The 2017 FLYRA Middle School State Championship showcases the best up and coming stars in our sport. Over 1,000 athletes will make the trip to Bradenton's IMG Academy. We take a look at each event and which individuals have the best chances to win.
Boys 3000mThe first boys event on the track will be the boys 3,000m. Mitchell Curtis of Mt. Dora Christian Academy and the younger brother of 1A cross country champion Gabriel Curtis comes in as the favorite of this race. Curtis, was third at the state meet last week running 9:48.28 for 3,200m. Curtis was 18th last year in 10:28, but twelve months was a long time ago. His main competition will come from the 2016 runner-up and FLYRA MS XC State Champion Adrian Bichara of Miami Elite who ran 9:54.92. Other names to watch include Adam Magoulas and Ian Noble who finished 14th and 15th last year as well as 1A 3,200m state champion Austin Montini of Oak Hall. Montini was 10th at the FHSAA XC Finals last fall.
Boys 4x800m Relay
Miami Gardens Xpress holds the record in this event of 8:40.11 set back in 2012, but no teams in the field come in with times faster than 9:14. MGX and Lauderdale Lakes have identical times of 9:14.74 so this one could be a dog fight to the finish.
Boys 100m Hurdles
Lauderdale Lakes Middle School has been one of the powerhouse programs in year's past and they hope to get some key points from 8th grader Jerry Philippe in the 100m hurdles. The MSAA North Regional champion has the fastest time in the field of 14.20. Jalen Herring has run 14.45 and will be a contender along with Cyrus Ways, the younger brother of UNC speedster Ceo Ways.
Boys 100m Dash
I always love a good 100m dash and this should be just that with Micanopy Middle School's Kesean Brown. Brown, the Bob Hayes Middle School Champion, has one four of his five meets this season, and owns a personal best time of 10.95 at the Florida Elite Invitational. It's not a fluke because he has also gone 10.99 at the Gainesville Striders Invite. We know IMG tends to be windy, so how low can he drop his time on Saturday? The next closest competitor is Galen Johnson of Wolfpack Track Club who has run 11.09s.
Boys 1,500m Run
Similar distance names Adam Magoulas and Mitchell Curtis look for their second wins of the meet and a distance double. This could be the most competitive boys race of the day as the top seventeen runners in the field have all run under 4:40. Magoulas, Curtis, Forest Adams, Donato Scarcello, Austin San Juan, and Zach Harrigan are all separated by less than two seconds.
Boys 4x100m Relay
Florida High School is the favorite in this relay as their seed time has them at 44.68s. Defending champion Matthew Gilbert Middle School who ran 44.81 is seeded second ahead of MGX.
Boys 400m Dash
Two point scorers from last year's 400m dash return in Jaden McBurrows who was third and Marvens Marisler who was fifth overall. Torrie Cox Jr. of MGX has the top seed time at 51.43s.
Boys 200m Hurdles
Robert Ramsay's meet record of 25.04 was broke by Alex Shields who went 25.03 in 2016. Last week Shields won both the 110 and 300m hurdles at the 1A state championship at IMG. Isaac Hibbert is the top returner finishing 7th last year. He also has the top seed time of 27.25.
Boys 800m Run
Roger Mottley of Olympia Track Club was sixth last year in the boys 800m run and owns the top time 2:06.98. Jordan Guice of Fairview Middle School has lost one race all season in the two lap event and isn't far behind with his time of 2:08.96.
Boys 200m Run
Five of the eight runners in this field have all broke 23 seconds for the 200m dash. American Heritage 8th grader Jaden McBurrows is the top returner after finishing second in 23.88 last year. Ironically, McBurrow's won the third of four sections in a fast enough time to earn him those eight points. Kesean Brown, the favorite in the 100m dash, ran 22.51 at the Big Bend Middle School Showdown is seeded third behind Galen Johnson (22.30) of Wolfpack Track Club and Zachariah Ware (22.24)
Boys 4x400m Relay
The boys of Miami Gardens XPress are so fast that they'll run two teams in the third and fastest heat of the boys 4x400m relay. Good news is their 3:41 is three seconds faster then second seeded Florida High School, but bad news is they are a far cry from the meet record of 3:27.06 set by the 2012 quartet.