Some great performances from around the Southern US!
Tropical Storm Barry loomed in the Gulf of Mexico, heading toward Florida on the eve of Saturday's Golden South Classic in Orlando. And while the storm mainly stayed to the north and west of Central Florida, most of the field events and the running prelims were run under gusty conditions. Wind legal performances during the afternoon were few and far between! It finally did calm down though once the sun set and for the most part there was no precipitation.
During that time period, the meet officials opted to run the sprints on the reverse side of the track to take advantage of the wind, so while some of the phenomonal times may be impressive they certainly benefited from a brisk wind at the back.
Two divisions were held this year: the prep and the classic. The prep division was created for younger athletes who did not meet the qualifying standards of the classic. The Golden South Classic has a long tradition of attracking some of the top talent from around the Southern US and these athletes showed up for this year's Classic division.
Girls 100 Meters
Brittany Long had a plenty of room to breath between her and her next closest competition, dominating both the prelims and finals with times of 11.31 and 11.39. Both were wind-aided, although the 11.39 in the finals was barely over the limit (2.2). In the finals Florida girl Shataya Hendricks was second in 11.56 with Nyosha Bryant from North Carolina in third with 11.71.
Girls 200 Meters
Teona Rodgers came back after being upset in the 100 Hurdles to get her victory in the 200 meters. The finals were later into the night and were wind legal (actually into a slight wind) and Rodgers time was 24.10, over Odeika Bent and Shataya Hendricks who were 24.13 and 24.42. Rodgers had a strong wind aided time in the prelims of 23.67--which was the second seed behind Brittany Long's blazing 23.05w. Long, however, did not compete in the finals... no word on why.
Girls 400 Meters
Favorite Jasmine Shorter, Florida 3A State Champ, was upset and well off her season best with a second place 57.02. It was South Carolina native and freshman Brianna Nelson with the 55.82 win--she will be one to watch in years to come!
Girls 1600 Meters
This one was a thriller! Wharton junior Katrina Skinner held the lead for nearly the entire race, with Mandy Perkins of Spruce Creek on her tail. Brittany Koziara of Orlando Boone told me before the race she was feeling good and I guess she was! She took her time back in third and in the last lap she made her move, finally overtaking Skinner in the final 50 meters of the race. Great breakout race of Koziara. The announcer got her name wrong, but I doubt anyone who saw this race will make that mistake again. Her time was 5:12.41 for the full mile, which equates to a 5:10.60 and a new PR for her in the 1600.
Girls 800 Meters
In a race that went much slower and strategic than expected, Jamia Hutto apparently had the best strategy. Coming off a difficult junior season, Hutto fought off Brooke Nebel for the 2:19.03 to 2:19.18 victory. Ana Groff, who had the fastest seed time, was in third with a time of 2:21.05.
Girls 3000 Meters
Ali Crabb and Devin Spoerle battled for most of the race, but Crabb was finally able to gain some space over Spoerle in the closing laps and cruised to a 10:35.36 to 10:47.00 victory.
Girls 100 Hurdles
Stowers with the lean gets the victory over favored Teona Rodgers: 13.72, 13.73. Rodgers, who will be a student at FSU starting in just a few weeks, suffered her first loss of the season, but the recent Wharton grad came back later in the night to get the 200 meter win. Kabreka White of Winter Garden was third in 13.99 with a strong 5.0 wind at their backs.
Girls 400 Hurdles
J'Zotta Rolle squeaked out the win over Anjoure Teele in this thriller: 1:02.45 to 1:02.56.
The hometown girls from Oak Ridge took down Therrell of Georgia 46.66 to 47.17.
Oak Ridge took the lead with one leg to go, but the hard charging Quick Striders were able to take the lead back for good in the final 200 meters. Quick Striders 3:50.45, Oak Rdige 3:53.30.
Girls Pole Vault
As expected, it was all Daisy Glasser with a 12-6 victory. Megan Martin of Lake Mary had another good showing with a second place gvault of 11-6. Glasser has about three meets left in her high school career. 13 feet has alluded her all season long and she made three solid attempts, but couldn't quite get behind it to clear it. She said afterwards that while she'll be content with her career if she can't get it, "I am a very competitive person, so I am still really trying to go after it." She will compete at a meet at Clermont's National Training Center next week for her next try at the height.
Girls Triple Jump
Tomika Story of Ridgeview wins with 36-6.
Girls Shot Put
Gabrielle Nixon wins over hometown girl Ashley Gonzalez 37-1 to 37-0.
Raivvyn Chancellor (SC) over Garbeille (Bahamas) 126-6.5 to 121-2.5.