Florida Highlights From Nike Indoor Nationals

While New Balance Nationals in Boston certainly had a larger contingent of Florida athletes traveling to compete indoors this weekend, there was definitely a quality number of track & field stars from the state that also went to Nike Indoor Nationals held at the historic New York Armory over the same weekend. 

Winter Haven junior Jaden Lippett headlined all the performances from Florida at the meet as he leaped to a new personal best mark of 50'8.75" (15.45 meters) on his third attempt of six to win the Nike Indoor Nationals title in the event. Lippett's winning leap is also a new US #1 in the event for the 2022-2023 indoor season and ranks #3 all-time indoor in Florida high school history.

Lippett had yet to achieve a mark over 50 feet prior to this weekend as his prior best of 49'6" was achieved in a national runner-up finish as adidas Outdoor Nationals last summer. He is the defending FHSAA 4A state outdoor champion in the event. Lippett battled with Sterling Scott from Starkville, Mississippi for the Nike Indoor Nationals. The two had competed against one another earlier this indoor season at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational in Gainesville, which Lippett won that triple jump competition as well.  

Aidan Dixon, the national leader heading into this past weekend both indoors and outdoors for the 400 meter dash, just missed on being a national champion at Nike Indoor Nationals as he finished as the runner-up with a time of 47.34 just behind Tavon Underwood of Real Training (CO) as the winner at 47.32 in the finals of the event. Both athletes crossed the finish line tape virtually together with Dixon unfortunately on the short end of the stick to determine the winner. 

Western freshmen Skyler Franklin, the current outdoor state and national leader in the 400 meter dash from her 53.37 personal best clocking at the Louie Bing Invitational, competed in both the 400 and 200 meter dash at Nike Indoor Nationals. Franklin successfully made it through the qualifying rounds to compete in the finals in both races which she ultimately earned a pair of All-American honors running indoor PR's of 55.34 for fourth place in the 400 finals and 23.91 for third place in the 200 finals.

Sophie Haag of East Lake and Aniyah Kitt of Land O' Lakes just missed making the finals of the championship girls 60 meter dash finals tying as the ninth fastest performers in semi-finals with both clocking times of 7.62. Haag and Kitt teamed up with Ellis Weekley of Berkeley Prep and Haag's East Lake teammate Mariah Taylor to finish third in the All-Star club 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1:39.91.

Meanwhile, the Notre Dame commit Weekley got on the podium for a second time over the weekend in New York as she earned All-American honors in the girls pentathlon tallying a total of 3,370 points over her 5 events. Besides finishing last in the shot put competition, Weekley finished top 5 in all of the other 4 events as part of the multi competition including second place in the 60 meter hurdles to keep her in that top 6 All-American contention throughout. 

The Buchholz boys 4x1 mile relay team of Evan Fleming, Riley Smith, Gino Palazollo, and Mason Kawaja earned All-American honors with a sixth place finishing time of 18:03, which averages out to just over 4:30 split per leg. Impressive split average and total time considering their top runner Emerson Miller with his 4:17 1600 meter PR could not compete due to injury and Palazzo would just ran a 4:30 PR at Bolles had to fill in instead. 

More coverage from Nike Indoor Nationals: