Warrior of the Year: Williams, Arroyo Win Fan Vote

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We picked the boys and girls five finalists and put it up to your vote via Facebook. Who would be the Warriors of the Year for the 2012 track season?

Your votes overwhelmingly picked Andres Arroyo on the boys side with 77% of the vote. On the girls it was much closer with Lily Williams eeking out the last minute win over star pole vaulter Erica Sergeant of Lake Mary 42% to 38% of the 267 votes.

Wiliams and Arroyo athletes have had stellar seasons, dominating their distance events. Lily Williams, the recent Chiles graduate and soon-to-be Vanderbilt University athlete, is nationally ranked and leads the state in both the 1600 (4:44.49) and 3200 (10:30) and ranked third in the state in the 800 (2:11.22). That 1600 time was a 4:46.15 for the full mile at Golden South, earning her #2 on the all-time list in Florida and a "golden ticket" to this weekend's Dream Mile in New York City where she will face off against the top milers in the country. She is currently ranked 7th nationally in that event and with this weekend's competition may have a shot to take down the all-time record of Shelby Hayes (4:43.00). Hayes herself set that record two years ago at the Dream Mile, where she finished second by dropping 8 seconds from her previous best. Can the competition bring out a similar result for Lily??

Williams also joined elite company at the state meet last month when she won all three distance events, an extremely difficult feat that hadn't been accomplished since the early 80s, and she did so with superlative times that were each national level in their own right. In the fall season she won the state title in cross and qualified for Foot Locker Nationals, where she met several elite professional women who were Vanderbilt alums... and probably had a little something to do with her ultimate college choice!

Colonial junior Andres Arroyo for his part has shown himself to be the premier distance runner in the state this year by going undefeated at any distance including a big time 4:11-9:10 double at the FSU Relays and a 1:51 800m victory at the Florida Relays. He leads the state with a 9:10.37 3200, 4:10.24 1600 (converted from Mile), and a 1:51.04 800m for really really impressive range (and reportedly even split 49 seconds in an 800 to show his single lap speed!). To cap it all off, his Colonial team is the state leader in the 4x800 with a 7:40.15 in no small part due to his anchor leg which was routinely closed in the 1:50-1:53 range.

At the state meet this year, Arroyo pulled off the relatively rare triple by pulling three golds in the 4x800 in the morning and then the difficult 1600-3200 double. He went 7:40, 4:14, and 9:20 in those efforts. He then won the Golden South Classic in 4:11.70 for the full mile, narrowly missing the 4:10 qualifying standard for the Dream Mile and ranking him #17 on the all-time Florida HS 1600/Mile list. This past weekend he won the 800 and 1500 at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitaitonal and he plans to represent his native Puerto Rico in international meets this summer.

During the fall season, Arroyo broke the 15-minute barrier and won a state championship individually, where his team also won the school's first ever team championship (in any sport)!


Congrats to Andres, Lily, the other finalists, and all of our Warriors of the Week this season! See you in cross!!