Navarre High School distance jumpers Nick Benton and Elijah Appel will compete at the Class 3A state track and field meet Friday, May 3, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Benton finished second in the tirple jump and third in the long jump Thursday at the Region 1-3A meet in Tallahassee. Appel finished fourth in the triple jump. The top four finishers in each event advances to state competition.
Pole vaulter Roman Spear and distance runners James Mullin, Dominic Dudai, Trent Beck and Tanner Wilcox also competed in the regional meet but failed to qualify for the state field.
Benton finished 1.5 inches short of winning the triple jump. Terrance Sims of Pine Forest won the event, clearing 45 feet, 5 inches; Benton, who struggled most of the spring while recovering from a thigh injury, landed a jump of 45-3.5. Appel, who had not competed in the triple and long jumps until April, jumped 44 feet, 0.5 inches.
Johnny Robinson-Pettus, who performed well in both events all season for Navarre, is not eligible for Florida High School Athletic Association postseason competition because of FHSAA age restrictions. Robinson-Pettus will turn 20 later this year.
Rapheal Webb of Gainesville won the long jump with a leap of 23-7; Benton was third at 22-3.