With one last meet to take home the trophy, the Marauders didn’t hold back. On May 17, the Maclay varsity girls track and field team scored 50 points in the 1A Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state championship to win the title by one point. The boys team scored nine points total.
The girls’ overall victory was led by sophomore Elizabeth Dowdy who scored 10 points in the pole vault coming in first, and senior Cornell University commit Rachel Bethke who scored eight points in the 400m coming in second. Freshman Caroline Couch also put up eight points as she came in second for the 3200m, and four more points in the 1600m as she came in fifth.
“Winning the state championship in my last season was just so special and I’m glad we could experience the feeling after all of the hard work we put in as a team,” Bethke said.
The boys team was led by senior University of South Florida commit Clayton Knox who placed fourth in the 3200m to score five points and senior Eli Harrell who came in seventh in the 100m to score two points. Senior James David Milford also scored one point in both pole vault and javelin, coming in eighth place in both events.
“Being able to get a pole vault personal record while also giving the guys some points was a win for me,” Milford said. “Even though we didn’t place, scoring nine with our small amount of entries wasn’t too bad.”
The rest of the points for the girls were scored by all three relay teams and junior Gracie Koeppel in the girls 1600m. The relay teams combined for 14 points and Koeppel added on one more. With all points added up, the girl Marauders scored one more point than the second place team to take home the hardware.
“The moment while winning the team title was one of the most special moments knowing that all of the hard work our team has put in had all paid off,” Dowdy said.
The state championship victory on Wednesday was the only state title in all of Maclay athletics in 2023. This year’s track and field squad left a mark in the Marauder history books.