Records fall in final day of state track meet

DOVER — A trio of records fell thanks to downstate athletes on the final day of the DIAA track and field state championships at Dover High.

Lake Forest’s Jada Gourdine easily wins the Division II 100-meter hurdles final at the DIAA Track and Field Championships Saturday at Dover. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

Casey Talamini-Kelemen of Polytech High set a Division I record in the girls’ triple jump. The Smyrna High girls’ and Sussex Central High boys’ 4×100 relay teams also had historic results. The Eagles set a meet record while the Golden Knights broke the Division I mark.

Salesianum won the boys’ Division I team title while Padua was the girls’ Division I champion. A.I. du Pont earned the boys’ Division II crown and Tatnall used a late charge to capture the Division II girls championship.

The Henlopen Conference combined to win 18 events across the four competitions.

Talamini-Kelemen entered the meet having just broken the Henlopen Conference triple jump record one week ago. She improved by two inches on Saturday to earn gold with a jump of 38-feet-8-inches.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Talamini-Kelemen said. “I’ve been working really hard all season so it’s cool it’s paying off.”

Middletown’s Vick Brahmir beats Caesar Rodney’s Leon Jett by half a hurdle in the Division I 100-meter hurdles final during the DIAA Track and Field Championships Saturday at Dover.

Smyrna nearly swept the Division I relays, winning the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400. The Eagles had to settle for second in the 4×800, contested on Friday.

The 4×100 team of Saani Edwards, Shaneese LaMons, Aniyah Black and Sierra Romaine ran a 47.91 to establish a new meet record.
Edwards, LaMons and Black were also on the winning 4×200 team, joined by Lauren Summers.

Summers took home an individual title as she finished the 100-meter dash in 12.57. Summers had missed most of the season with an injury and only returned to competition in the last month.

“I had to be really mentally-prepared to push through the pain and do it for my team,” she said. “It was a struggle but I still did it.”

Dover’s Christina Garcia competes in the high jump.

“To have her win was really cool for us to see,” said Smyrna coach Maura Schafer. “It was like, ‘Oh she’s back.’ Just feeling like she’s back is a relief for us.”

Black and LaMons won their third race of the meet for Smyrna in the final event, the 4×400, on a team with Deleon Foster and Kayla Bess.

“I think it’s the bond that we have together,” Summers said about Smyrna’s relay success. “We all push each other to the max which is really beneficial to us”

Smyrna was the Division I girls’ runner-up with 140 points to Padua’s 163.

Lake Forest was second on the girls’ side in Division II. The Spartans earned 104.5 and just missed beating out Tatnall (108 points) which would have been Lake Forest’s first girls’ team title since 2001.

Lake Forest was paced by Jada Gourdine, who swept the Division II girls’ hurdle events, winning the 110 hurdles in 15.14 and the 300 hurdles in 48.44. Gourdine was also part of the Spartan’s 4×200 state title team along with Cierra Young, Makayla Cross and Kentaya Fisher.

The Sussex Central boys’ made it three downstate runner-ups as the Golden Knights (89) finished six points back of Salesianum (95) in the boys’ Division I standings.

Milford’s Cierra Dennis competes in the shot put.

It was a banner day for the Sussex Central program nonetheless. The 4×100 won a championship for the first time since 1987 before the 4×200 followed with another state title, its first since 1974.

The 4×100 team of Andre Teagle, Dominique Smith, Dominic Saragino and Mahki Herring set a new Division I record in 42.14. P.J. Stratton joined Teagle, Smith and Saragino on the winning 4×200 squad.

Not bad for a school who doesn’t have an indoor track team.

“We’re setting the foundation for hopefully the future,” said Sussex Central coach Derek Shockro. “We want Sussex Central to be a name brand in Delaware track. These kids have worked hard. … The talent is in the hallways. We’ve got the football, basketball players, they just got to understand that speed is going to kill in any sport and we’ll teach them speed. So this will help a lot. We’re going to miss the seniors and they’ve really done a great job and gave a great fight against a talented Salesianum team.”

Brandon Greenlee also added an individual title for the Golden Knights, taking first in the pole vault (12-feet).

Sussex Central had never finished better than third before Saturday.

“It’s telling the kids that you can,” Shockro said. “It’s not about being the fastest, it’s about beating your PR and continuing. Once they understand that, just come out and better yourself, then things start to build up. This team has really set the standard and now we’ve got a lot of excitement.”

Caesar Rodney’s BenslLove Pierre and Christiana’s Da’Niah Brown race at the start of the girls 100-meter dash unified.

Dover was third in the boys’ Division I competition. The Senators were led by its 4×400 state champion team of Hezakiah Ali-Bentley, Dante Jones, Ric Johnson and Nathanael Guy (3:24.55) while Bradly Anyanwu won the shot put on Friday.

Leon Jett of Caesar Rodney earned the state title in the 300 hurdles with a time of 38.79. Another CR athlete, Destiny Bailey-Perkins, won a Division state championship in the girls’ long jump (17-5).

Lake Forest’s Shane Massey won the Division II boys’ 400-meter race with a time of 48.50.

Milford’s Ritchy Corvil (Division II boys’ shot put) and Jeannellie Robles Ortiz (Division II girls’ long jump) rounded out the downstate individual state champions.

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