George Steinbrenner: Because Jacksonville Can't Have All the Fun


With all of the fast times going on up there in Jacksonville at the Bob Hayes Classic, let's not forget the excellent goings-on in Tampa. At the George Steinbreener Invitational, with over 2000 athletes entered, there were some great performances. The to best of the day were Tynia Gaither who bettered Octavious Freeman for the new US #1 200 time of 23.17 (to go with a 11.5 100) and Robin Reynolds of Miami Jackson with a US #1 54.21 in the 400.


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Gaither Get Three Golds

Not a bad day for Tynia Gaither and her teammates! "Tiny" opened the finals with an 11.54 (which followed an 11.86 in the prlims) to win round one against Robin Reynolds of Miami Jackson (11.90). That puts the Kissimmee Osceola senior as #2 in the state and #2 in the country at that event.


Next up was the 4x100 relay where Tynia lead off and legs of Jodiann Crooks, Jameshia Gant, and Atarah Clark took Osceola to a US #4 (Florida #3) 47.13 that was about a second better than second place Evans (48.06).


In round two versus Robin Reynolds, Tynia left little doubt. She flew to a US #1 time of 23.17 that was .25 faster than Octavious Freeman was running about the same time in Jacksonville. That is a huge PR for Gaither and followed a 24.13 in the prelims.  Reynods was again second with a distant 24.29. There was unfortunately no wind guage to measure the tail wind which reportedly may have been closed to the legal limit.

Reynolds at her Signature Event

Robin Reynolds may have fallen in her two bouts against Gaither, but that was in Gaither's comfort zone. In Reynold's signature event, she is still queen. With little rest after the 100 meter duel, Reynolds roared back and bettered her own US #1 time to a new season best mark of 54.21.  11.90-24.29-54.21 is not a bad triple any day of the week!

Max del Monte Lays in Wait (Again)... Charlotte Boys Ready to Bust Out on 4x1600

Max del Monte of Chamberlain is making a habit this year of sitting back and letting others set the pace and then making them pay the last lap. Just ask JL Hines about that 61 second last lap del Monte dropped on him at the Primetime 5000. Well, he did it again.  This time in the 1600. Not hating on the strategy, Max, you can't argue with success!


In a rather conservative race considering the all-star cast (minus Tayler Cardillo who ran the 3200 instead this week), Ryan Schnulle of Charlotte was the pace setter and lead for three laps. As mentioned above, Del Monte went for it with one to go and zoomed past the Charlotte junior.  Schnulle for his part didn't let Del Monte get too far, sticking within a half a second. Del Monte's winning time was 4:18.47 to 4:18.99 for Schnulle.


The good news for Charlotte? That is a 12 second 1600 personal best for Schnulle--his previous best being his 4:30 4x1600 split at Primetime. The better news for Charlotte? Bryan Hilgar was in third place just a couple ticks back in 4:20.66... a seven second PR for the senior (again better than the Primetime relay split).


That means really really good things for their hopes at the 4x1600/4xMile state record. At Primetime they were one second (actually .99) off of the strictly 4x1600 state record (17:42)... including the 4xMile times though they have a bit higher task with the 1980 Largo team setting the bar at 4:23.29 (converted from a 4:29.37 4xMile). So let's do some theoretical math for Florida Relays...


Tyler Cardillo 4:10, Ryan Schnulle 4:18, Bryan Hilgar 4:20, Anthony Borrego 4:27 = 17:15.


Now those times are pretty ideal everyone running their peak performance, but I think they are all pretty realistic of where those athletes are right now.  But even so... that is 8 second leaway and Coach Brent Haley's 1980 team's record might be in trouble!

Kelli Williams' New PR

Mitchell senior Kelli Williams has been quietly having a really good season. She did it again this week with a four second PR to win the 1600 in 5:07 over some top-flight competitors including Alexis Irwin of Osceola (5:10), Grace VanDeGrift of Durant (5:11), Caroline Gibson of Plant (5:13), and Amber Brooks of Middleton (5:14).


Williams came back and tried to give freshman Emily Edwards of Canterbury a run for her money in the 800. Edwards fought her off, winning in 2:18, but it was a nice double for Williams who finished second in 2:20.


More Girls Highlights

  • Ashley Favors of Riverview continued her excellent season with a US #7 time of 14.27 in the 100 Hurdles.  That is .29 better than her previous best last week at the Kowboy Invitaitonal.
  • Naricka Williams of Hillsborough upset national leader Victoria Abnathy of George Jenkins in the 300 Hurdles with a 44.67 victory over Abnathy's 45.33.
  •  The Lake Mary girls 4x400 relay team, lead by the Perrin twins (Ashley and Alexis), won by a six second margin to a Florida #2 time of 3:54.65. Ashley also ran a 57.87 in the open 400, while Alexis clocked a 2:22 in the 800.
  • Sophomore Olivia Ortiz of Lakewood Ranch won easily in the 3200 with a 11:21, over fellow soph Julia Rodriguez of Plant's 11:42. Ortiz also helped by anchoring her 4x800 team with Devin McDermott, Kristin Zarrella, and Ashley Platt to a time of 9:36.79 that bettered their own state leading mark.
  • Tikiera Relaford of Brooksville Central broke the five-way tie for the state lead in the girls high jump by clearing 5-8 to take the sole position at the top of the Florida rankings prodium. That is US #3.
  • Freshman Erica Sergeant of Lake Mary cleared 11-4 for the second best height in Florida this year.
  • Raqurra Ishmar of Brooksville Central maintained her state lead in the shot put with a 42-8.5 win keeping her just out in front and PRing by six inches.

More Boys Highlights

  • Defario Phillips, senior at Osceola, improved his season best .05 with a 10.64 100 meter victory to move him to up to #8 in the state.
  • Brandon Holloway of Alonso got a step on Benjamin Knauf of Santa Fe Catholic for the 200 win 21.47 to 21.54... Florida #4.
  • Otniel Teixeira of Lake Brantley moved up to #3 800m in the state with his 1:55.10 win in a close one over Ricy Brown of Countryside (1:55.92).
  • Tyler Cardillo of Charlotte lead the entire race of the 3200. Toward the end though it looked like a charging Santiago Zerga of Coral Gladesmight try to swipe the victory. Cardillo held him off and won 9:33.99 to 9:35.61. Alex Foss of George Jenkins was third in 9:40.29. 13 runners total went sub-10.


  • Hunter Joyer (Wesley Chape) won the shot put with a 59-03.25 for a US#8
  • George M Steinbrenner High won the boys 4x800 meter relay in 8:01.85 for a US#3.