This past weekend, many Floridians made the trip out to Landover, Maryland for the Nike Indoor National track meet. Few were disappointed with the results as 8 athletes were named All-Americans, after placing 6th or better in their event. The rest of us came away with a great experience, and some good times. We were well represented in the field, sprints, distances, and relays. The boys from Tampa Jesuit proved there more then just a good cross country team with a strong 7th place finish in the 4x1mile Relay just missing All-American by less then 3 seconds. Individually, they put on a show as well with Connor Revord placing 5th in the Freshman mile, James Osborne running a 9:23 two mile out of the slow section, and fellow senior Mike Akins running the fastest 800 time of the morning (1:57.00) and placing 8th overall. It was obvious they had some tired legs Sunday night, as they ran 8:14 in the 4x8 and placed 17th out of 37. Orlando Evans brought up some key members of their state championship team in Terry Charles, Marcus Postell, Samdi Fraser, and newcomer Chris Ward. Postell posted the fastest preliminary time in the 60m dash in the preliminary round, but false-started in the semi-finals. Ward and Fraser picked up All-American certificates in the 200 and 400, respectively. Charles had a nice performance in the 800 as well with a 1:58.46. Ryan Courtoy ran a bold race, was with the lead pack for most of the way, and placed 11th in the boy's mile. Justin Harbor put on the best show of all the FL boys with a second place finish in the mile (see: interview below). The Episcopal Girls Team got things started on the girls side on Saturday placing 7th in the 4x1mile like Jesuit missing All-American by less then 2 seconds despite having their second leg coughing and sneezing all weekend and running 20 seconds off her PR. Later that night they would run a 12:55 DMR in what proved to be a loaded field. Day 2 began with Cypress Bay Sophomore sensation Emilie Amaro running a 10:47 in the slow section, blowing away her field. She would later complete a tough double by running the mile in the second fastest heat. Kelly Parrish placed 5th in the 2 mile off what started as a hot pace. Teammate Tori Lawson placed 11th in the freshman mile and came away with a PR of the smallest of margins (.76 sec). In the field events, Daisy Glasser soared to an 8th place finish in the pole vault, vaulting 11-07. High Jumper Dina Emde of Pope John Paul tied for 13th place in the high jump (5-03). Also, Neidra Convington of Boca Ciega picked up two All-American certificates by winning the triple jump national title and placing 3rd in the long jump. In the end however, the show was stole by Tennesee-Bound Atlantic-Delray Senior Jackie Areson. Areson patiently waited to make her move during the 8 lap race and struck with a vengeance dropping a 33 second last lap to win by just over a second. For not having an indoor season down here in Florida, I think it's safe to say we can hang with the rest of the nation of the national stage. Now let the real season begin!
Episcopal Girls DMR: 3:56, 63, 2:36, 5:20
Episcopal Girls 4x1 Mile: 516, 548, 534, 520
Jesuit 4x1 Mile: 432, 443, 440, 4:26
Justin Harbor-Mile: 34 1st 200m, 1:06.2-400m,1:37.6-600m, 2:10.3-800m
2:41.7-1000m, 3:13-1200m, 3:44.6-1400m, 4:15.6-mile.
Jackie Areson-Mile: 37 1st 200, 73-400m, 1:50-600m, 2:26.05-800m, 3:02.49-1000m, 3:40.17-1200m, 4:16.42-1400m, 4:50.13-mile.
Post-Race Interviews w/ Milers Justin Harbor and Jackie Areson
Justin Harbor, Flagler Palm Coast Senior, 2nd in the Boy's Mile (4:15.66).
TG: Second best miler in the nation, not too shabby. Can you run us through your race a little bit?
JH: Sure. We get out like bumper cars and get out really slow. I think was like 34 for the first 200. We gradually begin to increase the pace a little bit. Ben White took to the lead. He's a strong front runner like that. Ryan Courtoy was in front of me and I was sitting in third for a while. With 3 laps to go I jockeyed around him and went after Ben. I was catching up to him and it came bell lap and I swung around him. I just tried to kick for home and then on the last straightaway Taye (Ayalew) kind of came neck and neck with me and eventually just edged me out.
