Watch the fastest girls races from the 2023 Bob Hayes Invitational this past weekend at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Girls 400m Hurdles - Michelle Smith (Montverde Academy) 59.24
Montverde Academy junior Michelle Smith ran the nation's fastest time in the 400 meter hurdles as the first to break 60 seconds and doing it twice in both the prelims and the finals.
Girls 100m Hurdles - Brittney Jennings (Sandalwood) 13.80
Brittney Jennings of Sandalwood repeated as a Bob Hayes Invitational champion while clocking a new personal best time of 13.80, which ranks 7th fastest in the country this spring.
Girls 100m Dash - Emani George (Sandalwood) 11.80
After breaking 12 seconds for the first time in the 100 meter dash at the Bolles Bulldog Classic a few weeks ago with a 11.95 performance, Sandalwood junior Emani George made another time drop to win the Bob Hayes Invite with a 11.80 clocking.
Girls 800m Run - Cha'iel Johnson (St. Thomas Aquinas) 2:14.65
In one of the more anticipated matchups of the day between two sub 2:10 half milers in Cha'iel Johnson of St. Thomas Aquinas and Ka'Myya Haywood of Bishop Kenny, the race might have produced fast times but produced a thrilling finish going down to the final strides with the two-time state champion Johnson at 2:14.65 just holding off Haywood at 2:14.73.
Girls 1600m Run - Alyson Johnson (Creekside) 5:08.56
Creekside freshmen Alyson Johnson and St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Grace Finneran battled it out for 4 laps at UNF in the 1600 meter run with the indoor mile state champion Johnson with a 5 flat personal best able to fend off Finneran in the end to win in a time of 5:08 in adverse weather conditions. Finneran finished second with a season best time of 5:09.
Girls 400m Dash - Zyaire Thomas (Fletcher) 57.08
After running the top qualifying time and a new personal best in the prelims at 56.96, Fletcher freshman Zyaire Thomas came back in the finals of the 400 meter dash at the Bob Hayes Invitational to best the field with another near sub 57 second performance with a 57.08 victory.
Girls 4x800m Relay - Miami Northwestern 9:44.19
The Miami Northwestern girls ran almost an identical time to their FL #6 season best of 9:44.16 from the Ellis Elite 16 Invitational as with their winning time of 9:44.19 were able to stay ahead of American Heritage (3rd, 9:52) and Episcopal (2nd, 9:48) who also joined them breaking 10 minutes on the day at the Bob Hayes Invitational.
Girls 4x100m Relay - Paxon School 48.57
The top qualifiers from the prelims in the St. Thomas Aquinas girls were unable to get the stick around the track with their exchanges, so opened the door for a local Jacksonville area squad in Paxon School to run down American Heritage to win the 4x100 meter relay at the Bob Hayes Invitational with a time of 48.57.
Girls 200m Dash - Emani George (Sandalwood) 24.82
Emani George was a double winner on the day with a breakthrough weekend for her as she followed up her sub 12 second victory in the 100 meter dash crossing the line first in the 200 meter dash finals with a 24.82 performance. The conditions were not favorable for fast times in the 200 meter dash after a downpour of rain right before the start, but George pressed onto a second victory at the Bob Hayes Invite.
Girls 4x400m Relay - St. Thomas Aquinas 4:00.72
Anchored by the 800 meter race champion Cha'iel Johnson, the St. Thomas Aquinas girls did enough to wrap up their team title at the Bob Hayes Invitational with 10 points and just missing breaking 4 minutes to win the 4x400 meter relay.
Girls 3200m Run - Mary Pace-Balzan (Nease) 11:28.18
Nease senior Mary Pace-Balzan has improved dramatically over the last year and even from last fall when she was struggling to break 21 minutes for 5K to now running consistently in the 11:20's for 3200 meters including an 11:28 win at the Bob Hayes Invitational against a quality field of competitors.