Raiders gear up for state meet

Charlie Orth is no stranger to the state track meet. He was there a year ago as a sophomore to compete in the pole vault and is excited about another opportunity to return to state.

“It feels great,” Orth said. “I know what I need to do to compete after going last year. I’m looking forward to it.”

Khiara Newton and John McGowan, meanwhile, are headed to state for the first time.

McGowan is a senior. So it was now or never for the 300-meter hurdle standout.

“It’s definitely something I wanted to do,” McGowan said. “It feels really good. I knew I could do it and that confidence boosted me and helped me accomplish my goal.”

State was an unlikely destination for Newton when the season began. She is, after all, only a freshman who entered high school with no prior experience in the pole vault.

But she has risen quickly, literally soaring to new heights, and the sky might very well be the limit by the time she is done with her high school career.

“It’s surprising,” Newton said. “I didn’t even think I would make it to regionals.”

But she defied the odds and will join Orth and McGowan at the state meet this weekend in Bradenton. The two-day meet begins Friday at the IMG Academy.

Read more in the May 5 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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