Johnny Reid – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Over the years, the LRHS track and field teams have been one of the school’s and the area’s, top programs. They have had a long run of success, and have produced the results to prove it.

These accomplishments include:

  • 12 state champions
  • 72 state qualifiers
  • 10 state relays
  • 2 state championship relays
  • 2017 – National Long Jump Champion
  • 2017 – 3rd fastest 4x800m in the nation

Many athletes have also continued to compete in college. Last year’s track season is a prime example of that success.

LRHS alumni John Rivera, an 800-meter runner, was fourth in the nation during indoor track season and sixth during outdoor season. He has gone on to run for one of the top running programs in the nation at the University of Mississippi.

Rivera also anchored the LRHS 4×800 meter relay team that claimed a state championship and placed third at New Balance Nationals. LRHS alumnus Brice Easton, another runner of the relay, now runs for the University of Tampa.

Graduate Sophia Falco was the national champion in the long jump last year and got third in the triple jump. She now competes for Vanderbilt University.

Aside from the individual accomplishments, the Mustangs have earned many impressive team honors and championships as well:

  • 2017 – 4A Boys State Championships – 4th place, 4A Regional Champions, 4A District Champions
  • 2017 – 4A Girls State Championships – 4th place
  • 2016 – 4A Girls State Champions, 4A Regional Champions, 4A District Champions
  • 2015 – 3A Girls State Championships Runner-up, 3A Regional Champions, 3A District Champions
  • 2015 – 3A Boys District Champions
  • 2014 – 3A Girls State Championships – 3rd place, 3A Regional Champions, 3A District Champions
  • 2014 – 3A Boys District Runner-up

What makes the team so successful? Multiple athletes had different ideas.

Junior James Rivera said, “I think it’s due to our hard work and dedication. We work really hard every day and some of us have been out here training since September and October.”

Sophomore Ava Klein thinks success comes from hard work along with learning from others with experience.

“I think our coaches definitely are the reason for our success,” she said. “We have a great coaching staff that gets the best out of us. We also have a lot of successful older athletes that the younger athletes can look up to and learn from.”

The coaching staff includes an experienced coach of high school, college, and professional athletes, a former National Football League player, a former professional runner for Nike, and a former world-class decathlete.

The Mustangs will look to continue that success this season. They will travel to major meets such as Florida State relays and Florida relays, along with looking to return to the state finals and national meets to show they earned their success through hard work and dedication from both coaches and athletes.

The first varsity meet is Saturday, Feb. 17 at George Jenkins High School.

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