Avon Park’s Emily Vargas overcame a nagging hip injury to have an outstanding track season for the Red Devils.

Vargas qualified for the Class 2A State Track Meet in the 800 and 1600 meters for the second consecutive year. The fleet-footed junior was also a member of the 4x800 relay team that qualified for the state meet in Jacksonville.

“Emily ran a personal-best time of 2:19.00 in placing second in the 800 meters at regionals,” said Avon Park assistant coach Chet Brojek. “She lowered her time by 3 seconds which is great.”

At the Class 2A State Track Meet, Vargas finished 10th in the 800 in a time of 2:19.67. She also came in 10th in the 1600 in a time of 5:21.67.

“I’m very proud of Emily because she overcame a lot of adversity to have a terrific season,” Brojek said.

For her ability and accomplishments, Vargas has been selected as the Highlands News-Sun 2019 All-Highlands Girls Track Athlete of the Year.

“It feels amazing to win this award for the second straight year,” Vargas said. “It wasn’t my best season because I had a hip injury, but I’m proud that I was able to bounce back and make it back to state in three events.”

The Team

Christy Shank, sophomore, Lake Placid – Shank competed in the 300-meter hurdles and qualified for the Class 2A State Track Championships in the pole vault competition this season for the Green Dragons.

Leilani McMillan, freshman, Sebring – McMillan stood out in her first year as she competed in the 100, 200 and 400 meters for the Blue Streaks.

Amy Schlosser, senior, Avon Park – Schlosser competed in the 800 and 1600 meters and the 4x800 relay for the Red Devils this season.

Hailey Shank, senior, Lake Placid – Shank broke several school records this season for the Green Dragons. She competed in the 300-meter hurdles.

Kirsten Oca, senior, Avon Park – Oca was a part of the 4x800 relay team that qualified for state for the Red Devils.

Ashley Engle, senior, Lake Placid - Engle was a versatile athlete who was a high jumper, sprinter and team captain for the Green Dragons.

Adriana Hernandez, senior, Avon Park – Hernandez advanced to state this season as part of the 4x800 relay team.

Sarrena Wright, junior, Avon Park – Wright competed in the 100 and 200 meters for the Red Devils this season.

Mari Holdman, senior, Avon Park – Holdman was a key part of the Red Devils’ 4x100 relay team this season.

DeShawna Taylor, sophomore, Avon Park – Taylor was part of the Red Devils’ 4x100 relay team this season.

Tajenay Vassell, senior, Avon Park – Vassell jumped her way to regionals this season where she competed in the high jump for the Red Devils.

Coach Of The Year

For guiding their teams to a solid season, Avon Park’s Willie English and Lake Placid’s Cason Harris have been selected as the Highlands News-Sun 2019 All-Highlands Girls Track Coach of the Year.

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