State track and field: Benjamin boys three-peat, multiple girls squads crack top ten

Benjamin boys are Class 1A track and field state champions once again.

Big-time performances across the board on the state-'s biggest stage cemented Benjamin's third-straight state championship, and head coach Barrett Saunders says that this might be the sweetest one yet.

"It's incredible," Saunders said. 'All of them are special, but this one was special because I think everybody counted us out. For them to come out and not only win but dominate the way they did, I think this one is pretty special."

The Bucs boys program dwarfed the competition, tallying 89.5 points across the day's events, nearly doubling that of Indian Rocks Christian (48), whom Saunders mentioned going in might give them a good run.

Jackson Hamilton, Benjamin track and field
Jackson Hamilton, Benjamin track and field

There were podium finishes abound, but gold-medal finishes from Jackson Hamilton, Robert Letsche, Michael Winfield and Julian Luiz -- as well as the program as a whole for their contributions in the winning 4x400 relay run -- helped the Bucs stamp their mark on the championship meet.

"We had a great group this year," Saunders said. "A great mixture of seniors and younger guys, and they pretty much all came out here and stepped it up and had the performances of their lives, when it mattered most. That's the definition of a championship team."

The Benjamin girls (34) were the top local team at Jacksonville this year, claiming fourth at states, with Oxbridge Academy (32) hot on their heels in the fifth spot. Pahokee (27) rounded out Palm Beach County representation in ninth, while the Blue Devils' boys program (20) secured tenth.

State Results

Girls Long Jump

  • Maxine Dalton, Sophomore, Benjamin – 5.321 meters, 5th place

  • Octavia Massena, Senior, Oxbridge Academy – 5.22 meters, 8th place

Boys Shot Put

  • Jackson Hamilton, Senior, Benjamin – 17.16 meters, 1st place

Boy Long Jump

  • Jacob Cosby-Mosley, Senior, Benjamin – 6.67 meters, 7th place

Girls Discus Throw 

  • Kori Haggard, Senior, Benjamin – 37.26 meters, 2nd place

Boy Javelin Throw

  • Bradley Cooper, Senior, Atlantic Christian – 51.30 meters, 2nd place

Boy Pole Vault

  • Robert Letsche, Senior, Benjamin – 4.35 meters, 1st

  • Micah Griffith, Senior, Benjamin – 3.90 meters, 7th

Girls Shot Put

  • Kori Haggard, Senior, Benjamin – 10.86 meters, 7th place

Boys Discus Throw

  • Jackson Hamilton, Senior, Benjamin – 51.29 meters, 1st place

  • Landon Rapkiewicz, Junior, Benjamin – 43.88 meters, 6th place

Girls Triple Jump

  • Octavia Massena, Senior, Oxbridge Academy – 11.74 meters, 1st place

  • Maxine Dalton, Sophomore, Benjamin – 11.03 meters, 5th place

Boys Triple Jump

  • Jacob Cosby-Mosley, Senior, Benjamin – 13.77 meters, 5th

Boys 4x800 Relay

  • Benjamin – 8:02.78, 4th place

Girls 100 Hurdles

  • Julia De Gruttola Aere, Junior, American Heritage-Delray – 15.25, 4th

Boys 110 Hurdles

  • Jacob Cosby-Mosley, Senior, Benjamin – 14.96, 2nd place

  • Julian Luiz, Sophomore, Benjamin – 15.13, 5th place

Girls 100 Dash

  • Akari Marshall, Sophomore, Oxbridge Academy – 12.10, 3rd place

Boys 100 Dash

  • Larry Warren, Sophomore, Pahokee – 10.92, 4th

Girls 4x100 Relay

  • American Heritage-Delray – 49.26, 3rd

  • Pahokee – 49.52, 4th

Boys 4x100 Relay

  • Pahokee – 42.44, 3rd

  • Benjamin – 43.17, 8th

Girls 400 Dash

  • Jamaria Richardson, Freshman, Pahokee – 56.60, 2nd

  • Jordan Johnson, Freshman, Pahokee – 57.22, 3rd

  • Akari Marshall, Sophomore, Oxbridge Academy – 57.50, 5th

  • Octavia Massena, Senior, Oxbridge Academy – 57.56, 6th

Boys 400 Dash

  • Michael Winfield, Junior, Benjamin – 48.48, 1st

  • Joe Licata, Sophomore, Jupiter Christian – 48.58, 2nd

  • Da’Corrian Jones, Freshman, Pahokee – 49.87, 5th

Girls 400 Hurdles

  • Sam Woods, Junior, Benjamin – 1:05.84, 7th

Boys 400 Hurdles

  • Julian Luiz, Sophomore, Benjamin – 54.28, 1st

  • David Chuckwu, Junior, Atlantic Christian – 56.16, 5th

  • Joshua Luiz, Senior, Benjamin – 56.71, 8th

Girls 800 Run

  • Sofia Balistreri, Sophomore, Benjamin – 2:12.89, 2nd

Girls 200 Dash

  • Akari Marshall, Sophomore, Oxbridge Academy – 24.24, 2nd

Girls 4x400 Relay

  • Pahokee – 3:58.60, 2nd

  • Benjamin – 3:59.95, 3rd

  • American Heritage-Delray – 4:03.39, 7th

Boys 4x400 Relay

  • Benjamin – 3:19.90, 1st

  • Pahokee – 3:23.66, 4th

  • Atlantic Christian – 3:28.52, 8th

Alex Peterman is a high school sports reporter for The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Benjamin boys track wins FHSAA track and field state championship again