Our coverage team of Jason Byrne, Todd Grasley, Jeff Adams and Joe Mizereck will bring you coverage all weekend.
- American Heritage boys run a meet record, US #1, #3 all-time in Florida in the 4x100 with a stellar 40.49. They did it over stiff competition from Booker T Washington (40.60) and Jones (41.12).
- St. Thomas Aquinas girls swept EVERY relay on the day! They set a US #1 in the 4x100 (46.49), US #2 4x800 (9:15.60), and all-time Florida #2 and US #1 4x400 (3:40.74)
- The Boys 4x400 was HOT with Lakewood and Miami Booker T Washington leaning toward the line. Lakewood pulled out the victory with a US #1 3:13.32, with Washington a US #2 3:13.45. American Heritage was close behind in in a US #9 3:16.32.
- St. Thomas Aquinas' boys won the 4x800 in a Florida #2 7:57.97.
- Jeremiah Green of Hillsborough extended his national lead in the triple jump with a beheomoth 52-1.75 leap!
- Lloydricia Cameron of Miami Northwestern completed the throws sweep after winning the discus on Thursday with a state leading 45-11 shot put.
- After winning the long jump on Thursday, Darielle McQueen of North Florida Christian took the triple as well with a 39-2.5 vicotry.
- Kaylin Whitney continued to tear it up with an 11.54 in the Girls 100 meters, which (after the Arcadia Invitational in California) is all-conditions second in the state this season and the fastest wind legal time. Deanna Hill was second in 11.85.
- Levonte Whitfield lit it up, after Trayvon Bromell false started, to a big win with a wind legal state leading time of 10.28 in the 100m. Xavier Atkins was next in 10.50 and Ceolamar Ways was third in 10.68.
- Bridget Blake opened up a lead in the Invite Girls 1600 at around the half way point and never looked back, winning by over four seconds in 4:54.74 in gusty conditions over most of the state leaders in the event.
- Lia King of Hallandale tied for the second best 100 Hurdles time this year with a 13.89
The skies looked black on Wednesday, and the subject on everybody's minds was IF there would even be any Thursday night events on Friday. After all, the forecast looked gloomy: 90% chance of rain between 5PM-7PM on Wednesday, according to 24-hour forecasts. Backup plans were being put into motion to attempt to potentially reschedule events if necessary, and some teams even anticipated the cancellation and called off the trip. But Mother Nature had other plans and as the hours ticked by, inching closer and closer to Thursday's 5PM start, the forecast started to improve.
Come Thursday night, the overcast skies lended shade to knock off about 10 degrees from the temperature, but not a drop fell from the sky after about 3PM. This led to perfect conditions for some high profile races! And they did not disappoint!
Let's not bury the lead here... let's skip ahead to that boys 800 meters. Andres Arroyo lined up in heat one against some top rated competition including future University of Florida teammate Donnie Lee of Alabama. Lee entered the race with a personal best of 1:51 that had most people anticipating he'd be a formidable rival for Arroyo. Optimistic hopes said that the two may press into the 1:50 range or possibly even breaking through the barrier.
As the gun went off, Arroyo wasted little time jetting to the front of the pack. By half way around the first curve, he had made up the stagger and began to set a torrent pace. Lee did try to go with him, for a while, but the attempt was really futile.
By 400 meters, it was clearly all Arroyo. He crossed into the bell lap with a 53.5 sececond split. Wow! That did not seem to be a very maintainable pace, but maintain he did! He kept cranking it in as he moved further and further away from Lee.
As the crowd jumped to their feet, everyone knew they were about to see something special. With about 50 meters to go, we knew, we all knew it was going to be a new state record. He looked barely phased by the effort, but thoroughly surprised himself by the time as he looked up at the scoreboard and saw it--1:47.
The official time put him at 1:47.79, which breaks the 1998 state record of Moses Washington of 1:58.54. That time puts him #1 in the country this year--not just among high schoolers but among any American so far in 2013. In the world it puts him seventh this season and #4 on the all-time high school list. Un-believable. He lays down that kind of time, basically solo, running against himself and the clock. Lee held on five seconds back for an otherwise very noteworthy 1:52.40.
Many doubted that he could cut the necessary six seconds of time to potentially threaten the 4-minute mile barrier. The doubters are eroding today, especially as they watch the race and the composure and the form and all-out guts he showed to go for it. AMAZING TO WITNESS! WATCH THE VIDEO!
Interview with Arroyo
Daesha Rogers of American Heritage took charge early of her 800 meter race over a stellar field including Emily Edwards of Fort Myers. The eighth grader, looking like a veteran by now, set a quality pace and came back near even to set a state leading time of 2:11.69.
Annie Kelly of Georgia battled all race with Nikita Shah of Wiregrass Ranch and a host of others. Kelly had some bigger gears left over the last couple of laps and kept ahead of Shah, winning 10:45 to 10:48. Katy G Solis of Estero also dipped under 11 minutes with a 10:55.
The favorite going into the Florida Relays, Levonte Whitfield laid down a 10.54 in the first head of the prelims. The FSU commit said he pulled up a little in the last ten meters or so, with a slight injury that he described as tendonitis. Lesser known Trayvon Bromell has been quietly having an amazing season in St. Petersburg. He put out a statement with his 10.34 to be the top seed out of heat five. He said he was just feeling really good and wanted to see what his legs could do. Apparently a lot! It is the top wind-legal time of the year.
This sets up an exciting showdown in tomorrow's finals! Xavier Atkins of Spruce Creek, just a sophomore, and Ceolamar Ways of Nease also put down great prelims times in the 10-60 range.
More Thursday Highlights
- Kaylin Whitney is top 100 seed, followed by Diamond Spaulding.
- Three under 9:20 in boys 3200: Sydney Spier, James Quattlebaum, and Brad Hort. All from out of state. Ken Peneiro of Deland and Tyler Bennett of Ft. Myers were the top two Florida finishers in 9:24 and 9:25.
- Walter Tucker of American Heritage is the top 110 meter hurdles prelims qualifier with 13.83.
- Lia King of Hallandale won the prelim round of the 100 hurdles with a 14.07. It was very interesting because they were running the hurdles on the front of the track and the 100 dashes on the back of the track, at the same time, going opposite the normal direction to be with the wind. Very very different and hard to follow both! But kind of cool (and time efficient!)
- Frederick Jones of Miami Pace threw out a mountainous shot put of 61-7.5 to win by five feet.
- Lloydricia Cameron of Miami Northwestern continued her assault on the throws this year; she extended her state lead with a 158-2.
- Darielle McQueen of North Florida Christian won the long jump in 19-6.5 over Brittany McGee's 19-0.25.