Sam Burley Hall of Fame Invitational Meet Preview


The 2018 edition of the Sam Burley Hall of Fame Invitational kicks off at Tropical Park in Miami this afternoon. Today will feature all of the field events with the 4x800m relay finals closing out the evening. Then tomorrow morning the gun will go off for the boys 3200m final at 9:00am to ignite the day which will immediately be followed by all preliminary events. The Saturday prelims will conclude with the girls 1600m final in the mid-afternoon. After intermission the horses will get on the track to race for some big-time championship trophies. Here's a little of what we can look at for over the next couple of days…


In the field events there will be many state leading competitors who will look to best their current season bests and continue their season of excellence this far. This includes Donald Chaney of Belen Jesuit in the high jump, Zatoria Thompson of St. Thomas Aquinas in the long jump, Dascha Robinson of Miami Northwestern in the triple jump, and Chanel Dawson of Miami Northwestern in the shot put. Both Thompson and Robinson are the top returnees from last year's competition where they had finished third and second respectively in the high jump and long jump. Additionally, Dawson is the top returnee discus thrower after last year's third place finish and she is the second best returnee shot putter behind Jayla Hill of Miramar as they finished fourth and third respectively in last year's competition.

Historically speaking, Chaney hits his high jump personal record of 6-10, which he hit this season at his season opener (Louie Bing), he would tie the current Sam Burley Invitational meet record which is currently held by Brian Knight of Southridge, which has stood since 2008. Chaney has twice previously won this competition and is going for his title three-peat. Also coming in is the top returnee pole vaulter Alexander Chlumsky of Fort Myers, last year's runner-up, whose personal record is less than four inches away from the current meet record of 11-09 which has been held since 2013. On the boy's side another potential meet record which could go down is the boy's discus, currently at 175-01 since 2014, while Jacob Lemon of Fort Myers already bested that mark the part two consecutive weeks, twice throwing over 182 feet.


Heat sheets for all of the field events and the 4x800m relay


Make sure to watch all of the coverage of the competition on FLRunners!



Starting off with the 4x800m relays, which will be contested Friday evening, on the girl's side current state #2 (US #5) and #4 (US #8) Mater Academy and Miami Northwestern will face off, just as they did at the Louie Bing where Mater (9:38.53) took off with a quick lead and held it all the way through to win by a sizeable 8 second margin (9:46.30) over "the West". And on the boy's side current state leader Piper and state #2 Miami Northwestern should have another close battle based on their performances at the Louie Bing in which only two seconds separated these two squads as they finished with times of 7:58.42 and 8:00.64 respectively.

On the girl's side expect other major battles in the sprint relays as three of the top five state leading teams will compete in the 4x100m, #2 (US #2) American Heritage (46.15), #4 (US #4) St. Thomas Aquinas (46.56), and #5 (US #11) Miami Northwestern (47.02); as well as the top two state leading 4x200m teams, #1 (US #8) St. Thomas Aquinas (1:40.73) and #2 (US #13) Miami Killian (1:41.52); and finally in the 4x400m relay four of the top seven in the state, #1 (US #1) American Heritage (3:45.13), #3 (US #9) Miami Northwestern (3:50.87), #5 (US #14) Northeast (3:55.28), and #7 (US #19) St Thomas Aquinas (3:56.24).

Shifting to the boys sprint relays we should see even tighter races with the top four state leading 4x100m squads, who are also current four of the top six in the nation competing, including #1 (US#1) American Heritage (40.31), #2 (US #2) Miramar (40.72), #3 (US #4) Miami Northwestern (41.30), and #4 (US #6) St. Thomas Aquinas (41.42). In the 4x200m we will see state leader (US #5) Christopher Columbus (1:26.70) and state #2 (US#12) South Dade (1:27.32), and in the 4x400m we have four of the top five state leading squads including #1 (US #4) Piper (3:16.49), #3 (US #9) Rickards (3:17.24), #4 (US #13) Christopher Columbus (3:18.87), and #5 (US #15) St. Thomas Aquinas (3:19.22).

Based on the season bests thus far, meet records could potentially fall for the boys 4x800m relay (currently 7:56.70), the girls and boys 4x100m relays (currently 45.94 and 40.91 respectively), and the boys 4x200m relays (currently 1:27.05).


Top listed entrants include Markalah Hart of Miami Northwestern, defending 3A 100m (13.94 PR) and 300m hurdles state champion (40.28 PR) who is currently undefeated this season in the 100m hurdles (14.26), along with Imani Christian and Emelia Chatfield of St. Thomas Aquinas, who are the current state #2 and state #3 in the 300m hurdles (43.47) and 100m hurdles (14.36) respectively. Also be on the lookout for other hurdle standouts from St. Thomas including Eddiyah Frye (14.39 PR) and Nikia Smith (14.49 and 44.69 PRs), Jaydea Carter of Flanagan (14.61 and 44.03 PRs), Asia McMillion of American Heritage (44.36 PR). On the boys side we will see current state leading 110m hurdler (14.13) Jermanie Byrd of St. Thomas Aquinas who will also compete in the 300m hurdles and is currently ranked second by PR behind last year's national leader (35.25) Thomas Burn of Miami Northwestern. Other top hurdlers include Wavell Hinds of Northeast (14.42 PR), Ulyesse Grace of Homestead (14.66 PR), and Jeremiah Revere of Everglades (38.59 PR).

Based on the current season bests and personal records, some hurdle meet records might be in jeopardy including the girls 100m hurdles (currently 13.86), boys 110m hurdles (currently 13.77), and Thomas Burns could potentially take down his own meet record in the 300m hurdles from last year's 36.04 performance.


