Best Dozen Races To Watch From Dunbar Track Classic

WATCH: All Race Replays From Dunbar Tigers Classic

The day was filled with Florida's finest competing and showing out at the first annual Dunbar Tigers Classic on Saturday in Fort Myers. Let's try to pick out the top dozen races to watch from the full 9 plus hours of competition. 

Girls 100m Hurdles - Eddiyah Frye (St. Thomas Aquinas) 13.52

Never thought a 13 second race would be filled with so much drama, lead changes and excitement over a short span but the matchup between Eddiyah Frye of St. Thomas Aquinas and Lucheyona Weaver of Dunbar delivered. Weaver was desperately seeking that win on her home track and shot out to an early advantage on Frye, but the UNC commit Frye (13.53) was able to somehow and someway recover off the final hurdle set to nip the North Carolina A&T State commit Weaver (13.57) on the Frye. Both of their times were wind-legal personal bests to reaffirm them as US #1 and US #2 in the event. 

Boys Mile - Javier Vento (Belen Jesuit) 4:09.26

The field was so deep and talented in the boys mile with 18 of the top 21 ranked milers in the state of Florida that was something special was bound to happen. After the pace dwindled in the first half mile (2:09-2:10) amongst the field not willing to go with the pacer, IMG Academy's Cole Piotrowski tried to push the pace on the third lap.  At the bell lap, Piotrowski still held the advantage but Belen Jesuit senior Javier Vento had positioned himself in second place with a total time of 3:13 at that juncture. By 300 meters to go, Vento was in full-on sprint kick mode going past Piotrowski and closing in a 56 last lap to win the stacked mile in a US #2 4:09.26 personal best performance.

Girls Mile - Krystal Rodriguez (Coral Reef) 4:57.80

While not as deep as the boys' mile field, the girls were not lacking in star power and intrigue at Dunbar for the four-lap event.  Without a pacer, Coral Reef senior and Oklahoma State signee Krystal Rodriguez took over the lead after the first lap and never relinquished the lead. She had company though in the form of IMG Academy sophomore Carly McNatt, who ran right on her heels literally to the very end of the race as they separated from Boca Raton senior Pia Beaulieu and the rest of the field before the bell lap. Just over 5 minute pace with a lap to go, both Rodriguez and McNatt closed hard over the final lap to both break 5 minutes with Rodriguez as the winner in 4:57.80 and McNatt as a close runner-up in 4:58.17.

Boys 300m Hurdles - Leonard Mustari (Dunbar) 37.88

There is no doubt that Leonard Mustari is one of the nation's best when it comes to the 110-meter hurdles and long jump outdoors, but there was some skepticism leading into this meet if he had what it takes to truly be great at arguably more physically and mentally grueling event in the 300-meter hurdles. Well, Mustari totally destroyed that thought and the rest of the field at the Dunbar Tigers Classic attacking the hurdles from the gun to break 38 minutes for the first time and take over the state leaderboard in the event as well as move into a US top 10 ranking in the 300 meter hurdles with a 37.88 PR clocking and victory. 

Girls 800 - Jessica Edwards (Canterbury School) 2:10.62

Jessica Edwards did not get the sub 5 mile and potentially win that she was seeking to kick off the day at Dunbar in the open mile race as she ultimately finished a disappointing seventh place and time of 5:16, but redemption opportunity would be found later in the meet for the incoming state leader for the 800-meter run. The Canterbury School senior Edwards faced off with St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore and AAU age group national champ Cha'iel Johnson, who she had a spirited battle and victory against earlier this season at the 800-meter distance as well in the Louie Bing Classic.

After leading the Johnson thru the first 400 meters in 65 seconds, Edwards really turned on the afterburners in the next 200 meters and the toughest section of any 800-meter races to surprisingly gap Johnson. The race finished in a decisive five-second margin of victory for Edwards as she clocked a two second season-best improvement of 2:10.62 to move up to US #6 in the rankings. Only getting that much closer to her 2:08 personal best from the 2019 outdoor season.

