Ethan Exilhomme, Aaliyah Butler Win Outdoor Nationals Titles

Two Florida athletes became national champions on Friday at Hayward Field in The Outdoor Nationals presented by Nike in Timber Creek senior Ethan Exilhomme in the boys 110 meter hurdles and Miami Northwestern junior Aaliyah Butler in the girls 400 meter dash.

Ethan Exilhomme dominated the finals of boys 110-meter hurdles clocking a 13.51 wind-legal US #2 time in the finals The Outdoor Nationals presented by Nike at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Exilhomme was the second-fastest qualifier coming out of the prelims with a 13.80 performance behind only a heavily wind-aided winner from another heat in Barry Richards of Texas at 13.71.

The Northeastern University commit Exilhommme has had a consistently strong outdoor senior season from the start in February hovering around 14 seconds flat to the finish in July with his national championship lifetime best clocking in Oregon. The FHSAA 4A boys state champion in the event was actually part of a 1-2 finish for the state of Florida in the 110-meter hurdles finals with Nease junior Cyrus Ways taking runner-up honors in a personal best clocking of 13.73.

Ways also competed earlier on Friday in the 400-meter hurdles and just missed All-American honors by less than two-tenths of a second with a personal best time of 53.87 for eighth place overall and a state-leading time in the event. 4A boys 300 meter hurdles state champion Kevin Davis Jr. of Atlantic Coast High placed 12th overall in the event with a time of 54.39.

Earlier in the day, Exilhomme warmed up running a time of 10.82 in the 100-meter dash prelims but unable to qualify for the finals with the 16th fastest performance but slightly faster than DeLand's Kevar Williams clocking a 10.84 performance in his preliminary heat. Williams also competed in the 200-meter dash prelims, but failed to advance onto the finals with a 21.58 clocking for 12th fastest overall in the first round.

Meanwhile, Aaliyah Butler had already run several 400's earlier in the week as the anchor leg for the victorious 1000 meter Swedish Relay and 800-meter sprint medley relay for the Miami Northwestern girls splitting 53 seconds in both relays.

She threw down another 53 second time on Friday, but this time individually in the open 400 winning with a time of 53.48, which was just a few tenths of a second off her state-leading best in the event. 

She actually was back in the field thru the first 200 meters and in third place position coming off the final turn before a late surge to run down the top two and come across the line decisively in first place with the late sprint.

Other Florida girls competing in the championship 400 included 2A state champion Maisha Atkinson in 13th place at 55.57, Golden South Series 400 champ Twaneise Johnson in 17th place at 55.98, and 4A girls 800-meter champ Cha'iel Johnson in 22nd place at 57.05. None of the girls including national champion Butler are graduating as part of the class of 2021 seniors and instead will be returning for 2022 track season. 

Ashton Schwartzman of IMG Academy won the adidas Indoor Nationals 400 meter title back in late February and found himself competing for another title on Friday in Oregon. After decommitting from UNC and now signed with the University of Arkansas over recent months, Schwartzman kept up his consistency of low 47 second performances with a fourth-place All-American finish of 47.27 at The Outdoor Nationals. 

IMG Academy's boys 4x800 meter relay squad earned All-American honors with a sixth place finish of 7:55.92 featuring Vince Mwangi (2:00 split), Cole Piotrowski (1:56), Noah Winters (1:58), and Isaac Carney (2:01).

The Miami Northwestern girls picked up more relay medals after winning a pair of races on Wednesday with a runner-up showing in the 4x100 meter shuttle hurdles relays behind only Motor City Track Club of Michigan with an overall time of 59.27. Their relay lineup of hurdlers included Breanna Moss, Jaylah Milfort, Paris Baker, and Sariyah Morales

Anna Cincotta of East Lake, who competed in the long jump (12th, 18'4.50") the day prior and also in the championship division of the girls 100-meter hurdles (11th, 14.24), currently its in 11th place out of 17 competitors in the girls heptathlon after the first day of competition with 2,709 points. She is looking to likely the long jump on day two to hopefully push her further up in the overall standings. 

Her East Lake teammate Cole Castro completed the boys decathlon, which finished on Thursday, as he finished 7th overall in the final point standings with 6,377 points. He had the second best performance in the high jump at 1.93 meters and the fourth best in the pole vault at 4.15 meters to help him finish as high as did in the field of 18 competitors in the multi-event.