A large crowd was on hand Friday and Saturday as Dover High hosted the 2023 DIAA State Track and Field championships. The student athletes enjoyed much better weather this year as temperatures hovered in the 60’s to low 70’s as opposed to 2022 when sweltering heat drove temps into the 90’s.
The closest team competition took place in the Boy’s division 2 as Delaware Military took a slight lead into the day’s final two events. The ‘Hawks had 91 points leading both St Marks and A I DuPont by less than 7 points with just the pole vault and the 4 x 400 relay events remaining. The relay final came first as DMA finished second to Dickinson while A I took 3rd and the Spartans finished 5th. Everyone then gathered to watch the final event of the day, the pole vault lasted another 20 minutes. Dallas Parker cleared 13′ to take the gold medal, his teammate Augustin Ramos placed 5th, and the St. Marks “vaulters’ ‘ took 7th and 8th, while DMA didn’t place in the event. Those final 2 results gave the Tigers from A I a total of 106 team points, finishing ahead of DMA (99) and St Marks (97) for their first team title since 2019.
Besides winning the pole vault, Dallas Parker also took gold in the high jump and the 300 meter hurdles. Ethan Walther won the 800 and 3200 meter races for DMA. St Marks scored in almost every event with six 2nd place finishes.
Salesianum won the team title in Division 1 for the 4th straight year with a total of 124 points. The next five teams were separated by just 10 points as Cape Henlopen took 2nd with 69 points, followed by MIddletown with 68, Smyrna with 67, Caesar Rodney had 60 as the Riders edged Sussex Central with 59 points. The Sals received 1st place performances from Matt Miller in the 1600 meter race, Matthew Klous in the pole vault, Jasyn Truitt in the 200, and Bishop Lane in the 400. Sallies also won the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay races.
The Division 1 champions from Padua have now won 9 consecutive years, while Smyrna finished second for the 7th straight time. The Pandas had 187.67 points to the Eagles 93. Juliana Balon won the long jump plus the 100, 200 and 400 meter races for the Pandas. Sophia Holgado took gold in the 3200 while Mary Flanagan won the 800. Smyrna is the last team other than Padua to win the championship back in 2013.
In Division 2, Tatnall ended the 2-year reign of St Marks (those 2 tied last year). The Hornets scored a total of 162 points to the Spartans 123. Katie Payne won both the 800 and 1600 meter races for Tatnall, while Ariana Montgomery took gold in the 100 meter hurdles.
Other notable performances were turned in by St Mark’s Dani McGonigle with wins in both the high jump and triple jump after she suffered a minor injury in the hurdle event. Caravel Academy’s Kennedy Smith took 1st place in the 100, 200 and 100 meter hurdles. Yougendy Mauricette from Sussex Tech won both the long jump and 300 meter hurdles. Finally, the fastest athlete of the day was Jazonte Levan of Seaford as he won the 100 in 10.68 and the 200 in 21.43.
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