Photos by Kyle Brazeil and Derrick Dingle
Montverde Academy, the boarding school program in Florida is quickly becoming a national powerhouse program over the last two years and put that on full display on one of the biggest stages for indoor track & field at the Millrose Games in New York City over the weekend.
Several of their athletes celebrated notable wins and U.S. all-time high school performances to go along with their meet record-breaking times and marks.
In the high school boys 300 meter dash competing from separate heats, Zyaire Nuriddin and Issam Asinga won both of their heats and went 1-2 overall with Nuriddin winning with a US #1 time of 33.46 followed by Assinga in a US #2 performance of 33.46 with both athletes dipping under the old meet record of 33.62. Nuriddin's race was also the 18th fastest-recorded indoor 300-meter time in U.S. high school history.
Assinga had already warmed up for his 300-meter race by winning the high school boys 60-meter dash earlier in the day with a meet record clocking of 6.63 as the US #1 ranked athlete in the event had a better showing than US #2 ranked Nyckoles Harbor from Archbishop Carroll did racing against the pros at the same meet with a 6.70 clocking for 7th in that race. Assinga's teammate Micah Larry had a solid third place showing of 6.75 in the Millrose Games high school division 60-meter race with him.
Similarly in the high school girls 60-meter dash, the Montverde Academy duo of Micayah Holland and Adaejah Hodge cleaned up with a 1-2 finish as well with the senior Holland crossing the line first just off her US #4 all-time 7.21 season best with a 7.24 victory and Hodge once again in the 7.2's with her for second place at 7.29. Both went under the former meet record of 7.31 set by Kaila Jackson from Michigan last year.
A third Millrose Games meet record was set by the small but elite Montverde Academy contingent in New York City by US #1 ranked Micah Larry in the long jump as he just missed hitting another mark over 25 feet with his winning leap of 24'11.75" (7.61 meters). He fouled 4 of his 6 attempts too while trying to get all of the board for an even greater performance but comfortably won the competition by over a full foot.
Meanwhile, Montverde Academy junior Michelle Smith FL won the high school girls 600 meter run at the Millrose Games while lowering her US #1 ranking season-best time down to 1:29.52, which ranks US #7 all-time in high school indoor history for the event. Smith had just taken over the national leaderboard in the event one week prior in Gainesville at the Florida/Georgia Challenge with a facility record-breaking 1:30.85 effort.
In the high school boys mile run, the state of Florida was represented by two runners who battled earlier this season to fast 4:12 personal best mile times at the Alachua County Sports Center at the RADD Sunshine Showcase to earn themselves consideration and ultimately an invite into the prestigious Millrose field in Hagerty senior Miguel Pantojas and Montverde Academy senior Riley Novack.
A strategically slow (leaders at 2:10 for the half mile split) and physical race amongst the field of 13 did not work in the favor of either Florida runners to place well or run fast times though with Pantojas finishing in 8th place with a time of 4:15 and Novack in 11th place with a time of 4:17.