4A State Meet HQ: STA Gets 5th Straight, BA Gets 1st State Title

On-Site Coverage

Our coverage team will be on-site both Friday and Saturday. Here is the crew this week: Todd Grasley, Jeff Adams, Mike Leary, Chris Sumner, Alex Bermudez, and Connor Bussiere.


Girls 4X800: Close Race Between Plant, Ferguson for US top 10 times; St. Thomas runs US #5, is DQ'd

This weekend’s 4X800 relays have been a treat. Many national top tens have gone down. A three-way battle between Ferguson, Plant and St. Thomas Aquinas raged in the second heat of the girl’s relay.

Boyd Anderson jumped out to an early lead with Aquinas and Wharton High in tow. Aquinas made the first exchange with a 2:17 split. After the second exchange, Aquinas led, closely followed by Ferguson and Plant. Plant had the lead going into the final exchange, but it would be Ferguson High, from Miami, taking home the gold medal. Natalie Concepcion, the senior for Ferguson, brought home the W. Ferguson would bring down the US #4 time in 9:08.41, barely edging out St. Thomas Aquinas (9:08.46) at the line. Plant finished third in 9:10.16, a US #7 time. However, it was deemed that St. Thomas committed an exchange zone interference violation, and they were disqualified. So, after an exciting race, Ferguson takes US #4, Plant US #6.

Boys 4X800: Lake Brantley's Teixeira Can't Catch Arroyo, Colonial wins in US #2 7:40.15

The storyline of the boy’s 4X800 relay had two major underlying components. First, there was the expected battle between Colonial and Lake Brantley, who’s region times were a mere .07 seconds apart. The second part was expected to be an individual battle between Colonial’s standout junior Andres Arroyo, and Lake Brantley’s super senior Otniel Teixeira. However, Winter Park High School had plans of their own to play spoiler.

Park Vista was out hard early, but it would be Winter Park making the first exchange in 1:56, charging hard down the homestretch with Colonial and LB on their heels. On the second leg, Raul Ramirez of Colonial looked to be in trouble, getting boxed in on the rail, but quickly moved to the outside recovering. Going into the final exchange, Arroyo found himself out front with Otniel Teixeira and Winter Park’s Billy Anguish attempting to come from behind. Arroyo came through the bell lap in 6:43, and it was clear that there were fast times to be had for all three teams. Arroyo’s lead proved to be too much, and they would take the win in a US #2, while Brantley finished in 7:41.49 (US #3) and Winter Park rounded out the top three in 7:42.47 (US #4).


Bracy Repeats 100 meter victory, tweaks hamstring

As soon as the gun went off, there was no doubt that he would win the race. The only question that existed was what time would he run. However, at what cost did the win come? Bracy strode across the line in some discomfort and has reported a hamstring issue. 60 meters into the race, he began to feel the tightness creep in. He said he wasn’t sure if he would be ready to run the 200, but answered with “We’ll find out.” Coach Josh Shearhouse says he hopes the hamstring issue is just a cramp.The issue is not related to the right hamstring injury that kept Bracy out for much of the year. The plan going forward will be to ice the hamstring, receive massage treatment, and hope for the best. Bracy will start the 200 and pull off if necessary.


Field event recap: West Oranges' Freeman and Royal Palm Beach's McCullough grab LJ gold; Flanagan's Davis throws 170-04 to win discus


DerRenae Freeman of West Orange started the day strong, winning the girls long jump with a leap of 19-04. Freeman, a signee to Florida State, is also competing in the 100 and 200 finals. On the boys side, Tremaine McCullough of Royal Palm Beach High won the long jump, hitting a mark of 23-03.25, making him one of three athletes to jump 23 feet or further on the day.


Apopka’s Laila Foster, who hit a regional triple jump mark of 36-02, bested that distance by almost a full two feet, propelling her to glory. From the first flight of the girls triple jump, Foster bested Miami Southridge’s DiShondria McCoo by three inches, reaching a mark of 39-04. She also scored three points for Apopka by placing sixth in the long jump.


Miriam Pierre, a senior at Santaluces High School, notched one of the dominant field performances on the day, winning the shot put by nearly five feet. Her toss of 43-06.50 was good enough to win the senior a gold medal in the final competition of her high school career. Another senior, Flanagan’s discus thrower Leighton Davis, hit a mark of 170-04 to secure his gold medal. Davis also competed in the shot put.


