Top 5 Races To Watch From Mustang Invitational

Thursday's Mustang Invitational at Northside Christian in St. Petersburg saw a slew of exciting finishes and fast times across the board. The event last year was cancelled on the same day that literally the entire sports world and world, in general, came to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it was a real celebration of the return to some normalcy with the sport that we all love and missed in 2020. 

Let's showcase some of the best races that we witnessed from the meet.

Girls 400 - Erica Roberts Stuns Tytiana Wilson For The Home Crowd

Admiral Farragut's Tytiana Wilson came into the meet as the heavy favorite to win the girls 400 as the top seed by 3 seconds and eyeing potentially a time closer to sub 56 seconds. Coming off the final turn, it appeared she was on her way to a resounding win and season-best time.

However,  Northside Christian's Erica Roberts spoiled those plans and shrunk the gap from second to first place quickly to nip Wilson at the line chopping 3 seconds off her season-best and please the home crowd with a 56.82 PR victory. It was arguably the biggest upset of the meet.

Boys 1600 - Mateo Luna Lays It All Out On Track In 4:23 PR

In last week's Warhawk Invitational, Indian Rocks Christian junior Mateo Luna spilled out on the track in the 1600 meter run in a narrow loss to Osceola's William Stone dipping under 4:30 as a runner-up in 4:29 .

In this week's Mustang Invitational, Luna was once again eating the track at the finish line but this time in victory celebrating a huge breakthrough personal time of 4:23. Ethan Lipham of Berkeley Prep had done much of the pace setting during the race up front and a sizeable gap at one point, but Luna blew by him with 300 meters to go and left nothing in the tank as he crashed to track dropping 6 second PR in a week's time.

Girls 100 - Super Soph Sophie Haag Runs Away From Field in 12.14 PR

Few athletes appeared as head and shoulders better than the rest of the field than Calvary Christian sophomore Sophie Haag in her three races on the track at the Mustang Invite.

Haag was a double winner in the 100 and 200 meter dash in personal best efforts of 12.14 and 25.04, while had a remarkable come from behind victory for her 4x100 meter relay squad on anchor leg as well.

She has yet to lose a race yet over the last two months of February and March while running a total of 10 races during that 6 week time period.

Boys 400 - Elijah Gant Leaves No Doubt In Dominant 49.10 Victory

One of the few double winners on the track for the meet was Lennard senior Elijah Gant including a 49.10 personal best performance in the 400-meter dash, which was one of the more dominant race winners of the night at the Mustang Invite. Gant made up the stagger on the rest of the field by the 150-meter mark and only poured it on from there winning by nearly a full two seconds over his next closest competitor.

Gant later came back to soundly defeat the boys' 200 meter dash field as well in a 22.10 clocking. 

Boys 3200 - 8 Laps To Be Separated By Only 5 Tenths Between William Stone & Kirin Karver

It is crazy to think that the longest race at the meet in the 3200-meter run might have had the closest finish and took the entire eight laps around to decide a winner.

Osceola junior William Stone never relinquished first place for the entire race getting the advantage at the front going into the first turn off the start line. But neither did Berkeley Prep sophomore Kirin Karver relinquish his spot tucked in right off the hip of Stone for the entire race.

The two runners seriously negatively split the race dropping the rest of the field as they went from a 4:53 first 1600 meters to drop a 4:44-4:45 split for the last 1600 meters. Stone withstood one last push from Karver on the final stretch though to hold onto the win in 9:38.48 as the sophomore Karver's consolation was a six-second PR improvement to 9:39.01. 

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