By Roger LaLonde
When Lely’s Christie Thorstenson and Taylor Fetzer walk onto the track at the 3A State Track & Field Championships at North Florida University in Jacksonville on Saturday it will be their swan song.
They and other Lely athletes qualified at the 3A Region 3 competition at Port Charlotte last Thursday.
In their four high school years they have competed each year at the state championship level in the 4×800 relay. This time they will be joined by junior Mallory Bell and sophomore Rosie Polling in the 4×800. All four are products of the Marco Island Charter Middle School program. The team was second in regional competition in a time of 9:50.
In Thorstenson’s freshman year she raced to a medal, finishing fifth in the state individual 800 meter run. In her four years at Lely she was a standout in track, soccer, volleyball for two years and swimming.
Poling also qualified at the 3A regional in the 3200 by finishing fourth in a time of 11:35.
Dieuvenel Tanis also qualified in two events. He raced to a regional first-place finish in the 800 in a time of 1:57.
According to Coach Mark McGarity, Tanis made the difference in the 4×800 relay that goes for the second straight year. When Tanis took the baton he was back in the pack, but charged forward to move the team up to a fourth-place finish. The team time was 8:08. Going again are Gage Wheeler, Dalton Herrity and Joshua Wagner, all three being products of the Marco Island Charter Middle School program.
Wheeler also qualified in the 3200 with a personal best of 9:50 as he raced to a third-place finish.
Senior Richard Annorat goes in the high jump. He was second in regional competition with a leap of 6-foot-6-inches.