Other field event winners:


Boys triple jump: Jp Friday, Colonial 47-11

Boys shot put: Derrick Calloway, Manatee 54-02

Girls pole vault: Erica Sergeant, Lake Mary 12-00

Boys pole vault: Nicolas Shepherd, St. Thomas Aquinas 14-00

Boys high jump: Yephnick Adelphonse, Park Vista 6-05


The Finals: Hall, Sanders, Blake, Arroyo shine in final meet of FHSAA season


Shayla Sanders: Senior sprinter ends career with three golds

Good sprinters in Florida seem to be so common that picking out one overwhelmingly dominant athlete can often be tough. The 4A State Finals, however, was an exception. Boyd Anderson senior Shayla Sanders was nothing but stunning to watch on the track, picking up three gold medals to close out her senior season. The Gators’ signee was the top seed in the 100 and 200, as well as a member of the top-seeded Boyd Anderson 4x100 relay team. She would not disappoint.

After running 11.94 (100) and 24.34 (200) in relaxed fashion, Sanders put on a show in the finals. She crossed the finish line in the 100 with a time of 11.63, followed by teammate Kali White-Davis who placed second at 11.88. The 4x100 was won convincingly by Sanders’ relay team; her anchor leg brought the team to a time of 45.71. Not content with two medals, Sanders won the 200 in a time of 23.64, with White-Davis in second. What a day to finish of a phenomenal career.


Andres Arroyo shows experience, speed in triple gold effort

Much should be said of Colonial junior Andres Arroyo’s state track meet campaign. Really though, all that can really be said is wow. Arroyo proved today why he is the dominant figure in Florida distance running this year. After a sensational cross country season that saw him hit 14:40 and secure a state title, many had to wonder what he would do on the track. All he did before today was run 4:11 for 1600 and 9:10 for 3200 at the FSU Relays, 1:51.04 at the Florida Relays, and go undefeated at any distance all season. No big deal.

The boys 4X800 relay was supposed to be a battle between Colonial and Lake Brantley. Winter Park decided to join the party and attempt to play spoiler for the two top teams in the state, and ran admirably. However, Arroyo was given too large a lead going into the anchor leg of the relay, and would not let it go. His anchor leg not only brought Colonial their first state champion of the day, but also made them the second rated relay team in the country with a time of 7:40.15.

In the 1600, Anderson Charles of John I. Leonard ran hard in front, pushing the pace in his best attempt to upset the top seeded junior, but would have no such success. Showing his tact and speed, Arroyo was content to sit on Charles’ shoulder until the last 120 meters, when he kicked into another gear, winning in 4:14.06. The 3200 would yield a similar result; this time, Bucholz’s Chris Godwin was the victim. Columbus’s Manny Garcia took the race out hard by himself, while Godwin and Arroyo sat comfortably reeling him in. The two ran neck and neck until the final 150 meters, when Arroyo decided it was again time to put the proverbial hammer down. He finished four seconds ahead of Godwin, all of which was done in the last 120 meters of the race. This was a night that will undoubtedly be engrained in the minds of track and field fans for quite some time. And let’s not forget, he has one more year.


Bridget Blake repeats 2011 State finals, winning 1600 and 3200

The 4A State Championship of 2012 was eerily similar to 2011’s installment for Bridget Blake. In both races, she flexed her superior strength, running alone in the second half of the race. In both cases, she left no doubts that she was this meet’s distance queen.

In the 1600, a pack of runners came through the first lap in 73 seconds, an honest pace. At 800, Blake was 2:30, closely followed by Mandarin’s Mary Kate Ponder and Hagerty’s Amy Ankli. However, with 500 meters to go, the lead had increased to 15 meters, and it was clear she would not be denied her first gold medal of the day. She finished with a lead of 40 meters, in a time of 4:58.55. Gold number one, check.

With darkness fallen on Jacksonville, Blake toed the line for the 3200, knowing that every athlete lined up alongside of her was hoping to take her shot at upsetting the favorite. She would have none of it. Running with several athletes in tow, Blake crossed 1600 meters in 5:30, smoothly striding down the track. With every lap, it became clear that, again, Blake would be victorious. With 800 meters to go, Blake had opened up a 40-meter lead that would not be close. She won her second goal of the night in 10:57.35.


Arman Hall leaves no doubt in senior state campaign

Coming into the 2012 State Finals, Arman Hall of St. Thomas Aquinas had plenty to live up to. Rated the US #2 quarter miler and the #10 200 runner, and a member of #8 rated 4X400 relay, the senior Gator-to-be was bound to have a big day. Hall, running in his last high school meet, finished out with three gold medals.

Running well in the prelims, he easily qualified for the finals in both individual events. With a time of 47.08, he claimed his top spot on the podium in the boys 400. He was not such a sure bet in the 200 meters, as he should have had to compete with senior Boone standout Marvin Bracy.

However, due to an injury suffered earlier in the meet, Bracy was unable to go, and Hall looked to be the favorite. Again, with the signature power and grace he brings to Florida sprinting, Hall won the 200 in a time of 21.16.

