Mainland boys win fourth straight district track and field championship; girls take third | Observer Local News


For the fourth consecutive year, the Mainland boys and field team ran away with the District 6-3A championship on April 26 at East River High School.

Mainland’s girls team placed third for its best finish of the season, trailing runner-up Winter Springs by a mere 2.5 points. Seabreeze girls placed fifth and the boys finished ninth.

“Everybody was behind everybody today,” Mainland head coach Terrence Anthony said. “It was phenomenal. It was a great team effort today. We always say work hard, get better and have fun. They had so much fun today because all they did was get better.”

Six Buccaneers were crowned district champs in multiple events with two bringing in 34 points each — senior Ezaiah Shine and junior Kiera Williams. Shine snagged first in the boys 200-meter dash in 22.10 seconds and the 4×400 relay with teammates Kajuan Curry, Khalil Wilmore and Drayden Wood in a blistering 3:23.60 venue record.

Shine, a Tulane University football signee, also finished second in the 100-meter dash and third in the 4×100 relay with Jontrell Edwards, Corey Hill and Matthew Brown. Shine said he attributes his talent on the and football field to his dad Eddie Shine and his brother. He said his dad knew his full potential and pushed him to his limits. It worked.

 “It’s been a great week for ,” Shine said. “ and my teammates have been pushing each other every day and working hard. We see how it pays off. I’m proud about it. I’m ready to go to states and get this chip. It will feel good to win two state championships my senior year — one for football and one for . If I do that, I will feel accomplished.”

Williams led the Buccaneer girls in points and within striking distance of second place. She ran in four events, setting a personal record in each. Williams cracked the one-minute barrier in the 400 with a 58.43 to claim the district title and a venue record. She also placed second in the 4×100 relay in 49.66 with teammates Amyah Watlington, Alexandria Key and Kiana Joseph and took third in the 200 meters with a 26.23.

Everybody was behind everybody today. It was phenomenal. It was a great team effort today. We always say work hard, get better and have fun. They had so much fun today because all they did was get better. – — TERRENCE ANTHONY, Mainland head track and field coach

Willaims said her favorite event is the 4×400  relay. She and Aquila Rivers, Taliyah Nixon and Yasmin Polk ran a venue record 4:08:04 for the district win.

“Anchoring is my favorite part (of the 4×400) because everybody cheers you on as a team,” she said. “Our third leg (Polk) is so strong, she makes sure she will catch them, but I’ll make sure we bring it home.”

Mainland assistant coach Ebony Harris said after a tough season of no wins, the girls finally started to believe in themselves at the district meet. They had automatic regional qualifiers in 14 events.

“It really showed today,” she said. “We always believe in them but you could tell today that they really believed in themselves. They were the epitome of what we say every day — stand on business. And they did.”

Seabreeze’s girls were led by freshmen Lauren Lancing and Tabitha Hick. Lancing took home the district championship in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:08:27. Hick placed fourth in the event with a 1:15.92. Lancing also placed second in the girls 100-meter hurdles. Junior Emma Uneda finished second in the triple jump in 10.65 seconds.

Seabreeze senior Chandler Mitzo took charge for the boys with a javelin throw of 51.51 meters for the district championship. The throw was over seven inches farther than second-place opponent Bryson Sullivan of New Smyrna Beach.

Seabreeze sophomore Hunter Shuler placed third in two distance events with a time of 4:40.49 in the 1,600 and 10:44.77 in the 3,200.

Mainland boys captain Emmanuel Yisrael won both the 110 and , running times of 14.52 and 57.74, respectively. Senior Marquis McCants won the boys with a 6.9-meter venue record and the triple jump with a 13.38-meter leap.

Mainland junior Amyah Watlington won the girls 100-meter hurdles with a venue record of 15.43 while fellow junior Curry won the boys 800-meter and was part of the 4×400 win.

As a freshman, Yisrael worked with sophomore hurdler Jonathan Williams. He said they liked to say they built the hurdling program from the ground up at Mainland by coaching and pushing each other. Williams signed with South Carolina State University in 2023 to track. He still holds the East River venue record in the boys 110 hurdles.

“He really got here to where I am now,” Israel said. “He put in a lot of great times and I know if I can catch those times or beat those times, I’m in a great position.”

Mainland and Seabreeze automatic and at-large qualifiers will compete in the Region 2-3A meet on Wednesday, May 8, at Plant City High School.



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