Prep track: Estero runners win one for Paxton at LCAC meet

Estero's Katie Slater competes on the Wildcats' 4X800 relay team during the Lee County Athletic Conference track and field meet on March 30, 2012 at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres. Estero wrapped bracelets around the baton as part of a tribute to Wildcats' distance coach Jeff Sommer's two-year-old grandson, Paxton, who is battling heart-related problems. Estero, which was comprised of Slater, her younger sister Megan, Bethany Jenkins and Kacy Smith, won the race in a school record 9:34. Kevin Johnson/Staff

Photo by KEVIN JOHNSON // Buy this photo

Estero's Katie Slater competes on the Wildcats' 4X800 relay team during the Lee County Athletic Conference track and field meet on March 30, 2012 at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres. Estero wrapped bracelets around the baton as part of a tribute to Wildcats' distance coach Jeff Sommer's two-year-old grandson, Paxton, who is battling heart-related problems. Estero, which was comprised of Slater, her younger sister Megan, Bethany Jenkins and Kacy Smith, won the race in a school record 9:34. Kevin Johnson/Staff

Estero High didn’t win a team title at the Lee County Athletic Conference track and field meet on Friday — those honors belonged to the Fort Myers boys and the Dunbar girls — but the Wildcats distance runners had something more important on their minds at sun-drenched East Lee County High School.

Several Estero girls wore baby blue bracelets and hair bonnets and had writings on their hands, all in tribute to Estero distance coach Jeff Sommer’s grandson, Paxton. The 2-year-old has been battling serious heart-related problems. He recently underwent a five-hour surgery and had to return to a hospital in Tampa days ago due to an infection.

During races, the girls weren’t allowed to wear the bracelets — which had the inscription “Praying for Paxton” — however they still made the young boy part of their record-setting win in the 4X800 relay.

“They wrapped the bands around the baton. I called my daughter in Tampa and told her we broke the school record for Paxton,” Sommer said. “It was very touching.”

A jaw-dropping final lap from Kacy Smith helped Estero earn a come-from-behind win in 9:34.

“Our freshman Megan (Slater) got us off to a great start,” Sommer said. “Fort Myers came back strong and took about a 40-yard lead on us, then wild thing Kacy just took off.”

The relay squad is comprised of Slater and her older sister, Katie, along with Smith and Bethany Jenkins.

Smith later successfully defended her title in the 1,600 that helped Estero garner fourth in the overall team results. Teammate Katy Solis won the 3,200, one second ahead of Smith.

The Estero boys, who finished fifth overall, filled the winners circle, too.

Despite running on an injured leg, Estero senior Aaron Rojas won the 1,600. Estero’s Jose Cartagena captured the 800.

Rojas, Cartagena, Steven Briner and Alex Vasquez — the latter subbing for an injured Adam Sommer — teamed up to win the 4X800, the third straight year the Wildcats have won the event.

The South Fort Myers’ boys finished ninth overall out of 13 teams. The Wolfpack’s day featured wins from seniors Ben Pine in the pole vault and Nate Dortch in the triple jump.

Pine cleared 12 feet, 6 inches to win the title, a remarkable feat considering he was injured earlier in the week when his pole snapped during practice and he had to use a replacement pole acquired from Mariner.

“Anytime a pole breaks, it’s really scary,” South pole vault coach Robyn Strange said. “He hurt his shoulder pretty bad, but he’s one of the toughest kids around. If everyone had his work ethic as far as sports go, coaches wouldn’t have any problems. He’s phenomenal.”

Dortch, a Miami football recruit, set a school record as he claimed the triple jump title at 44 feet, 3 inches.

“I knew I had a good chance,” he said. “I stayed focus and did what I had to do.”

The Fort Myers boys won the team title by a comfortable 86 points over runner-up Ida Baker. Charles Brown (long jump and 400), Devin Williams (discus) and Aesop Brown (3,200) notched wins for the Green Wave.

Dunbar’s girls finished 20 points in front of runner-up Fort Myers. Dunbar was led by double winners Charrie Denard (triple jump and high jump) and Johnetta Williams (discus and shot put).

Cape Coral’s Deniaria Brice won two events and a relay.

