Florida Relays Friday Highlights

Octavious Freeman is a star

It's kind of funny... someone posted on the forum two days ago (as an April Fool's joke) that Octavious Freeman had set a new national high school record.  And the thing is... we all fell for it because it's not that much of a stretch!  This girl is just amazing.

Her time tonight of 10.51 would put give her the third fastest time in the nation this year... that is it would if she didn't already hold the top spot in the national 100m rankings with her 11.30 from Bob Hayes a few weeks ago. Tonight's performance was also wind legal with 1.4 to her back and she had over three tenths of a second over Kirsten Nieumendam of St. Thomas Aquinas (who is also having a heck of a year).

Race Video

Kayla Parker does it yet again

Not that it's any surprise at this point... actually Kayla Parker makes the magnificant seem ho hum--just because she does it so often!  But let us not forget just how amazing it really is.  Tonight--yet again--she took two golds.

Her first of the day came in the long jump where she was airborne for 18 feet before coming to rest and taking first place by an inch and a half over Natasha Stewart of Vero Beach.  The jumps tonight seemed a little on the short end for most, so it is a good guess the wind was to their face... but no wind readings were available.

A couple of hours later came Kayla's signature event, the 100 Hurdles.  After shaving a tenth of a second off of her personal best in the event last week at the FSU Relays, this week she decided she's knock more than twice that off of that 14.23.  With a very slight tail wind (just .5) she put herself into the fourth spot on the national rankings with a very impressive 13.96.  Great job, Kayla!

Race Video

Boys 100 Meter Showdown!  Lankford is new king

This is what a lot of people have been waiting to see!  It was a showdown of the state's fastest men.  Going in Michael Bellamy of Charlotte HS and Ryan Lankford of Paxon were tied for the state lead with 10.51... and (though he hadn't put up a big time yet this year) Joseph Byrd of Ida Baker is the top returner in the state from the 2009 season when he put up a 10.47.  It was time to crown the king (at least for now).

That crown now rests on the lead of Ryan Lankford.  The University of Illinois signee won with relative ease and his 10.41 is the fastest covered by a Floridian so far this season.  The only downside to the whole thing is with 2.5 wind, the time won't go down as wind legal... but still yet it is the third fastest all conditions time in the nation this season according to the national rankings.

Bellamy and Byrd duked it out for second place, with Bellamy getting the edge 10.57 to 10.59.  Lankford, following his whopping 25-1 a couple of weeks ago, also took second in the long jump.

Race Video

Fast 4x200s - Northwestern girls top state

Shannon Spence, Ravontranice Gage, Sandy Jean, and Tatianna Clark of Miami Northwestern took down their cross-town rivals from Miami Southridge by almost a second to win the Girls 4x200 in 1:38.68.  Both Northwestern and Southridge beat out the previous state best mark of 1:39.91 by Boyd Anderson.  Northwestern's time places them fourth in the nation this year, behind three teams from California .

On the boys side, Dwyer beat out Key West 1:28.05 to 1:28.46.  Those times put them a second and fourth in the state rankings this season.

Raenn Raisor throws big

The senior from Sarasota HS tossed two over 130 feet today in the discus, the best being a 134-01 that ranks her third in the state this seasonRaisor's previous best mark was 126-7, so to throw two well over the mark and add 8 feet to her PR is pretty impressive!

Justin Osking adds three feet to PR, still finishes third

Though potentially over-shadowed by some very good competitors that came in from Georgia and Maryland, Justin Osking of John Carroll had a great night!  The junior, who is also the quarterback for his high school football team (QB throws stuff.... thrower... I guess it makes sense!), added three feet to his previous personal best in a 56-even effort that went along with FOUR other throws that were at or around his previous 53-11 PR.  His other legal throws were 54-6, 53-7, 54-8, and 54-11!  Osking is now ranked second in the state behind Demetri Baker.  He was third tonight at the Florida Relays, behind Robert Harvey and Eli Mahley--both from Dacula HS in Georgia.

Let's also give shout outs to the other Floridians 50 feet or better... Hunter Joyner of Tampa Catholic, Garth Jobb of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dylan Gidado of Bolles, and Michael McCrimon of South Sumter.

