A large contingent of American athletes headed down to Puerto Rico this weekend to compete in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational, a event supported by the NSSF. Among that group were a number of Florida athletes.
Stefanie Kurgatt got some redemption this week after a less than ideal showing at Golden South. She did so by sweeping her events in the 18-19 division with winning times of 2:14.63 in the 800 and 4:40.34 in the 1500 over the international field. The 4:40 translates to around 5-flat for 1600.
Andres Arroyo (found in the results as Arroyo Dominicci) pulled of the same sweep in the Boys 16-17 division. His 800 meter victor was a meet record 1:52.11 and the 4:01.91 was just off of the Under 18 record. Despite dominating the field in this meet, the 1500 time translates to around a 4:19 for 1600, which is rather conservative for Arroyo who can go about 9 seconds faster.
While the other Americans there where comepting for team NSSF (National Scholastic Sports Foundation), Andres was competing for his native Puerto Rico (team Fapur) since he is from Bayamon, PR which is just a few minutes away from the stadium. The junior says he ws happy with the performance: "It was great! I feel really proud of myself because I've always wanted to get to this point. This is just a small race to qualify for the Central American Games which is the next big thing I'm looking at. That is in July and it's in El Savador." Arroyo will race there for Puerto Rico.
He said the following about his two finals races on Saturday (1500 and 800): "They were only an hour apart--it was kind of like regions... I split a 49 in the first lap (of the 800) and I really went too fast... I died a little in the second lap. (So then) for the 1500 (I had to) change my strategy because I knew I was tired and exhausted from the 800. So I was looking for place and let the guy lead and just used my kick (to pass him at the end)." Lucky for him he had enough left and won the 1500 by four seconds over fellow American Bailey Roth.
Jeremiah Green of Hillsborough High won his two events with plenty of padding. His 23-0.75 long jump was over two feet better than his closest rival in the 18-19 division. And his wind legal 49-3.75 was over six feet further than that of second place.
Other Florida Athletes:
- Deja Parrish (American Heritage) finished second in the 18-19 400m with a 55.47 after winning her heat in a 56.41 in the Friday prelims.
- Khadeeja Dooling (American Heritage) was second in the 18-19 division of the 400 Hurdles with a 1:05.67.
- Jeffrey Green (Miami Northwestern) earned third place with a 49.06 behind his NSSF teammates in the 18-19 400m. He was slightly better with a 48.96 on Friday's preliminary round.
- Maurice Dix (St. Thomas Aquinas) 14.96 in the 110H for 7th place in the 18-19 finals. He was a DNF in the 400H finals after qualifying with a 58.04 in the prelims.
- Jabari Hill of Miramar ran a 50.55 in the prelims.