The 4X400 relay looked to shape up as a battle between St. Thomas, Lake Brantley and Park Vista. Dr. Krop, however, had wreaked havoc on this, running tough to the very end. However, it would be Aquinas finishing first with a US #4 time of 3:14.46. Hall, passing Lake Brantley in the first 100-meter stretch, would not look back. The stadium lights at UNF gleaming on Hall’s three gold medals and team title seem a fitting finale to Arman Hall’s outstanding high school career.

Other finals winners:

  • Girls 100 hurdles: Daeshon Gordon, Boyd Anderson 14.37
  • Boys 110 & 300 hurdles: Kimlon Dillon, Apopka 13.93/36.88
  • Boys 100-meter dash: Marvin Bracey, Boone 10.52
  • Boys 4X100 relay: Apopka 40.69
  • Girls 400: Kendall Ellis, St. Thomas Aquinas 53.22
  • Girls 300 hurdles: Rayeisha Lowe Chin, Apopka 42.55
  • Girls 800: Natalie Concepcion, Ferguson 2:13.79
  • Boys 800: Otniel Teixeira, Lake Brantley 1:51.43
  • Girls 4X400: St. Thomas Aquinas 3:47.67


Winner's Table

  • Ferguson girls win 4X800 relay with a US #4 time of 9:08.41. Plant runs US #6; St. Thomas Aquinas, DQ'd, would have been US #5.
  • Colonial wins boy's 4X800 with US #2 time of 7:40.15. Lake Brantley runs US #3 in 7:41.49, Winter Park US #4 in 7:42.47.
  • West Orange senior DerRenae Freeman, an FSU signee, wins the girls long jump with a leap of 19-04.
  • Tremaine McCullough of Royal Palm Beach won the boys long jump in 23-03.25. Three athletes hit a mark of 23 feet or greater.
  • Santaluces senior Miriam Pierre wins the girls shot put with a toss of 43-06.5, beating second place by nearly five feet.
  • Flanagan senior Leighton Davis wins the boys discus with mark of 170-04.
  • Erica Sergeant wins girls pole vault at height of 12-00.00
  • Prelims: Joseph McClary of St. Thomas runs US #7 110-hurdles in 13.98, Pitt of Dwyer runs US #8 in 14.05. Bracy looks easy running 10.68.
  • Laila Foster wins the girls triple jump, reaching a mark of 38-01.
  • Derrick Calloway, a junior from Manatee High, wins the boys shot put with a throw of 54-02.
  • Jp Friday of Colonial finishes his senior year with gold in the boys triple jump, 47-11.
  • Faith Woodard of Riverview wins the girls high jump at 5-08.
  • Senior Monique Griffiths of Nova wins the girls discus at a mark of 140-05.
  • Daeshon Gordon of boyd Anderson wins the girls 100 hurdles in a time of 14.37.
  • Kimlon Dillon, a senior from Apopka, wins the 110 hurdles ina time of 13.93, beating out Moriel Pitt of Dwyer High by .01.
  • Senior sprint sensation Shayla Sanders wins the girls 100 dash in a time of 11.63.
  • Marvin Bracy of Boone wins the boys 100 in 10.52.
  • Bridget Blake dominates to win the girls 1600 in 4:58.55.
  • Andres Arroyo wins his second gold of the day, winning the boys 1600 in a time of 4:14.05.
  • The girls 4X100 relay is claimed by Boyd Anderson High with a time of 45.71.
  • Apopka High wins the boys 4X100 relay with a time of 40.69.
  • Kendall Ellis, a sophomore from St. Thomas Aquinas, wins the girls 400 in a time of 53.22.
  • Arman Hall makes the 400 dash a sweep for Aquinas, running 47.08 to take gold.
  • Rayesiha Lowe Chin of Apopka wins the girls 300 hurdles in 42.55.
  • Kimlon Dillon, also of Apopka, completes his hurdle double with a 300 hurdle victory in 36.88.
  • Senior Natalie Concepcion of Ferguson wins second gold in girls 800 with a time of 2:13.79.
  • Lake Brantley senior Otniel Teixeira wins the boys 800 in 1:51.43, ending his excellent high school career with hardware.
  • Shayla Sanders finishes her senior campaign with a win in the girls 200 in a time of 23.64, her third gold medal of the day. Teammate Kali Davis-White finishes second in 23.88.
  • Arman Hall finishes with double gold, winning the boys 200 in 21.16.
  • Bridget Blake is dominant, winning the girls 3200 with a time of 10:57.35.
  • Andres Arroyo of Colonial wins gold number three on the day in the boys 3200, finishing in 9:20.52.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas wins the girls 4X400 in a time of 3:47.67.
  • St. Thomas boy's team also wins the 4X400 relay in a US #4 time of 3:14.46.
  • Boyd Anderson wins girls team title with 78 points. St. Thomas Aquinas, riding 4X400 win, with 79 points.

Elite Performances


Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Third Party Coverage