LRHS senior wins state shot put title, girls finish fifth in track

Katie Foley – Mustangs Ahead 

LRHS senior Riley Simmons (c) celebrates her state title

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – On Saturday Mustang track and field athletes excelled at the FHSAA 4A State Track and Field Championships.

Senior Riley Simmons won the state shot put championship and finished second in the state in discus. 

“I remember one of my first practices this year,” Simmons said. “My coach said to me, ‘Are we going to win a state championship this year or what?’ and that line came to mind while I was up on that podium this weekend.”

Simmons continued, “This experience at states just made me hungrier to keep winning even going into college. In college, competition is going to be top notch. However, this just makes it that much more exciting for me.”

The LRHS girls finished fifth overall in the state.

The LRHS girls 4X800 relay placed second in the state and fifth in the US.

The relay team included juniors Maya Bridgeford, Ariana Majano, Hailey Marston, and Gracie Marston.

Marston placed fourth in the 1600-meter (4:58) and sixth in the 3200-meter (10:53). These were the third fastest times in LRHS history.

Melzer also ran the 3200-meter and placed ninth (11:03).

Bridgeford placed ninth in the 400-meter dash.

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Senior Eli Newman competed in pole vaulting and topped off his season with by placing third in the state.

Both senior Mustangs are continuing their academic careers in the fall.

Newman will be going to Eastern Illinois while Simmons is headed to Mississippi State.