Diocesan athletes earn titles, medals at States

Diocese of Venice Catholic school athletes excelled on a grand stage in May with their performances in state tournaments.

At the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A Track and Field Championships on May 16, 2024, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, two distance runners earned state titles, another athlete a bronze medal, while still others earned honors by finishing in the top eight in their respective events.

Addison Dempsey, a graduating senior at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, earned a state title in the 3,200 meter race with a time of 10:35.87, a race she finished third in 2023. She finished seventh in the 1,600 race. Dempsey earned a bronze in the November Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Class 2A 5K. She earned a silver in the same event in 2022.

In the 1,600 meter race, Mackezsie De Lisle, a junior at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, took first place with a time of 4:59.82. Mackenzie also reached the podium with a fourth place finish in the 3,200 race with a time of 10:53.36, the same position she achieved in 2023. The Verot girls track and field team placed 13th overall out of 49 teams. Of note was Ava Martin-Gonzales, a junior at St. John Neumann Catholic High School, who reached the podium with an eighth place finish in the high jump in the 1A state tournament on May 15.

On the boy’s side, the Verot team finished 11th overall out of 60 teams, with junior Ryan Peterson earning a bronze medal with a discus throw of 49.15 meters. Another junior  James Little IV, took fourth in 110 Hurdles, and 5th in the 400 Hurdles. Jadrien Carmo took seventh in the 400 dash, while Andrew Marino was seventh in the 3,200 race. The Verot boys also took 8th in the 4X400 race.

The Verot baseball team fell in the state semifinals, May 21, at Hamond Stadium in Fort Myers to North Broward Prep, a team that is ranked second in the state and 11th nationally. The Verot boys reached the semifinals after winning their first regional championship since 2016. Bishop Verot has won two state titles. Due to the proximity of the game to the school, more than 500 Verot students, faculty and supporters caravanned in buses and vans to cheer on the Viking players.

Not to be left out, both the Cardinal Mooney and Bishop Verot girls beach volleyball teams reached the State Tournament in Tallahassee on May 11. However, both teams on the cups of reaching the quarterfinals lost in separate matches. The Mooney team was a state semifinalist in 2023.