Ebony Rose breaks through to next level

Talk about your breakout night!  Ebony Rose, a sophomore at Dr. Krop in Miami, went in with a 2:14.64 personal best from state last year and a 2:18.87 best on the year.  She really broke through to the next level with a big 2:12.14 tonight--over three and a half seconds over her her closest competition, senior Tianeisha Bogan of South Dade (2:15.70) and eight-grader Emily Edwards of Ft. Myers Canterbury (2:16.06).  That was also a big night for Bogan, who took almost four seconds off of her former 2:19 best.  Edwards came back later in the night for an 11:06 3200 to show her great range.

Rose is now at the #1 slot in Florida and third in the nation so far this year.

Ebony Rose interview with Bob Cooke

Race Video

Isaiah Smith wins the 800 in 1:52... wait... who?!

Don't take the heading the wrong way.  We want to give the utmost congrautions and propers to junior Isaiah Smith of Lake Weir.  It's just, you see, at least by our quite extensive records he has NEVER run an 800 meter race before!  Smith has previous personal bests of 48.57 in the 400m and ran a 17:37 on the grass last fall.  But how does a kid who has not even blipped the radar in an event jump all the way to the top of the list?  I have no clue, but he did it... and his 1:52.61 is over a second faster than Matt Bevil's previous state leading mark of 1:53.94 set just last week at FSU.

1:52.61 is a national class kind of time and puts him in elite company at #4 in the national rankings.  We definitely look forward to seeing Isaiah gain more experience at the two lap race and then we'll see what kind of times he can throw down!

Charlotte HS showed its stuff in this race as well.  Last week their boys set the national leading 4x800 mark of 7:47.  Today their two top studs junior Tyler Cardillo and sophomore Ryan Schnulle took second and third in 1:54.57 and 1:55.06, respectively.  Those were both season bests and put them fourth and sixth in the state.

Race Video

Shelby Hayes wins great 1600 race in season debut

With three girls breaking the previous state leading time, it should be obvious that this was a fantastic race!  Senior Shelby Hayes of Winter Park proved she did stay fit through injury!  In January she suffered a bad blister that resulted in an altered stride that injured her ITB.  She was unanable to run for almost two months and only resumed training two weeks ago.  (more about this and her treatment in her father's post on the forum)  So the question of course this week was could she really come back and be back into her old form by the end of the season?

The answer is apparently... YES!    Not only did she come back... and not only did she win... but the Foot Locker Finalist in cross country debuted with a new PR!   After really turning it on at the end of last year she ran a 4:55.11 at state and then a 4:56 at Golden South.  Well after tonight, on just two weeks of running, her new PR sits at 4:53.38!

Shelby finished almost four seconds ahead of superstar freshman Bridget Blake of Orlando Freedom (4:57.07) and super-silly senior Jana Stolting of Maclay (4:57.64).  Those times are both substantial PRs for both of those girls as well--the first time under the ellusive five minute mark for them!   Blake came back later on the night to finish fourth in the 3200 with another new PR of 11:00.02.

Rebecca Chandler of Bolles also had a good outing, shaving two seconds off of her personal best as well to finish in fourth with a time of 5:02.88.  The juniro has been having a really killer year.  A year ago her times were sitting in the 5:20s... and show she's already 20 seconds faster with half a season left!

Race Video

Shelby Hayes Interview with Bob Cooke

Someone, Someone, Someone, and NOVIAN MIDDLETON!

No disrepect to our beloved out-of-state guests, but, much like the discus, since this is a Florida-focused site we'll fast forward through the non-Floridians.  Credit where credit is due... Tyler Anyan and Carter Hewitt of Brookwood Ga came down and took care of business.  Anyan is the national leader at 3200m (8:57) and (after tonight) fifth in the national 1600 rankings.  The two seniors from Georgia went 1-2 in 4:12.43 and 4:12.50, respectively, with a big and well-coordinated move as a tandem at the end of the race.  Kyle Graves from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Maryland was third in 4:13.34 and now we can get to the good part...

