Relay teams lift Park Center track

Park Center senior Justin Naklen dashes toward the finish line of the 4x200-meter relay at the Class 2A state meet June 8.

The Park Center track and field team has been lifted by strong performances from its relay teams over the last few seasons.

The Park Center coaching staff has been able to sort through the team’s top athletes and find the best combination of runners for the Pirates’ relay teams.

With plenty of speed on the roster, Park Center was able to find solid combinations in the girls’ 4x200-meter relay and the boys’ 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams in order to advance the events to the state meet.

The Park Center 4x200-meter relay team of Aaliyah Ragulen, Shadaizhalynn Chatman, Laubenra Ben, and Karlee Fisher took 15th place, while the boys’ 4x200-meter relay team of Dominic Feess, Stephen Ayobamidele, Bill Pouyo and Justin Naklen took fourth-place, and the 4x400-meter relay team of Clemon Groves, Naklen, Pouyo and Austin Peters took fifth-place.

“This is pretty cool, I have been working all year to get here,” Naklen said. “I just want to thank our coaches, because they thank us every day at practice to get us to improve and they gave us a lot of hard workouts to make us better and get us here.”

While preparing for the meet, Park Center simply looked back on the season and appreciated that its hard work paid off.

“I know this is a great opportunity, so I want to come out here, compete and work my hardest,” Peters said. “We just wanted to qualify for the state finals, and now is the time.”

Follow Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris, or on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.

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