(Photo and interview courtesy of Sue Thomas)
The Creekside boys ran rampant in the 4x1600m relay last week. This week it was the Bolles' girls turn to make their respective marks. The quartet of Rachel Shapiro, Catherine Kunz, Ally Hajda and Caitlin Collier clocked a state record time of 20:34.11. Shapiro's lead off leg was clocked at 5:16, with Kunz at 5:19, Hajda who has run sub 5:00 this season at 5:11, and state leader Caitlin Collier anchoring the group in an outstanding 4:47.
According to historian Michael Warre, the previous state best was 20:56.31 set by Chiles in 2011 and only two teams have broken 21 minutes in the state of Florida. Pine Crest ran 21:20.72 at the Panther relays and Niceville ran 21:59.97 at the 7th Annual Tiger Relays, but no one has gone faster than the Bulldogs. Coach Tony Ryan was pleased with the group's effort.
"Not too bad for 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon on their own against the clock and into a 19 mph wind.
With the Florida Relays coming up and New Balance Nationals Outdoors this summer I asked Coach Ryan if they had plans to drop their times, but he responded that this was a one time deal. He did add that he felt with better conditions, and more competition the group could have dipped under 20:20.00.