The Port St. Joe summer track club competed in the Ernie Sims Invitational last weekend in Tallahassee with the intent on securing medals.
The athletes hit the mother lode.
The Port St. Joe club sent nine athletes, all competing in multiple events, to the meet in Tallahassee and came away with 25 medals, with each individual winning at least two medals.
Medals were awarded for the top three places in each event in each age group.
“We went hunting for medals,” said Coach Keith Chiles. “We have been focusing for three weeks on each one’s events and what they were going to do to win a medal.
“They did a great job.”
And did so while demonstrating impressive versatility.
Where to start?
How about the youngest, Sumner Dickey, who, competing as a 10-year-old, won the high jump and finished second in the shot put.
Or, at the other end of the spectrum would be recent high school grad Celeste Chiles, who took first in the discus and second in both the high jump and shot put?
Or, as another option, consider the busiest; Lily Wockenfuss won the pole vault, which is becoming something of a habit, took third in both the high jump and shot put and won second in the discus.
Kristen Bouington was nearly as busy, winning third in the pole vault, high jump and discus while taking fourth, just out of the medals, in the shot put.
Bladen Levins, not yet in high school, won both the pole vault and discus and was third in the shot put and London White was first in the pole vault and third in the high jump.
Catherine Bouington won second in both the high jump and discus and took fourth in the shot put; Leelyn Rollins added a second in the high jump and third in the discus.
Rounding out the team’s count, Isaac Wockenfuss competed in the shot put, discus and high jump, taking third in each event.
Coming up, Chiles will be taking three pole vaulters to Jacksonville for a unique event.
Lily Wockenfuss, Celeste Chiles and Dyson Kent will take part in an event called “Zoo Vault” co-sponsored by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
The three will be among a field of vaulters who compete within the boundaries of the zoo.
Chiles has previously taken vaulters to a similar event held in a shopping mall.