Eli Black Runs Fastest 8th Grade 3200 Ever In Florida, 10:46

Cambridge Christian's Eliana Black on Thursday ran the fastest 3200 meter time in Florida state history by an eighth grader at the Mustang Invitational hosted by Northside Christian in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Black recorded a new personal best time of 10:46.23 in her first 3200 meter race of the 2022 season, which breaks the former 8th grade state record of 10:47.64 held by Julie Wollrath of Holy Trinity at the 2011 Florida Relays. 

Florida 8th Grade Girls Top 10 3200m Times In State History

The defending FLYRA middle school state track champion in the 3K and 1500 as well as last spring's FHSAA 1A state runner-up for 3200 meters as an 7th grader, Black is already off to a great start to her final season as a middle school grader including posting a 2:14 PR in the 800 two weekends ago at the Calvary Christian Warrior Invitational. 

Other top performances from the Mustang Invitational included Black's teammate in sophomore Madeleine Gear clocking a new personal best with a powerful last lap kick to win the 1600 meter run in a time of 5:11. Calvary Christian's Hailey Howard had led Gear approaching the final lap before Gear shifted Gears to win by a margin of 8 seconds.

In the boys 800 meter run, East Lake senior Noah Chatman came in as the top seed by a handful of seconds and blasted out on his own with a 55 second first 400 meters and finishing a new personal best time of 1:56.86, which ranks him just outside of the the top 10 overall in the state.

Osceola senior William Stone continues to roll in his final season of high school running as he followed up his 4:24 1600 and 1:56 double two weeks ago at the East Lake Early Bird Invitational negatively splitting his 3200 meter race at the Mustang Invitational in a time of 9:34.79. Nearly identical time to his victory at the Warhawk Invitational last Friday at 9:34.78. 

The most dramatic and closest race of the night belonged to the fast section of the boys 200 meter dash as Countryside's Terrence Jackson FL (1st, 21.88) and Largo's Deondre Randall (2nd, 21.89) went down to the final stride to determine the winner between both breaking 22 seconds. It was a great battleground race after Randall won the 100 meter dash (11.12) and Jackson won the 400 meter dash (50.26) earlier in the meet.

Conditions were not ideal for fast times in the straightaway races with steady rain and a headwind, but that did not stop Sophie Haag of Calvary Christian still throwing down a respectably swift time of 12.26 to win the girls 100 meter dash. She decisively pulled away from Northside Christian's star sprinter Erica Roberts FL (2nd, 12.63).

Haag had gone sub 12 seconds twice last year as a sophomore, but both wind-aided performances. Last week at the Warhawk Invitational, she ran 11.94 with a wind-legal reading before running in a headwind rain storm at the Mustang Invite. The defending 2A state champion in the 200 meter dash, Roberts would later enjoy victories in both the 400 (59.06) and 200 (25.17) meter dashes. 

In the field events, Johntavia Shaw of Countryside continues to show herself as one of the state's top performers in the throws as she won the shot put at 41'7.50" (12.69 meters) and discus at 117'7.75" (35.86 meters) with big marks despite the weather. 

The East Lake and Osceola girls tied for first in the team standings with 90 points, which points to a close Pinellas County Champs between them at season's end too. Meanwhile, the Largo boys with 112 1/2 points stayed ahead of Countryside with 104 1/2 points as both squad crested over the century point total.