Class 2A is loaded from top the sprints to the distance events with not just the best athletes in Florida, but in the entire nation. We preview all the action. Keep it locked on FLRunners.com for all the race highlights, interviews, photos, recaps, results, and more!
Starting with the girl's sprints, we have to take a look at FSU signee and defending 100 and 200m state champion Katia Seymour. Seymour, who was second at the Adidas Dream 100, ran 11.44 at regionals and posted a time of 23.37 in the 200m dash. The Palatka senior also anchored the team's 4x100m last year where she ran the competition to add another title to her resume.
Freshman Briana Williams was third in the 100m at the CARIFTA Games for Jamaica and has the fastest freshman times in both the 100 and 200 in the nation. Bay High School's Denise White and Cocoa's Destiny Charles also return after making the finals in 2016.
One name to watch is Maiah Walker. She was recently invited to the NSAF Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Cuba and we've had a chance to see her in person several times this season. She's been in and out of the national spotlight and is running some of her best track as of late. At regionals she went 11.94w, 24.11, and 54.25. She'll try to give the girls listed above a run for their money in the 100 and 200m while being the favorite in the quarter, as the defending state champion. American Heritage's Danielle Bess won the event in 2015 and should give her the biggest test.
The state's second smallest classification has a lot of talented distance runners, but none are in the same arena as Bolles' junior Caitlin Collier. Collier leads the nation in the 800 with her time of 2:05.29 and owns the second fastest time in the state in the 1,600m (4:52.60). She's the defending state champion in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200. Look for her to not just win, but to set state meet records and that includes as part of a potential 4x800m relay team. Her 800m PR is nearly ten seconds faster than the field, but the 1,600 could be a little closer with six other girls all under 5:00 including Tsion Yared, Natalie Varela, Nicole Matysik, Amanda Beach, Leigha Torino, and Ally Hajda.
Miami Jackson's Tiara McMinn is the reigning champion in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and high jump and the favorite to repeat in 2017. McMinn is also entered in the 300 meter hurdles, which could bring her medal count to three on the afternoon. Mone't Bowen and Asia McMillon will also be in the mix for that top spot.
Other field event athletes to watch include Caroline Johnston in the triple jump and the pole vault, and Debbie Ajagbe and Amani Heaven in the throws.
The team battle will come down to Hallandale and American Heritage, but don't count out defending state champion Bolles. Hallandale has a strong tradition in the hurdles, jumps, and throws and will hope those events can carry them, while Coach Barnes group has a stable of sprinters and first class relays. The Bulldogs according to our virtual meet will get nearly half of their 61.5 from distance events with the second most coming from hurdle events.
It's possible 10.8 and 21.8 don't sniff the finals of the 100m dash and 200m dash Saturday. Headlining the field is US#1 100m and US#3 200m sprinter Anthony Schwartz of American Heritage. Schwartz's PR of 10.15 is the fastest EVER by a high school athlete in the month of March and ranks 7th ALL-TIME. His 200m time of 20.66 ranks only behind Jamal Walton and Tyrese Cooper nationally. If he loses it would be a major upset as he is also the defending state champion in both events. Teammate Tyson Campbell and Chaminade Madonna's Shaun Shivers could be his biggest competition and driving force to crazy fast times as they both have run 10.41 and 10.47 in the 100 and 20.83 and 20.91 in the 200 respectively. Schwartz and Campbell will team up for the Patriots 4x1 team that is knocking on the door of sub 40s.
In the 400, Booker T. Washington junior Tyquan Thornton was third at the state meet in 2015 and was absent in 2016. His 46.77 at the regional is the fastest in the field which also includes Monte Parker who won the meet last year as a freshman at Stranahan and is now at American Heritage.
The distance events feature FSU signee Caleb Pottorff who is fresh off a state leading time of 4:12.17 and is more than five seconds faster than the rest of the field. Pottorff was runner-up in this event last year and looks to defend his title at the eight lap 3,200m distance. While he is a clear favorite, the boys 800m run is wide open. The eight fastest times from regional are under 1:58 and that's not including American Heritage transfer who ran 1:52 at the Florida Relays and is looking for his first state championship.
The hurdles are going to be fast and close as well. Godby's Tyricke Dickens broke 14s in the 110m hurdles. Dickens had the fastest time in last year's prelims and placed fourth in the final. In the 300's four guys come in with times under 38 second from the regional rounds with Hallandale's Amari Johnson running 37.45. Never count out Charger hurdlers in either event whether its Favien Lively in the 110's or Johnson in the 300's. They call it Hallandale Hurdle High School for a reason. Raine's Chase Bonham and Cocoa's Joshua Ramirez will also be in the mix of what could be one of the closest races of the day.
Everyone loves a good relay and if we're going strictly on regional times they don't get much better than American Heritage vs Cardinal Gibbons in the 4x1, Hallandale vs Glades Central and Booker T. in the 4x4, and Hallandale and Pine Crest in the 4x800.
Focusing on the field events, Hallandale boasts the number one seed in both the shot put and the discus in junior Milton Ingraham, Pine Crest's Troy Bridges has the potential to leap 48 feet in the high jump, and a trio of guys can hit 6'8 in the high jump, while Joshua Moreno, Sean Toellner, and Noah Mumme are capable of clearing 15 feet or better in the pole vault.
Our team battle shows Hallandale by one point over American Heritage which goes to show you every race and every point is crucial.