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Lee County Athletic Conference track and field meet

Friday

At East Lee County High, Lehigh Acres

BOYS

Team scores

1. Fort Myers 197, 2. Ida Baker 111, 3. East Lee County 75, 4. Dunbar 73, 5. Estero 42, 6. Riverdale 35.50, 7. Island Coast 31, 8. Lehigh 30.50, 9. South Fort Myers 30, 10. Mariner 19, 11. Cypress Lake 7, 12. Cape Coral 5, 13. North Fort Myers 4

Individual results

High jump: 1. Jackson (DUN) 6-2, 2. Inchausti (IB) 6-2, 2. James (FM) 6-2. Pole vault: 1. Pine (SFM) 12-6, 2. Deems (IB) 12-0, 3. Gray (FM) 11-6. Long jump: 1. Brown (FM) 21-5, 2. Coby (FM) 21-1, 3. Bornelus (FM) 20-11. Triple jump: 1. Dortch (SFM) 44-3, 2. Williams (FM) 43-7, 3. Thompson (IB) 43-5. Discus: 1. Williams (FM) 166-11, 2. Quinones (FM) 152-3, 3. Flemming (ELC) 152-0. Shot put: 1. Bass (ELC) 53-10, 2. Flemming (ELC) 46-8, 3. Meant (IB) 46-3. 100: 1. Johnson (IC) 10.61, 2. Diggans (RIV) 10.76, 3. Parson (DUN) 10.86. 200: 1. Johnson (IC) 21.42, 2. Hardy (ELC) 21.53, 3. Diggans (RIV) 21.82. 400: 1. Brown (FM) 49.17, 2. Hardy (ELC) 49.24, 3. Carr (IB) 50.99. 800: 1. Cartagena (EST) 1:59, 2. Holt (ELC) 2:02, 3. Sherman (FM) 2:04. 1,600: 1. Rojas (EST) 4:30, 2. Shearman (FM) 4:35, 3. Holt (ELC) 4:42. 3,200: 1. Brown (FM) 9:50, 2. Rojas (EST) 10:04, 3. Bennett (FM) 10:10. 110 hurdles: 1. Johnson (IC) 10:61, 2. Diggans (RIV) 10.76, 3. Parson (DUN) 10.85. 300 hurdles: 1. Adams (DUN) 40.06, 2. Richmond (FM) 40.59, 3. Bocio (IB) 42.02. 4x100 relay: 1. IB 42.32, 2. DUN 42.75, 3. IC 43.22. 4x400 relay: 1. ELC (Holt, Cherisol, Tolbert, Thomas) 3:26, 2. MAR 3:27, 3. FM 3:29. 4x800 relay: 1. EST (Vasquez, Briner, Rojas, Cartagena) 8:27, 2. FM 8:33, 3. LEH 8:47

* * *

GIRLS

Team scores

1. Dunbar 139, 2. Fort Myers 119.50, 3. Cape Coral 80, 4. Estero 76, 5. Ida Baker 68, 6. East Lee County 35, 7. South Fort Myers 34.50, 8. Cypress Lake 22, 9. Lehigh 21, 9. Mariner 21, 9. North Fort Myers 21, 12. Island Coast 19, 13. Riverdale 6

Individual results

High jump: 1. Denard (DUN) 5-2, 3. Williams (CC) 4-10, 3. Waithe (ELC) 4-8. Pole vault: 1. Gear (FM) 8-0, 2. Appelbaum (IB) 8-0, 3. Elias (FM) 7-0. Long jump: 1. Williams (CC) 17-3, 2. Denard (DUN) 17-2, 3. Washington (CC) 16-4. Triple jump: 1. Denard (DUN) 36-8, 2. Elliott (IB) 34-6, 3. Teague (DUN) 34-5. Discus: 1. Williams (DUN) 103-5, 2. Alexander (FM) 98-2, 3. Rodriguez (ELC) 87-1. Shot put: 1. Williams (DUN) 40-0, 2. Sirmons (DUN) 37-0, 3. Morrison (DUN) 36-0. 100: 1. Elliott (IB) 12.51, 2. Grayson (SFM) 12.55, 3. Byrd (DUN) 12.78. 200: 1. Brice (CC) 25.44, 2. Elliott (IB) 25.57, 3. Whitfield (LEH) 27.00. 200 Adaptive: 1. Rausin (NFM) 50.43. 400: 1. Brice (CC) 59.86, 2. Williams (CC) 1:01, 3. Watson (IC) 1:02. 800: 1. Petrik (FM) 2:22, 2. Russo (FM) 2:23, 3. K. Slater (EST) 2:23. 800 Adaptive: 1. Rausin (NFM) 3:34. 1,600: 1. Smith (EST) 5:08, 2. Russo (FM) 5:12, 3. Petrik (FM) 5:12. 3,200: 1. Solis (EST) 12:00, 2. Smith (EST) 12:01, 3. Scott (CL) 12:19. 100 hurdles: 1. Teague (DUN) 15.74, 2. Daniels (DUN) 16.89, 3. Nordquist (IB) 17.07. 300 hurdles: 1. Smart (CC) 48.59, 2. Daniels (DUN) 49.35, 3. Nordquist (IB) 49.82. 4x100 relay: 1. DUN 50.13, 2. LEH 50.40, 3. SFM 50.96. 4x400 relay: 1. CC (Smart, Williams, Brice, Washington) 4:16, 2. EST 4:19, 3. IB 4:20. 4x800 relay: 1. EST (M. Slater, Jenkins, K. Slater, Smith) 9:34, 2. FM 9:41, 3. NFM 10:26.

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