The 3A state finals look to be action packed with a star studded field in every event. Ricky Quintana give us an inside look at all the action.
Nearly every week since the start of the outdoor season Floridians have made an appearance on the National Performer of the Week poll. This week is no exception after a spectacular week of running at the FHSAA State Finals St. Thomas Aquinas senior Kendall Ellis and Leon junior Sukhi Khosla have once again made the list. American High School junior Ari Cogdell won the honor for his performance last week at the 4A Region 4 meet, tallying over 300 votes!
There was a storyline Saturday that might have flown under most people's radar. It was that of Lecanto senior Matt Giardino and Vanguard junior Joey Gibbs. Lecanto and Gibbs are the only adaptive athletes on their team, thus the team titles rested with the outcomes of the head-to-head, individual competition. In 2013, Giardino won the shot put, going 23-2 and Gibbs was third at 10-8.75. Giardino won the 800m last year in 2:53.30 to Gibbs' second place finish in 3:11.35. Gibbs won the 200m by the narrowest of margins, 38.304 to Giardino's 38.308. Giardino scored 28 for the Lecanto team and Gibbs racked up 24.
The Saint Thomas Aquinas sprinting tandem of senior Kendall Ellis and junior Krystal Sparling is a powerful one indeed. The girls led the Raiders to their 10th team title. Along the way, Ellis only reset her own national mark in the 400m, a 52.95 and became just the eighth female high school athlete to win the 400m four years in a row. She also anchored the state champion 4x400m relay. That relay also owns the fastest time in the nation, a 3:38.26 from the Texas Relays in March. Their 3:41.01 was nothing to sneeze at either.
After a tremendous showdown at the regional championship, Suhki Khosla and Nick Morken gave us a stellar rematch at the 3A State Championship on Saturday evening the the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Leon junior Sukhi Khosla (pictured above by Donald Lamb) had previously held the US #1 time in the 1600 meter run for a short period of time over a week ago when ran a 4:06.45 PR at his regional meet in Florida, but then found out that Garrett Corcoran had just beat his time later on the same day at the Orange County Championships with a 4:06.00 performance. Despite racing on a water-logged track at the University of North Florida after a rain-soaked Florida Outdoor State finals for two days in Jacksonville, Kholsa was able to outperform his regional race and best Corcoran's time to take back the US lead in the event with a 4:05.96 victory in the 3A state race.
Miami Northwestern girls wallopped the competition, scoring 154 points and became the winningest team in state history. Their boys almost made it a sweep, but Chiles hung in there tight and pulled out the 38-35 upset.
St. Thomas Aquinas showed why they are considered the best track program in the state. Their boys and girls quickly separated from their closest rivals almost as soon as the finals began.
Despite bad and wet weather for the second year in a row for the Florida State Outdoor Championship meets, one of the nation's very best states in high school track & field still managed to prove just why its consider that with outstanding performances being produced in match-ups to determine the state's champions for the 2014 outdoor season. The two most notable US #1 times to come out of Saturday's finals in Jacksonville included a 52.95 clocking in the girls 400 from St. Thomas Aquinas senior Kendall Ellis, while Sukhi Khosla of Leon ran one of the fastest times ever in his state's history at the 1600 meter distance in recording a new US #1 time of 4:05.96. Proceed to flrunners.com for more extensive coverage of this past weekend's Florida Outdoor T&F State Finals in Jacksonsville at the University of North Florida.
Baseball hall-of-famer Yogi Bera famously once said: "It's déjà vu all over again." And that's exactly how athletes and coaches around the state are feeling today as they watch the weather forecast for this weekend.
AMERICAN 4A STATE RUNNER UP
Rasheed Tatham 4A State champion
Coverage central for the Florida State Outdoor Finals, which will be held on Friday (1A/2A) and Saturday (3A/4A) at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. MileSplit will be on-site with coverage from our affiliate flrunners.com.