It's was a long, hot day at the District 3A-11 track and field meet hosted by Charlotte High.
It was worth the wait for the Lady Tarpons, who outscored Fort Myers by 9.5 points to claim the girls district title.
Charlotte scored points in every event except the 1600-meters.
"Many great performances across the board tonight," Charlotte coach Jerry Voss said. "I’m so proud of the whole group for their efforts and determination. We are going to enjoy this one."
In total, Charlotte runners earned three individual district titles. The Port Charlotte girls finished in fifth place with 75 points and four individual titles. The Port Charlotte boys finished fourth with 87 points and one individual title. The Charlotte boys finished eighth with 27 points.
Charlotte's Noel dominates Districts
Junior Eunice Noel was nearly unstoppable on the track Tuesday. She earned district titles in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the 400-meter relay.
"It feels good because I finally got a PR, which I was waiting for," Noel said of her performance in the 100 hurdles.
"I think toward the end, I was really pushing when usually I usually just float over hurdles. This time I tried to drive through like my coaches tell me. I was alright coming in, but I was still pretty nervous, but butterflies always help me."
The hurdles weren't much of a struggle. In the 100, Noel finished .79 seconds ahead of Ida Baker's Dashnie Dervil with a time of 14.25 second. In the 300, Noel again pulled away with a finish in 48.13 seconds.
She got plenty of help in the relay with the Lady Tarpons finishing 1.13 seconds ahead of second-place Cape Coral. The team was comprised of Kaitlyn Chavarria, Kareine Dejean, Annabelle Anderson Prater and Noel.
Now they turn their heads toward next weekend's regional meet with hopes of continuing on to states.
Pirates' Coogan, Perez-Dunn go the distance
Both named Sun Cross Country Runners of the Year, Port Charlotte's Isabella Coogan and Juan Perez-Dunn own the distance runs.
They both earned second-place finishes in the 1600-meter — Coogan at 5:19.97 and Perez-Dunn 4:36.73 — and first place finishes in the 3200-meter. Teammate Joseph Bishop finished third in the 1600 with a finish of 4:37.05.
"It feels great, I was definitely exhausted in that race," Coogan said after running both the one and two mile races. "Every lap was a struggle. But I just tried to stay near my pace. I just wanted to push through the finish and get those points for my team. But trust me, I'm ready for a long, long sleep."
Coogan finished a full 30 seconds ahead of second place.
Perez-Dunn avenged a late pass made on him in last year's district race, making one of his own on the final few meters to overtake Fort Myers' Colsen Palmer for the title. Perez-Dunn finished with a time of 10:16.41.
"Last year I got passed in the finish," Perez-Dunn said. "It happened to me last year twice. I feel like I got it back here. I wanted to end my senior year on a good note I guess.
"We've been doing a lot of sprints in our workouts and they've been paying off. Again it was mainly just will and guts, not wanting to lose."
Bishop finished in fourth and Tyler Wadsworth finished fifth in the 3200.
Port Charlotte also earned a title in the 4x800 girls relay with a time of 4:18.45.
On the field
Earlier in the day, local athletes took the the field events with strong performances.
The only top finisher in field events was Port Charlotte's Nicholette Moss, who topped the leaderboard with a 16-foot, 9 3/4-inch long jump. Noel finished second with a jump of 16-feet, 7 3/4 inches. Moss also finished third in the triple jump.
Port Charlotte senior Brandon Leacock finished third in the discus, tossing it 141 feet, five inches.
The Lady Tarpons showed their depth in the high jump with three girls finishing in the top three. Ashleigh Miller finished second, jumping 1.52 meters. She was joined by Kalyn Uebelacker in fourth (1.42 meters) and Lauren Meddaugh in fifth (1.27 meters). In the boys high jump, Port Charlotte's Daryan Jordan finished third, jumping 1.78 meters.
Get the full results HERE.