Track and field returns to the Panhandle with Seahawk Open

Local Sports

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– High school track and field teams were able to compete for the first time since their 2020 season was canceled at the Seahawk Open on Saturday.

“When we found out the news we weren’t gonna be able to run, they were calling me like let’s practice, let’s practice, but to be out here right now, it’s just joy,” said Port St. Joe head track and field coach Keion McNair.

This was the 8th year the annual meet has been put on by South Walton High School. Seahawks head coach Willie Parker said he started the meet to draw more attention to the sport.

He said not many people know that track and field gives out the most college scholarships.

“We’re hoping to open up some eyes, and so just to see them out here, and not giving up and continuing to work hard and follow their dream, yeah I wanna say that’s one reason I do it and I missed it,” Parker said.

Athletes are optimistic that the meet was just the beginning of a long season with their teammates.

“We can encourage each other throughout the whole season and I’m excited for districts and regionals,” Bay High athlete Nevaeh Smith said.

“I’m going to try and make up for lost time and hopefully I can get somewhere,” South Walton athlete Bix Blazer said.

Here are the top five team results for the girls:

  1. Niceville 289.50
  2. Fort Walton Beach 132
  3. South Walton 93.25
  4. Choctawhatchee 34.50
  5. Rutherford 31

Here are the top five team results for the boys:

  1. Niceville 189.50
  2. Fort Walton Beach 168
  3. Pace 125.25
  4. South Walton 66.50
  5. Choctawhatchee 58

Full results can be found here.

“Early season and I love what I see and I’m pretty sure the other coaches love what they see… some of these other coaches, I haven’t seen them in a year, so it’s good to see them as well,” Parker said.

“”I want them to see where they stand, see what their numbers are see how a normal track and field meet will go,” said Arnold head track and field coach Jordan Forehand.

Teams will continue their seasons at various meets next Saturday.

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