Upholding a tradition: 1A Track Finals
By David Yon
Wander around the Gym or the soccer-track facility at Maclay School and you will see boards posted for numerous sports listing state champions. And while the overall list is impressive, if you were to white out the ones earned by Droze coached teams, the list would seem almost routine. Gary's teams though dominate the walls and fences in a most impressive manner. In Gainesville, Florida on Thursday, April 29, 2004, the Maclay boys track team decided to add another year to the already impressive year. The girls' team wasn't shabby either grabbing a fourth place finish. That gives the track and field teams eighty state title (four boys and four girls for perfect gender equity). You can add another nine cross country team championships (five boys and four girls) to make an incredible total of 17 state titles since 1997.
Historically, Maclay's distance program has figured heavily into its titles, but this year it was a 400 meter runner and a pole vault specialist who brought back individual state titles. Lori Bowen scored enough points on her own to place as a team in the finals. She won the pole vault with a jump of 11 feet 3 inches (10 points), finished fourth in the 200 in 26.33 seconds (5), sixth in the 100 meter hurdles in 16.14 seconds (3), fifth in the 300 meter hurdles in 46.84 seconds (4) and fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 34-04 (4) for a total of 26 points and good enough to finish eighth in the state as her own team. The good news for Maclay's girls is that were lots of other scorers to pull the team up to fourth overall. Adriana Piekarewicz took third in the 1600 with a time of 5:17.40 and sixth in the 3200 in a time of 12:11.67. Katy Swain took eighth in the 3200 and seventh in the 1600. Betsy McQueen was eighth in 800 and sixth in the 1600. Andrew Holway led the boys' team to its state title when he captured the 400 meter title by running a 49.76. He also grabbed sixth in the 200 meter race. Michael Camarda took third in the 400. Brennan Clayton did his best to hold up the distance tradition by taking fifth in the 1600 meter and seventh in 800 meter run. Casey Clayton scored in the 3200 with a 10:16. Kevin Davey added to Maclay's new personality by taking second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.62.
North Florida Christian and FAMU High girls scored 10 and 8 points respectively. Michele Jenije led NFC by winning the triple jump with a leap of 37-08.50. On the boys' side, NFC grabbed twelfth place with 17 points. Paul Brandon took second in the 100 with a time of 11.06 and ninth in the 200 with a time of 23.51.