Top listed entrants for the distance races include Valerie Lastra of Mater Academy, current state #4 in the 1600m (4:58.52) and state #2 in the 3200m (10:53.00). She will be met by five girls with PRs under 5:11 in the 1600m, including Natalie Varela of Gulliver Prep who has multiple sub 5:00 performances on her resume, and Rylee Pustilnik of Spanish River who is currently State #5 in the 3200m (10:58.08). On the boys side the big name is Joshua Collins of Belen Jesuit who has already run 9:40.89 in the 3200m and 4:25.72 in the 1600m this season. He should be challenged by Nicholas Rischar of St. Thomas Aquinas who bested Collins by 4 seconds at the Louie Bing by running a 9:36.22 (current state #6). Also be on the look-out for Cavan Wilson of Coral Gables who has run 4:27.49 and 9:44.86 this season and Deshay Fernandes of Christopher Columbus who boasts a 4:22.63 PR.

Looking at the 800m, Fernandes is the current 4A 800m state runner-up and comes in with the fastest PR of 1:54.38, but he will be met by two other 1:54 PR boys who have already run within 1 second of their personal bests this season; current state #1 Tyree Simeon of Northeast (1:55.02) and state #3 Sukeil Foucha of Piper (1:55.52), where Simeon had the fastest prelim at the Louie Bing, but Foucha came back for the close win during finals. Not to be outdone, the top three ladies in the 800m include current state #5 Jinah Micken-Malikof Mater Academy (2:14.22) whose PR is 2:08.05, state #6 Ayoola Gbolade of Miami Northwestern (2:15.55) whose PR is 2:12.40, and state #8 Lastra (2:17.97) who appears to be doing quadruple distance duty running all three distance races plus the 4x800m relay.

All of the girls distance meet records could potentially fall this year, with the 800m currently being 2:13.78, the 1600m at 4:59.26, and the 3200m at 11:00.32; while the only boys distance meet record appearing to be in jeopardy is the 800m which is currently 1:54.08.


And saving the best for last are the sprinting events where some of the most elite athletes in the nation will be competing, just as can be noted based off of the relay preview from earlier in this article. Here's who we can being expecting to see in those events…

Girls top entrants:

- Zatoria Thompson of St. Thomas Aquinas, last year's 100m runner-up and 200m third place; PRs include 100m: 11.71 (returning US #25) and 200m: 24.33

- Shania Jenkins of Vero Beach; PRs include 100m: 11.74

- Zahria Allers of St. Thomas Aquinas, last year's 200m runner-up; PRs include 100m: 11.76 and 200m: 23.58

- Jan'Taijah Ford of Northeast, last year's 3A 400m state champion; PRs include 200m: 23.62 (returning US #12) and 400m: 52.82 (returning US #15, although not racing the 400m)

- Danielle Bess of American Heritage, last year's 2A 400m state champion; PRs include 200m: 23.82 and 400m: 54.65 (not racing the 400m)

- Kenya Thompson of American Heritage, last year's 2A 400m state runner-up; PRs include 400m: 54.34

- Daneisha Woodside of Northeast; PRs include 400m: 54.85

- Jermecia Brown of St. Thomas Aquinas; PRs include 400m: 54.96

Boys top entrants:

- Anthony Schwartz of American Heritage; PRs include 100m: 10.15 (US #4 for 2017 and returning US #1) and 200m: 20.66 (returning US #4)

- Terrence Horne Jr. of Miramar, last year's 4A 100m and 200m state runner-up; PRs include 100m: 10.29 (returning US #7) and 200m: 21.12 (returning US #26)

- Bryand Rincher of Piper, last year's 4A 100m state champion; PRs include 100m: 10.30 (returning US #9) and 200m: 21.10

- Taylor Banks of Miramar; PRs include 100m: 10.34 (returning US #15) and 200m: 21.14

- Tyrese Cooper of Miami Norland, last year's 3A 100m state runner-up and 200m & 400m state champion; PRs include 100m: 10.36, 200m: 20.46 (returning US #1), and 400m: 45.23 (US #3 for 2017, returning US #2)

- Tyson Campbell of American Heritage, last year's 2A 100m & 200m state champion; PRs include 100m 10.41 and 200m: 20.80 (returning US #6, although not racing the 200m)

- Tyler Harrell of Christopher Columbus, last year's 4A 200m third place; PRs include 100m: 10.37 (returning US #20, although not racing the 100m) and 200m: 20.96 (returning US #13)

- Jamal Walton of Miramar, last year's 4A 200m & 400m state champion; PRs include 200m: 20.57 (returning US #3, although not racing the 200m) and 400m: 44.99 (US #1 for 2017 and returning US #1)

- DaeQwan Butler of Piper; PRs include 400m: 47.04 (returning US #15)

Based on the resumes of all of these returning sprinters, especially on the boy's side, any and every sprint record could fall at this year's competition. Current girls sprint records include 100m: 11.56, 200m: 23.25 (the most likely sprint record to stand), and 400m: 53.36. Current boys sprint records include 100m: 10.39 by Schwartz last year, 200m: 20.66 by Cooper last year, and 400m: 46.41 which has stood since 2012 and could potential be bested by multiple competitors.


Take a look at our FLRunners Virtual Meet to see potential winners and team champions


Heat sheets for all of the running event preliminaries


Learn a little bit more about Coach Sam Burley and his storied career


Make sure to watch all of the coverage of the competition live on FLRunners!