By Tamas Mondovics
The rain and wind that greeted the runners inside Jacksonville’s Hodges Stadium earlier this month may not have been the ideal conditions for a state track championship, but at the start of the Boys 4×800-meter relay, the Bloomingdale track team had only one thing to do; win the Gold.
Eight hundred meters later and ahead of Olympia by five seconds (8:09.72), the Bulls track team of Kevin Heron, John Bryant, Ryan Chadderton and Andrew LeBlanc lead by Coach, Steve Littleton, triumphed and won the Class 4A championships.
Bulls junior relay anchor, Andrew LeBlanc, welcomed the gloomy conditions as he reportedly said that he “knew it would be a tactical race and that’s to our advantage,” and rallied his team to an eight minutes, 4.84 seconds victory.
Along with a drastic improvement from last year’s seventh place, the win was extra special for the team’s only senior, Chadderton, who is USF bound, as it ended the student’s high school career with a much-deserved and long-awaited state championship title.
The race came down to the wire as building on Chadderton’s momentum, Heron put the Bulls in third place entering the final split giving LeBlanc the job to finish in first place.
Heron also placed fifth in the open 800.
Proud of the boys’ success, team parent Ray Chadderton spoke highly of the program and the team working together to accomplish its goal.
“They were a true team,” he said. “They worked together tremendously well considering that the 800 is the toughest run both physically and mentally.”
Bloomingdale High school was also proud of its senior, Julie Roggeman, who earned two medals during the state event, placing sixth in the girls 800 and running a leg on the Bulls’ seventh-place 4×800 team.
For more information about the Bloomingdale Bulls Track team please visit www.c2cschools.com.