Novian Middleton of Dr. Phillips, Phil Duncan of Boone, Erick Montoya of Estero, and Max Del Monte of Chamberlain all had fantastic nights!   If you watched this on the live webcast you'd know that this was a tight race.  The top seven runners hung tight and battled back and forth in a big pack.  Only during the last lap did the leaders start to make their move and even then it came down to the last 100.

Let's get this straight... this was a huge performance and personal bests for all of those guys.  Some more than others.  For Montoya, who will be running in this stadium for the Gators next year and who finished sixth in 4:14.55, it was a one second improvement over his previous best that actually came at the Florida Relays last year.  But for the others... well... wow.

We posted an interview with Phil Duncan just yesterday about his amazing 25 second PR in the 3200 last weekend at FSU.  So he goes and follows that up by bettering his 1600 best by 17 seconds!  Craziness... but congrats to Phil.  He ws fifth in 4:14.52 tonight.

And then there is sophomore Max del Monte of Chamberlain who is following his stellar breakthrough cross country season (15:38 PR) with a great year in track.  Fresh off his Western Conference National Division 3200 victory earlier this week, he cut four seconds off of his 4:20 last weekend at FSU to place seventh in 4:16.42 in this stacked field.

And finally... last but certainly not least, Novian Middleton.   Our new state leader finished in fourth place with a six and a half second new personal best time of 4:13.96.   He has battled back after an injury slowed him down in what was looking like a career year in the middle of cross country.   Relatively speaking he hasn't raced a whole lot of track meets, but when he has he has made it count.  Last week he knocked about 35 seconds off of his 3200 time in running a 9:15.  This week he was the pace pusher for most of this race and held on against his surging out of state rivals to overtake Colin Barker for the state's best 1600 time and a seven second PR over his state meet last year.

Race Video

Erika Fluehr picks herself up, finishes 1-2 with sister Kathryn

There was no doubt in anyone's mind last fall who Florida's top two female distance runners were.  Twin sisters Kathryn and Erika Fluehr of Community School of Naples spent the entire season undefeated by any Floridian, finishing 1-2 in every single in-state race they competed in.  Pretty impressive.

So far in track season they are setting that same pattern. The two juniors finished 1-2 tonight.  Kathryn wasted no time taking the lead and by 100 meters in she was already the clear leader.   But just a few strides later and sister Erika found herself from just behind Kathryn to dead last.  In the crowded heat of 23 bunched-up and eager athletes, Erika got tripped up in the pack and took a tumble.  She quickly bounced back up and quickly made up the ground (maybe a little too quickly?) and by the first lap split she was back in her familiar place tucked in with her sister for the lead. 

By 800 meters, the sisters plus Stephanie Schappert of Pope John Paul had gotten separation from the pack and by lap three they were the clear leaders.  Though they would spread out from there, the order would not change for the entire race and Kathryn's lead was pretty expansive over Erika and Schappert for the last half of the race.

Kathryn overtook her sister's previous #1 slot in the state rankings (a 10:34 three weeks ago) by winning handily in 10:32.49.  Erika hung on, despite expending so much energy early to catch up, for second in 10:43.24.  And Stephanie Schappert faded a bit to 10:55.54 for third place. 

Bridge Blake (second in the 1600) was 4th in 11:00.02 (ooo just missed it!) and Sinead Haughey from TN was fifth in 11:00.96.  Also coming in under 11:10 was Lily Williams of Chiles (11:05.05), Emily Edwards (11:06.66 after her third place in the 800), Nicole Carpio of Ransom Everglades (11:09.37), and Julie Wollrath of Holy Trinity (11:09.61... ran a really brave and agressive race).

Race Video

FloTrack Interview with the twins...


Other Highlights

- David Shepard of St. Thomas Aquinas was an inch off of his personal best of 15-1, which is second in the state.

- Argeo Curz of Immokalee beat out Griffin Jaworski of Trinity Prep 9:28.87 to 9:32.40.  That's a new PR for Cruz.

More Coverage

Friday Results, Heat Sheets, Schedule of Events, Articles, Coverage Index, etc....

Saturday Summary Article...

FloTrack Coverage with lots of race videos and interviews...

Live coverage by Doctor Bob is currently replaying on Distance Preps...

Gatorzone meet web site...