John McGowan knows the feeling of missing out on a trip to the regional track meet.
The Navarre senior took fifth in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles at the district meet last April. Only the top four advance to the regional.
But the story is different this year for McGowan, who won a District 2-3A title in the 300 hurdles in a time of 40.60 and took third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.93.
His success is evidence of the progress he has made over the last four years of his track career.
“My freshman year started off pretty rough, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better,” McGowan said. “It feels good to make it to regionals as a senior.”
McGowan will be one of several Raiders competing in a 3A regional meet today on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. The meet begins at 11 a.m. Finals are slated for 5 p.m.
Teammate Sam Bassham won the 110 hurdles (15.34) and placed third in the 300 hurdles (41.32). McGowan said the two have pushed each other all year. The two are also on the regional-qualifying 4×100 relay team that includes Omari Green and Lee Jones as well.
“It’s really nice to see (Sam and I) work with each other,” McGowan said. “We make each other better.”
The other members of the boys team headed to the regional are Charlie Orth and Jones. Orth repeated as the district pole vault champ while Jones punched tickets to the regional with a second-place finish in the 100 (11.31) and a fourth-place finish in the 200 (23.18).
On the girls side, Khorri Newton is in the regional after winning the high jump with a leap of 5-0. Teammate Amber Leggett, who is only a sophomore, took third with a jump of 4-10 and also qualified in the long jump (32-7) and triple jump (16-0).
Khiarra Newton is just a freshman but hit a height of 9-6 in the pole vault to secure a spot at the regional. Veronica Matechik will compete in the 100 hurdles after taking third at the district meet with a time of 17.66.
Read more in the April 28 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.