Boys Meet Recap
Coming in, Miramar was favored with a virtual meet score of 59 to Piper's 52. Last year's runner-up, Columbus was only ranked sixth with 33.6. But on the final event of the night, Columbus clocked a 3:14.92 to claim first and overtake Miramar, who's star, Jamal Walton sat out due to cramping, came in fifth. Just like that, Miramar's 3 point cushion was gone and the Explorers had their first boy's track and field state championship in school history.
Columbus got on the board on the first day with a second place and eighth place finish from junior Gary Cooper(55-07.50) and senior Tony Mills(51-01) and a fourth place finish in from senior Deshay Fernandes in the 800 meter(1:55.54). That was good enough for 14 points and third place behind West Orange (23) and Piper (18).
Miramar's chances took a setback when their 4 x 100 meter relay team failed to qualify running finishing 18th in 43.69- well off their season best of 40.72 run at Louie Bing earlier in the year.Piper made it a three team race getting a victory in the 4 x 800 meter relay in 7:53.73 to Columbus 7:58.44.
Miramar's sprint core got them back in the running with 1-3 finish from senior Terrence Horne (10.48) and junior Taylor Banks (10.54) in the 100 meter dash and a third place finish from junior Osaji Skyers in the 110 meter hurdles (14.16). But again, Columbus countered with a fourth place finish from senior Tyler Harrell (10.58) and a second place finish in the 4 x 100 meter relay (41.56) to St. Thomas Aquinas (41.04).
Miramar's star of stars, Jamal Walton was then expected to run away with the 400 meters and get them a guaranteed win. But after never really separating himself from the pack, he was overtaken in the homestretch by Piper senior DaeQwan Butler (46.55) to finish second in 47.10. Taking eighth and getting critical points for Columbus was sophomore Xzavier Henderson with his 48.71. Henderson also finished seventh in the high jump (6-01.50) to keep the Explorers in the hunt.
Columbus' only win came in the 200 meter dash and it couldn't have come at a better time. Senior Tyler Harrell lowered his personal best of 20.96 set at the Prefontaine Classic to a 20.83(1.2) and US #6 to vault Columbus into the lead 48-46 over Miramar.
Miramar countered with a 6-7 place finish from junior Osaji Skyers (44-10.75) and senior Chad Black (44-10.75) in the triple jump to give them the lead, 51-48 after 15 events. Walton, suffering from cramps, finished a hobbled ninth in 23.90 heading in to the championship defining 4 x 400 meter relay.