Top Boys Athletes To Watch in FHSAA 1A State Finals


Find out who are some of the top individuals to watch in the 1A boys races on Friday at the FHSAA Outdoor State Finals.

Deandrae McCray (North Florida Christian) - Boys 100m, 200m, 4x100m

North Florida Christian senior Deandrae McCray gained a lot of attention clocking a 10.33 wind-aided 100-meter performance at his district meet, while running consistently in the mid to high 10-second range for much of the outdoor season. McCray followed up that race with another swift clocking of 10.53. McCray will be a favorite in the 100 at the state meet as well as in the mix for the win in the 200 following a 21.50 personal best victory at the 1A Region 1 Meet. He's headed to Austin Peay State (TN) to play football in the fall which does not have a track program, so might be one of his final opportunities to see him race on the track. 

Jacob Panzarella (First Baptist Academy) - Boys 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m

Jacob Panzarella has been virtually unbeatable so far this year in the sprints for First Baptist Academy in Naples including a pair of wins in the 100 and 200 at the 1A Region 3 Meet. His 200 win at regions was a 1A classification leading best of 21.26 wind-legal. He could have potentially attempted the sprint triple with a 49.70 400 this season in his lone performance but opted to go with the relays instead with his First Baptist squad for his final events at the state meet. 

Dalin Mitchell (Seffner Christian) - Boys 800m, 4x800m

Seffner Christian senior Dalin Mitchell made an eye-opening time drop of 1:55 in the 800 meters run at his regional meet last weekend to reaffirm him as the top seed and favorite in the event. Earlier in the season, Mitchell made an impressive winning the Mustang Invitational 800 against a solid field. He dipped under 4:30 for the first time for 1600 meters in winning his district meet, but opted to focus individually on the 800 as well as the 4x800 meter relay with his Seffner Christian teammates. 

Jonathan Pitchford (Marathon) - Boys 1600m, 3200m

One of the best track athletes in recent history from the Florida Keys, Marathon High distance runner Jonathan Pitchford will attempt to be a double champion in the 1600 and 3200 for the 1A classification on Friday. Pitchford worked his mile time down to a very speed 4:15 run at the Dunbar Tigers Classic, while went 9:28 for 3200 meters early in the season at Satellite. After a somewhat disappointing 6th place finish in the state cross country race this past fall, Pitchford is looking to go out as a state champion in Jacksonsville in either or both races slated to run.

Austin Montini (Oak Hall School) - Boys 1600m, 800m

The 1A state cross country champ from the fall in Oak Hall School senior Austin Montini appears to be peaking at the right to close and chase after another state crown on Friday. Montini has not raced much this spring, but has shown up with some solid results lately at the district and region level including a 4:24 1600 and 1:57 800 double victories at 1A Region 2. He will have Mitchell in the 800 to contend with as well as Pitchford in the 1600 among others, but never count out anyone like Montini who knows what it takes to make the move for the win at a state championship setting. 

Adam Nipper (Seffner Christian) - Boys 3200m

The Seffner Christian boys are arguably one of the deepest distance programs among schools in Florida. Adam Nipper had the fastest winning time among the regional winners in 1A for the 3200 with his 9:38 performance followed closely by teammate Andrew Stowe at 9:40. Earlier in the season, Nipper ran 9:29 at Bolles. The 3200 is certainly a deep and very competitive event though with Pitchford leading the way and bunch of others have run in the 9:30's. 

Rodney Bryant (Mount Dora Christian) - Boys 300m Hurdles

The lone hurdler in 1A to go under 40 seconds in the 300 hurdles at regionals and having gone undefeated all season in the event is Mount Dora Christia senior Rodney Bryant. A 3 second improvement for Bryant from his 2020 best in the event working down to a PR of 39.89.