Boys 400 - Torrie Cox (Chaminade-Madonna Prep) 47.57

Not to be overshadowed by the great 400 battle that occurred over at the Tohopekaliga Invitational in Kissimme this weekend, the boys 400 at Dunbar also had a thrilling duel producing breakthrough times from two competitors. Two of South Florida's best in the event in senior Torrie Cox of Chaminade-Madonna and King Mack of St. Thomas Aquinas went stride for stride with another over 400 meters to push each other in the 47 second range for the first time this season. Cox was ultimately pulled away as the winner in a US #6 time of 47.57, while King's time was more shocking being only a sophomore coming on at the end to grab second with a US #10 time of 47.82. King has the top sophomore 400 meter time in the country by almost a full second. 

Girls 4x100m Relay - Dunbar 46.63

Beautiful hand-off exchanges all the way around their home track for the Dunbar girls as they joined only Miami Southridge as the only Florida squad to break 47 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay this season with a US #7 46.63 clocking. Lucheyona Weaver, the 100-meter dash winner in the meet, ran a scorching backstretch as the second leg to help create a buffer for their squad over the rest of the lone section field. 

Boys 200 - Sean Watkins (St. Thomas Aquinas) 21.55

From our angle and not a good one at that, it appeared top seed Sean Watkins of St. Thomas Aquinas had been narrowly defeated by Miami Northwestern sophomore Trimaine Brown. Brown definitely had the advantage mid-way thru the final straightaway. You can see Watkins seem to respond and counter once he sensed Brown edging ahead to make that final drive to the line and narrowly secure the win in his fastest wind-legal effort to date recording a 21.55 victory into an actual headwind (-1.0 wind reading). Brown had to settle for a photo finish loss in second place, but impressive challenge and race nonetheless by the tenth grader against the senior Watkins.

Girls 100m Dash - Lucheyona Weaver (Dunbar) 11.95

Dunbar senior Lucheyona Weaver could have easily wallowed in sorrow after being defeated in what was supposed to be her moment in victory for the home crowd snatched away last second by Eddiyah Frye in the 100-meter hurdles fast heat. Weaver had no time for that as she was quickly back on the start line for the fast section of the 100-meter dash. Despite racing against girls who had run much faster times this season in the open 100 compared to her led by Alexis Glasco of St. Thomas Aquinas, Weaver proved to be stronger than them all as well as a stiff headwind to be the lone girl to break 12 minutes with a very impressive 11.95 clocking and win. No pity parties allowed by Weaver. Only more fuel to come back stronger.

Boys 4x800m Relay - North Port 7:57.25

North Port boys 4x800 meter relay squad was hoping for a matchup with Christopher Columbus as two of the state's top-ranked 4x800 meter relays who have yet to break 8 minutes this season. The Columbus boys opted to have their top guys individually to go after fast times in the open mile prior, so left the North Port boys all alone up front after taking the lead on the first leg chasing the clock. It still worked out for them as being the one chased by the rest of the field pushing them enough to drop their season-best time down to Florida's second-fastest time of the season at 7:57.25. A school-record performance as well for the quartet.  

Girls 300m Hurdles - Eddiyah Frye (St. Thomas Aquinas) 42.19

Many of the same faces and top seeds were found from the girls' 100-meter hurdles in the 300-meter hurdles later on at Dunbar. The St. Thomas Aquinas duo of Eddiyah Frye and Alexis Glasco along with Dunbar senior Lucheyona Weaver. Frye and Glasco might be teammates, but all bets are off when it comes to this battleground event for them in the 300-meter hurdles. Glasco was coming off a recent win over Frye at the BCAA Championships this past Friday. All three girls got out extremely fast over the first 150 meters of the race. It was a nearly dead tie with Frye and Glasco from start to finish, but Frye just barely had the edge according to the finish line timing camera at 42.19 over Glasco at 42.20. Meanwhile, Weaver recorded a lifetime best of 43.54 being pulled along in third place for her fourth race of the day (100H, 100m, 4x100m prior)

Boys 4x100m Relay - Miami Northwestern 41.42

This meet was supposed to be St. Thomas Aquinas time to finally go 40 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay. The state's top-ranked relay squad looked well on its way midway thru the final turn before their third legs buckled and went down in pain. At the time, Miami Northwestern appeared to possibly hold a slight advantage and would have made for an entertaining anchor leg chase. Instead, Northwestern saw the door open and slammed it shut running away on the final leg with the win with the third-fastest time of the season in Florida in a 41.42 victory.  While St. Thomas Aquinas did not finish the race, they were able to regroup with their 4x400 meter relay at the meet's end to run their second sub 3:20 time of the season in a 3:17 win.