TG: That's pretty intense. What was your plan going into the race?
JH: Just have fun. It's my first indoor season ever. So I just wanted to get in there and have some fun. Think positive. I just prayed about it and I was ready to go.
TG: What can we expect from Justin Harbor the rest of the season?
JH: You can expect sub 4:05. I really want to get low 4's for a full mile. You can expect sub 3:45 for the 1500, and possibly sub 1:52 for the 800. O and off course "sub 9." (with a grin)
TG: O of course. "Sub 9" That's every guy's dream. So can we expect a deep post-season? Junior Olympics maybe?
JH: Ya, definitely. I'm going to run NON. My friend from Ireland just called me and wants me to come out there for a 1500. Also, Tom Lancashire (FSU Miler) said he could get me into a race in Manchester in the UK. So I'm going to run two fast 1500's before Junior Nationals.
TG: So people have been saying that "Justin Harbor doesn't show up on the national stage." How does it feel to prove them wrong today?
JH: Ya well people will always have stuff to say because I didn't win. You can be perfect and someone will always find a reason not to like you or say something bad. I got out there and did my best. I'm finally an All-American and I didn't do what happened at footlocker like everybody was saying. If you're gonna say stuff, say it to my face.
TG: Well, I hope the rest of the way goes smoothly.
JH: Ya man, it's my senior year so I just want to enjoy myself. I trust my training and believe I can run the times I want to run.
TG: Best of luck the rest of the way and thanks for your time.
JH: No problem, I appreciate the interview Tyrone.
Jackie Areson, Atlantic-Delray Beach Senior, winner of the girl's mile (4:50.12).
TG: That was an amazing kick at the end there. Can you run us through your race?
JA: Well I knew what splits I wanted to roughly come through, but right at the start I knew I didn't want to lead. It went out pretty slow the first 200 (37) which made it hard for me to sit back there behind Lindsay (Ferguson) and Colleen with Bria (Wetsch) way out front. I sort of just wanted to see how the first couple laps unfolded until I made a move. Then a few laps later it was just Colleen and I just running side by side. I just focused on staying with her and didn't even think about Bria until the 1200 when I realized that I wasn't tired at all and new I needed to do something fast before I ran out of time. I tried to pass colleen a few times between 1200m and 1400m but she wouldn't let me so with 200 to go I figured I just had to bust it out and go for Bria. The next thing I know is there was 100 left and I knew I was going to win. It was just an amazing feeling to win abut most of all to finish as strong as I did the last 400 and especially the 200, (69 and 33) and not feel too tired
TG: Wow that sounds incredible. Are you going to out to Arcadia or any other big races before the state series?
JA: I won't be going out to Arcadia but my next big race is the 5k at FSU relays and then the Mobile Meet of Champions the week after that.
TG: Nice. What will you be running there?
JA: I'm still not sure yet. Most likely it will be 2 events
TG: Now that you're a volunteer and all, have you gone out on a shopping spree and bought a bunch of Tennessee gear?
JA: Haha of course, but I still don't have as much as I would like, plus there's the fact that I now have get used to wearing Adidas instead of Nike.
TG: Ouch, that kind of takes a bite out of your wardrobe doesn't it?
JA: Oh it definitely does, but no problem, by the time school comes around I will be all set. Plus we get quite few clothes when we get there.
TG: Sounds like any girls dream haha. Will you be running the 800 at state again this year? You know, you could be one of only a few girls to ever win an event in 3 different classifications!
JA: Haha ya, that'd be pretty cool, but I still have no idea what I will be running at state. I may just focus on one fast race or I may go for all 3. I'll probably end up changing my mind quite a few times until districts come around. So I'll decide then and let you know.
TG: Sounds good to me. Well, best of the luck the rest of the season. Go Volunteers!
JA: Lady Volunteers!
TG: Haha, right right.