(PHOTO: Johnny Robinson-Pettus) Navarre senior Elijah Appel finished second in the Andrews Invitational triple jump last week in Gulf Breeze, bounding 42 feet. Not bad, considering the competition and the fact that Appel hadn’t competed in the event this season.
“He really came through for us with a good jump,” Navarre High School track and field coach Tom Lintz said Tuesday. “We usually get good points from our jumps, and Nick (Benton, the school’s record-holder in the event) didn’t compete because of an injury, so that was big for us.”
Johnny Robinson-Pettus, Miguel Villanueva and James Mullin also turned in runner-up performances, helping Navarre finish fourth in team points with 64. West Florida won the boys’ team title with 94.66 points, narrowly edging Fort Walton Beach.
Besides finishing second in the long jump (20-4), Robinson-Pettus also placed fourth in the triple jump (41-3.5). Villanueva was runner-up in the 400-meter dash (52.49 seconds) and Mullin finished second in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 2.08 seconds). The 4 x 800-meter relay team of Trent Beck, Dominic Dudai, Tanner Wilcox and Mullin came in second in 8:23.03, Wilcox placed third (2:02.48) in the 800 and Jonah Griego was fourth in the 3200-meter run (10:33.42) to help Navarre’s cause.
“We’ll be competitive,” Lintz said. “That’s our goal every year. I wasn’t sure we would be as competitive this year as we have been in the past, but (the boys’ team has) been coming on. We finished third at the Panhandle Championships and fourth at the Andrews Invitational, two pretty good meets, so I think we’re right on track.”
The Lady Raiders finished 10th in the 15-team field with 25 points. Senior Elle Crouse figured in more than half of Navarre’s scoring, finishing third in the 800-meter run (2:31.52) and running on the Raiders’ runner-up 4 x 400 relay team (4:21.54) and fourth-place 4 x 800 team (10:30.94). Hannah Gullickson finished seventh in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
The Raiders are scheduled to participate in a triangular meet with Pace and Gulf Breeze at 4 p.m. today, Thursday April 11, in Gulf Breeze, weather permitting. The District 1-3A meet begins at 10 a.m. Friday, April 19, with regionals scheduled April 25 at Tallahassee Chiles and the state meet planned May 3 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.