The Venice boys and girls track and field teams will be sending a combined 11 athletes — regional finishers with the top 16 marks in the state — to this weekend’s state meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
The girls team, which finished eighth at last weekend’s regional meet in Lakeland, will be sending its 4x400 relay team — Ashley Ayette, Leah Bartlett, Kareena Legare, Alana Piggins and Kiki Slattery — along with javelin throwers Alex Council and Jacey Tippman and 800-meter run competitor Juliana Courville.
The boys team — a ninth-place finisher at regionals — will be represented by Charles Brantley in the triple jump, Trevor Owen in the pole vault and Elliot Washington in the 100 meter dash.
Tippman, ranked second in 4A, is the only Indian athlete entering this weekend ranked inside the top 10 in her event.
“I’m surprised at the rest of the state and how fast they are,” Venice boys track coach Jason Potter said. “We had our girls 4x800 and our boys 4x800 and we thought we were gonna go to states.
“We showed up to the meet and we were like, ‘Oh, no.’ We broke the school record in the 4x800 and still didn’t make it.”
Venice athletes will compete in the 4A track and field state championships this Saturday evening — beginning with Council and Tippman in the javelin throw at 4 p.m. and ending with the girls 4x400 relay run at 9:20 p.m.