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High School Track and Field - A Few Notes From District 3-3A

Jay Wallace, April 22, 2017

On a day with highs reaching the mid to upper 80's with humidity, Chiles High school hosted the District 3-3A Track and Field Championships Tuesday April 18th, 2017.  There are 16 Districts in 3A (as well as 1A, 2A, and 4A), each with about 6 - 8 teams.  Athletes compete for a chance to advance to one of four Regional Championships, from which they have the opportunity to qualify for the State Championships in Bradenton.  District 3 in 3A is composed of Leon, Lincoln, Chiles, Columbia in Lake City, and about 5 schools from the Jacksonville area.  It is competitive: many talented, hard working athletes did not make it out.

You can view the link at the bottom for complete results.  However, there were some highlights I would like to mention.  First off, due recognition is owed to Lincoln for winning both girls and boys team championship by significant margins.  That is a testament to a strong program. However, athletes can only qualify for Regions by placing in the top 4 of their respective event.  So, what follows is an incomplete summary of what I thought were some notables, including some athletes that may not have been 1st place winners but deserve recognition nonetheless.  This is not comprehensive.  There may be other performances that were great personal milestones, but these are what stuck out to me. 

Girls Distance: Alyson Churchill continued her dominance of local distance races, further lowering her 1600 personal best to 4:55.6, then winning the 3200 in 10:43.6, a very impressive feat given the heat and humidity.  She also competed on the winning 4 x 800 relay for Lincoln.  In fact, Lincoln swept all 3 relays at the meet, also taking wins in 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. Chiles freshman Caitlin Wilkey ran strong in a pack with Ana Wallace and Emily Culley in the 1600, securing the 4th spot with a nearly 4 second PR 5:19.9.  Leon's Katherine Resavage (a veteran of many Gulf Winds races) tied a season best 5:24 just outside of qualifying.  She's a sophomore and we'll see more of her.  In the 3200, Wallace and Culley secured 2nd and 3rd, but Alivia Davis of Stanton Prep ran a 20 second improvement off her seed time, taking the 4th spot from Chiles junior Erin Phelps - who ran a season best 11:35 just out of qualifying.  She will be competing in Regions for the Chiles 4 x 800 nonetheless.  In the 800, Lincoln's Tamera Mason won, while Chiles' sophomore Olivia Miller and Lincoln freshman Megan Churchill secured 3rd and 4th spots.

Girls Sprint and Field EventsLincoln junior Jacquevia Jones took home the 100 meter honors and Chiles freshman Bridget Coakley punched her card to Regions with the 4th spot.  Jymese Grimsley of Leon made it in both the 200 and 400 with 4th and 2nd, respectively.  A freshman from Leon, Taryn Henry dropped a full second from her seed time to make it in 4th in the 400 in 58.72 (Lincoln's Lonzetta Simpkins won in 56.63).  Lincoln junior Faith Tillman took 2nd in the 300 hurdles and 3rd in the 100 hurdles.  Lincoln junior Piper Propp qualified in 4 field events, placing 3rd in long jump, 1st in triple jump (season best 35' 51/4"), 2nd in pole vault, and 3rd in high jump.  Chiles' frosh Kathrine Dodson won the pole vault and fellow freshman Gracie Miller 3rd, both securing significant personal bests.  Leon's Leelah Wilburn and A'Nylah Cobb both qualified in shot and discus.

Boys Distance: Chiles juniors Michael Phillips and Matthew Newland went 1-2 in the 1600 and 3200.  Chiles also secured the win in the 4 x 800.  They notably have run 7:51 earlier this year at Florida Pepsi Relays.  Leon's Matt Cashin and Colter Foster secured 3rd and 4th in the 3200.  Chiles' junior Robert Nowak, a newly discovered middle distance talent after spending two years as a 3200 runner, picked up the 3rd spot in the 1600.  Another important discovery for the Chiles 4 x 800 team, previous field event and sprint athlete Jordan Roberts, qualified in the open 800 with a 2nd place 1:56.7.  He was sandwiched between winner Clayton Carlson and 3rd place Charles Hruda, both of Lincoln.  Alexander Gruenewald, after suffering a toe injury and getting spiked in the 4 x 800 earlier, came in a heartbreaking 5th place 1:58.05, 0.04 seconds behind 4th.  That's a nose.  That time would have been enough to win many districts.

Boys Sprints and Field Events: Senior Alonzo Waheed of Leon made it in both hurdle events with a 1st in the 110 and 3rd in the 300.  Teammate Justin Peter won the 300 and Lincoln's Kai Davis took 2nd.  Lincoln ran two freshmen in the 110 hurdles, with Jalen Glaze getting 3rd and Larrey Williams 4th, proving that the talent pool continues there.  Chiles' senior Rock Wester made 2nd in the 110.  Lincoln proved its dominance in the short sprints, sweeping the top 3 spots in the 100 and taking 1st and 3rd in the 200.  In the 400, sophomore Trevor Wilson of Lincoln outran Leon senior Leander Forbes in a close 47.64 to 47.71.  Wilson was also 3rd in the 200.  As expected, Lincoln took home wins in both 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.  Chiles senior Jordan Poole (who will throw at Troy next year) won the discus with a season best 164' 7" (50.16m).  Chiles junior Ryan Matson scored a huge PR to secure 3rd and Keith Upthegrove, younger brother of last year's state shot put champion Cole, took 4th.  Poole took 2nd in the shot to Dorrell James of Leon.  In the long jump, Justin Peter of Leon wins over Trejan Huggins of Leon and Tyrek Robinson of Chiles.  It was a big day for Robinson who jumped personal bests in both LJ and TJ.   Leon sophomore Jaylen Taylor continues to jump well, winning with 2.01m (6' 7 1/2"), just missing at the 6' 10" height.  He will make 7' before long.  Leon Pole vaulter Sebastian Campo wins handily, Leon's Phillip Dillon 3rd and Chiles Christian Emmert took 4th with a big personal best. 

Well, that turned out to be longer than I had planned.  I hated to leave names out.  If you're like me and would rather dig in the statistics, here they are, thanks to Chris Sumner's timing company: http://fl.milesplit.com/meets/259204/results/513387/raw#.WPlcJ3yGOM8
And if you're at all interested in watching this talent compete in one of the toughest Regions in the state, come watch at Chiles Thursday May 27.  Most finals are after work.  Admission $7 per FHSAA dictate.  I promise further track essays will be less statistical.