Posted: 2:23 pm Friday, April 27th, 2012

Live blog: Updates from Class 1A state track in Jacksonville 

By Matt Porter

JACKSONVILLE — Welcome to Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida for the Class 1A state track meet. If you didn’t make the drive here, we’ve got fresh updates for you all day long.

UPDATE: Here’s the story we ran in the Saturday morning editions of The Post.

Warm-up: Preview of today’s meet, in which King’s Academy and Benjamin are the headline schools … Feature on one of the top competitors, Benjamin’s Trenton Saunders.

Click here for live results.

BOYS

Afternoon round

Benjamin senior Trenton Saunders fell short of gold in his final state meet, but took bronze in the discus and silver in the shot put.

In the discus, Saunders finished third with a best throw of 153-11. He headed into the finals seeded third. Jacksonville-Trinity Christian’s Selwyn Carrol won with a throw of 169 feet.

Saunders, believing he could win gold, was upset after the event. He walked off the track silently after receiving his bronze medal and remained silent as coach Andrew Spragg taped his wrist for the shot put.

“My warmups were 175s,” Saunders said. “Those were my best throws all day. I felt like I had to do it. I felt the pressure.”

Spragg said Saunders threw 170-plus in practice this week. But Saturday, his throws sailed too high and dropped short. Saunders paced around before the shot prelims. He looked ready to explode.

His energy carried into the shot, where he threw a personal-best 50-10.5 on his final throw. His throw was just short of the winner, Michael Cassidy of Sneads, who threw 51-10. Were it not for the combination of a slick ring and his worn-out shoes — “I can’t get any grip,” he said to Spragg during the event — he felt he would have done better.

“I’m definitely a little disappointed by this performance,” Saunders said. “I did pretty well in shot. I couldn’t get my release in disc. Oh well. Live to fight another day.”

Saunders, who reports to FIU’s football camp June 18, said he may compete in the New Balance event in June. He plans to do track at FIU. His focus is all on football.

“I’ve got my workout book ready as soon as I go home,” he said.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK86VU6ZURw

Saunders qualifies for the shot put final with 45-foot toss. Dissatisfied with his windup — he said his shoes couldn’t grip the slick surface of the ring — he threw it standing.

* King’s 4×800 relay finished 12th. The team: juniors Caleb Walz and Nicholas Sexton, sophomore Luke Albert and junior Scott Simpson.

* King’s senior J.C. Wolff Charles finished 10th in the long jump.

Evening lineup

As a team, King’s has a shot at the medal stand. Here’s who will be competing in this evening’s finals:

* Simpson was sixth (4:29.41) in the 1600. Boca Raton Christian sophomore Charles Otto was 14th.

* King’s 4×100 relay ran its best race, finishing five one-hundredths of a second out of a silver medal. The Lions — seniors Brian Grove and Ricardo Roy, junior Zach Fraga and senior Chris Machiela — came in seeded 11th. They posted a 42.499, smashing the school record and nearly catching second-place Moore Haven (42.494).

* While his 4×100 teammates caught their breath, Roy lined up for the 400. He grabbed another silver, finishing three-tenths out of first in 47.58. John Carroll senior Joey Ryan finished fourth (49.73).

* Walz finished 15th in the 800.

* Ryan finished seventh (23.05) in the 200.

* Simpson finished 10th in the 3200. Otto was 11th.

* King’s 4×400 relay runs in the second (faster) heat after 8:53. Running for the Lions: Senior Chris Machiela, Roy, Walz and junior Gregory Roy.

GIRLS

Afternoon round

The biggest problem for King’s senior Kimberly Ruch: the heat, which is in the low-90s with a whisper of a breeze. She tried to catch her breath after the 200 prelims.

“It’s hot,” Ruch said after qualifying for the finals. Mercifully, those finals will be held as the sun is setting. Right now, the sun is overhead, and Hodges Stadium offers little escape.

Ruch, who also qualified for the 100 and as part of the 4×100, hasn’t run her hardest. She will, because she knows she’s the key to King’s team title hopes. And it’s her last state meet. As inspiration, she has the word “shine” written in black marker on her hand, and the text of Exodus 9.16 on her leg.

She finishes catching her breath, before retiring to the sanctity of her team’s tent. “I’m going to take a nap,” she said.

* King’s Academy’s 4×800 relay picked up a point by finishing eighth, edging Benjamin’s girls by less than four seconds. King’s squad was sophomore Ashley Pisciottano and juniors Emily Cohen, Julia Corley and Cat Urso. Benjamin’s squad was sophomore Riley Burke, junior Rachel Harris, sophomore Katherine Atterbury and senior Meredith Anderson.

* John Carroll sophomore Hunter Sullivan finished fifth in the shot put (36-1.25).

* Benjamin senior Jeanelle Ackerman finished 11th in the pole vault.

* Benjamin senior Ariel Adams finished 10th in the long jump. Ruch finished 15th.

Evening lineup

With one point after the field events and 4×800, King’s needs to come up big in the final portion of the evening to win a state title. Here’s who will be competing tonight:

* Benjamin senior Taylor Cogsil finished ninth in the 100 hurdles.

* Ruch finished third (12.71) in the 100. Adams was seventh (12.87).

* Anderson was eighth (5:15.92) in the 1600.

* Ruch and King’s 4×100 relay finished second with a personal-best 48.6 seconds. Sophomores Katie Wentz and Tia Francavilla, Ruch and sophomore Sarah Collins were sixth-tenths out of first.

* Urso (13th), Harris (14th) and Pope John Paul II junior Monica Falgons (15th) ran in the 800 finals.

* Ruch was fifth (25.85) in the 200.

* Anderson was 11th in the 200. Pope John Paul II junior Christine Sullivan was 16th.

* King’s 4×400 relay runs its final after 8:43. They’ll be in the second (faster) heat.