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
Girls Mile - Krystal Rodriguez (Coral Reef) 4:57.80
Boys 300m Hurdles - Leonard Mustari (Dunbar) 37.88
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
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
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.