The World Maccabiah Games are the third largest sporting event in the world behind only the Olympics and World Cup and right there with the Paralympic Games. This year's event boasts over 10,000 athletes from 59 countries. The Games are open to Jewish athletes from around the world, as well as to all Israeli athletes regardless of religion. Spanish River freshman Rylee Pustilnik made her first appearance and came away with three bronze medals.
Pustilnik, one of the top young distance runners in Florida, qualifying for the state finals in cross country as well as the 1,600 and 3,200, ran a personal best of 2:23 in the 800 and 4:45.65 in the 1,500. That time converts to a huge 1,600m personal best of 5:04, nearly eight seconds better than her 5:12.06 from 4A Region 3. She was also third in the 3k as well with a time of 10:22.57.
She's joined in Israel by several faces including Spanish River coaches Doug Horn and Melissa Perlman along with former Spanish River coach and current FAU assistant coach Rick Rothman. Horn and Rothman are coaches for Team USA while Perlman is competing in the open division.
This meet marks the end of the track season for Pustilnik. She will return to Florida and continue her base training for the start of cross country. She won six of her races in 2016 including conference, district, and regional titles. The class of 2020 standout was first in the freshman race at Foot Locker South as well.