3A State Meet Highlights

Charlotte 4x800 Gets 'Er Done

The state meet showdown between the Charlotte and Ft. Walton Beach 4x800 teams had been hyped basically since day one of the season. They seemingly answered each other tit for tat with big performances. And just when it looked like Charlotte had become the clear favorite, Ft. Walton Beach anchor leg Matt Bevil dropped a 1:50 time in the 800 at region making things that much closer again.

The teams had slightly different strategies. Charlotte opted to run its best legs first and third, while Ft. Walton Beach did the complete opposite with its leaders second and fourth. The strategy worked precisely in the deeper Charlotte team's favor, as they wasted no time breaking open a big lead.

By the break point, Charlotte's Ryan Schunulle had already found his way to the front of the pack. And after his 1:52 opening leg they were firmly in the lead. Meanwhile, Ft. Walton Beach took the hand off in a close eight with Luc Lawrence taking the baton and he wasted no time picking through the pack. By the end of his leg he was in second position and had made up a sizable amount of ground.

Then it was Charlotte third leg Tyler Cardillo's turn and with a 1:52 split himself, he extended that lead that had shrunk to a modest gap into an insurmountable amount of padding of almost an entire straight. Even with Matt Bevil taking the baton last for Ft. Walton Beach it wasn't enough.

Charlotte finished with a season best and #4 all-time in Florida (#3 US) 7:44.44, six seconds back was Ft. Walton Beach with a time of 7:50.73--a new season best for them and second fastest in the state this year. It may not quite have been the battle we were hoping for, but it was none the less a great race for both.

Charlotte is planning to run again next week at the Holy Trinity All-Star Showdown, where they are hoping to get another shot at their goal of 7:37 (state record) or at least 7:40. In a sign of compassion for their fellow competitors, they also are motivated with the opportunity to help pace Bishop Kenny to that school record they so wanted last week.

Bevil's Revenge

Don't cry for Mr. Bevil too long. He avenged the loss 4x8 defeat for Ft. Walton Beach later in the night. He ran an absolutely brilliantly executed race. In what was one of the most packed and talented 800m fields in a long time, Bevil sat in the pack and waited for his time. With about 300 meters to go he started to make his move and came around the outside on the final turn to take the lead with 100 meters to go.

He fought to extend that lead and started to gain ground when who else but Charlotte's Tyler Cardillo started to come up on him and made it look like he might challenge. Bevil fought off the Cardillo surge and took the gold in 1:52.

Robin Reynolds: 3 for 4

Well she certainly tried for the perfect meet again! She started the day winning the long jump in 18-10. Followed that up with a big time of 11.79. Came back a short time later to beat Gelela Cooley by just .13 (54.03 to 54.16) in the 400. But then in the 200 meters, she cramped up and had to struggle in for last place in 27.47. Tough finish, but a great meet for Robin Reynolds... who had to fight through injuries early on in the season to even be competing at state.

Pine Forest Girls Sweep Relays, Rock in General

This does not happen often! In a true show of force, the girls women of Pine Forest kicked some serious behind! They started out the day beating known distance powerhouses Ft. Myers and Lakewood Ranch in the 4x800 with a time of 9:23.48. Thennnnn that evening they start off with a very impressive 47.02. And then end the meet by taking the 4x400 relatively easily with a 3:48.31 victory.

That's not even mentioning Darronesha Lott's 2:12 800 win or the multitude of other great individual performances. After all that, is it really any wonder that Pine Forest ended up holding the team trophy? Great job!

Eddie Lovett Fastest 110H Time in Nation, State Meet Record

Fast Eddie? We were really expecting a dual between Pablo Alvarez and Lovett in this race, but after Alvarez failed to qualify (either sandbagged purposefully or fell probably... sorry I haven't watched the interview yet and no time tonight!) it was all Eddie.

But that didn't seem to bother him one bit. Despite being in 110H relative terms a mile ahead of his nearest competition, Lovett ran a stunning 13.46 which is a new state meet record. And it also puts him in the national lead by a healthy margin (US #2 is now 13.60).


And Speaking of Pablo Alvarez...

He came back and made some noise of his own in the longer version of the hurdles. He sailed over the 300 meter hurdles for the victory and a time of 36.73 which is the new #4 in the nation.

Michael Bellamy, Ben McRoy in Dashes

So it was well expected that Michael Bellamy would be the man to beat in both the 100 and 200 tonight. And he proved that he was very worthy of that incoming hype. So when I was watching the twitter feed (like all us unlucky folks who weren't there) I was not surprised to see he had won the 100m in a time of 10.51.- A

Nor did it surprise me when later in the night I saw that Bellamy had run a would-be state leading time of 21.12. However, I was really shocked to see that Bellamy took silver with that time! And that a young man named Ben McRoy from Lakeland HS had beat him by going SUB-21 with a US #5 time of 20.93! I must admit i did not know his name before tonight.... but we sure do now. He improved on his previous best of 21.43 (at least according to our records) by cutting a full half second off of his time and now becoming one of the nation's best. What lucky college has signed him??

Other Highlights...

- Terrence "T-Rex" Mitchell wins long jump 23-3 and is third in 100m 10.74

- Charlie Tidwell wins shot put in 56-0

- Gelela Cooley really deserves more credit... she won two silvers tonight and that 400 time just being edged out by Robin Reynolds is especially noteworthy (54.16). Great job and PR for her!

- Abanthy goes 42.85 in the Girls 300H Prelims and then is leading the finals to a great time when she trips over the last hurdle and finsihes last in her heat. Not sure what her time would have been, but the state champion was Johna Whitaker in 43.00

- Belen Jesuit boys 4x100 (featuring Pablo Alvarez) wins easily in 41.18

- Miami Norland boys 4x400 team wins in 3:14.93, Ft. Watlon Beach second in 3:15.54

- Plebert wins girls shot in 41-1.75

Meet Coverage

Meet Coverage Index: Results, Photos, Videos, Articles, etc. Thousands of photos will be up by noonish and more uploaded throughout the weekend. Jeff Adams and Rese Ammons are shooting for us.

Video Interviews : Uploading throughout the weekend... dozens by the time all is said and done. Thanks to Todd Grasley, Olivia Papa, and Chris Dotson on those.

Race Videos: Our friends at FloTrack partnered with us and focused on getting race videos of almost every single race, while we focused on the interviews. Check them out! All already uploaded. Great job, Mr. Ryan Fenton!