Zephyrhills junior Maguire Neal had a breakthrough race on Thursday in the 300-meter hurdles at the Springstead Invitational. Neal broke 39 seconds for the first time in setting a school record and current Florida state-leading time performance of 38.55.
Prior to this season, Maguire had only broken 40 seconds once in his last race of the 2020 outdoor season before the rest of the spring meets were canceled due to the coronavirus with a 39.66 win at the Hernando Kiwanis Invitational.
He started his 2021 season virtually right where he left off with a 39.65 performance at Zephyrhills tri-meet last Friday. On Thursday at Springstead High School, Neal became the first hurdler in the state to break 39 seconds.
The 300-meter hurdles race was not his only win on the evening as Neal netted a total of three individual race victories with PR's across the board in the 300-meter hurdles, 110-meter hurdles (15.19), and 100-meter dash (11.20).
Other top performances from the Springstead Invitational came primarily out of the field events including a very deep girls' high jump competition which saw three competitors clear a height of 5'4.00" (1.63m) or higher. Both Sunlake senior Laylah Kibler and Nature Coast Tech sophomore Ryelynn Hazard cleared 5'6" (1.68m), which ties them both currently as the leaders in the high jump, but earlier misses gave Kibler first place and the win in this meet over Hazard.
Meanwhile, Hernando sophomore Areginae White leaped over 18 feet in the girls' long jump with a mark of 18'0.50" (5.5m) to rank her third in the state of Florida at this point of the season. Just off her personal best of 18'6" from one spring ago. White also won the 100-meter dash (13.15)and triple jump (34'3") at the meet.
The top performance from the host school of Springstead belonged to their thrower Zayne Barry as the senior launched a new personal best of 52'5.50" (15.99m) in the shot put to move him all the way up to a #2 state ranking overall in the event.
Sunlake senior Cade Whitfield dropped four seconds off his personal best in the 800 meter run for one of the top performances on the track beyond Maguire's state leading race with a 1:58.09 win by Whitfield in the two-lap event.