for the best Saturday. “Even though it’s eighth, it’s pretty epic,” Wood said. “If I call someone and say I got eighth they’ll say ‘Aww…’ But no, it’s a good thing. Just being able to come here is awesome.”

Park Vista’s Marc Clerveaux placed seventh in the boys triple jump and eighth in the long jump.

In her first state meet, Lake Worth sophomore Tia Sanborn finished fourth in the high jump (5-4), matching the height she’s jumped throughout the season. Five-foot-6 is her next goal. “It’s over my head, so it’s a mental thing,” Sanborn said. She will run with the Trojans’ all-underclass 400 relay Saturday evening.

Seminole Ridge sophomore Alexandria Jackson (seventh) and Palm Beach Gardens junior Jaylisha Griffin (eighth) also scored in the shot.

Park Vista sophomore Christopher Grinley had the top qualifying time for the 300 hurdles (38.10). Junior Edens Thermidor had the fourth-best qualifying time in the 400 (48.76). Both are part of the Cobras’ 1600 relay that qualified sixth for the finals.