Another 4x100 relay win for Holy Trinity girls
The Holy Trinity girls 4x100 relay team poses with their state championship medals. Pictured (from left) are Giana Gayles, Alisha Pound, Taya Britten and McKenzie Kilborne.
Photo Courtesy Daryth Stallone
Winning the Class 1A state championship in the girls 4x100 meter relay has become a tradition at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
And as the only senior in this year’s group, McKenzie Kilborne didn’t want to see it end.
So after the Tigers got great legs from Alisha Pound, Taya Britten and then Kilborne, it was all up to Giana Gayles.
“I was handing off the baton to Giana and we were in first place,” Kilborne said. “I was screaming, ‘Run! Run! Run!’ because I really wanted to win for my senior year.”
Gayles brought it home, crossing the line more than a full second ahead of the field. Holy Trinity has now won the event four consecutive years and five out of the past six.
Kilborne has been on three of those winning teams. Pound has been on four championship 4x100 relays and will go for number five next year as a senior.
It was also the first state championship event the Tigers have won under new head coach Mark Bailey, who took over the program after the school fired popular coach Doug Butler last November.
“It meant so much to me because the school in general has been through so much in terms of the track program,” Kilborne said. “Just to prove that we can still do it with the help of Coach Bailey really meant a lot to us.”
Kilborne’s high school track career may be over, but another runner’s career appears to be blossoming. In addition to winning her first state title, Gayles finished second in the 100 hurdles and fourth in the long jump.
“It was my first time competing at a state meet,” she said. “I was really excited, just ready to compete. Afterward, it was pretty satisfying to me when our team won state. And also, I got a PR in the hurdles and the long jump. It was a good day.”
With the first and third-place finishers in the 100 meter hurdles graduating, Gayles should go into next season as the clear favorite to win the title.
“It definitely gives me a lot more motivation,” she said. “Now that I know it’s a possibility, I’m really going to be determined for next year.”
Holy Trinity’s girls finished third in the state thanks a number of other strong performances.
Kilborne finished sixth in the high jump. Sophomore Amy Jameson was second in the pole vault. Junior Sydney Smith was fourth in the 1,600 meters, while twin sister Shelby was third in the 800 meters. Sophomore Samantha Folio was fifth in the 1,600 meters and sophomore Elizabeth Bacon took eighth in the 300 hurdles.
Also placing were the girls 4x400-meter relay team of Sydney Smith, Jaeda Stewart, Shelby Smith and Bacon, which finished fourth and the 4x800-meter relay group of Sydney Smith, Anique Kattenberg, Folio and Shelby Smith, which took third.
On the boy’s side, senior Andrew Cacciatore was third in the 1,600 meters and sophomore Trevor Kattenberg finished eighth in the 3,200 meters.
Overall, it was a good day for the Tigers, and a great way for Kilborne to close out her high school career.
She is going to the University of Florida, where she plans to major in music and business. She leaves Holy Trinity with four state titles, having also won the Class 1A high jump title as a sophomore.
“I loved it,” Kilborne said of her HTEA track career. “I did not expect to go that far in any sport. I started out track running the 400 and I was horrible at it, so I just kind of figured maybe this is just what I do during the spring, not a big deal. I never expected to win multiple state titles.”