St. Thomas Aquinas wasn’t about to let any other track team take the inaugural City of Fort Lauderdale track championships trophy out of its own back yard on Wednesday.
The Raiders, preseason favorites to sweep the Class 4A state titles, looked in midseason form in taking the boys’ and girls’ titles at historic Carter Park.
Matthew Butler was the biggest star in the distance races, sweeping the 800 and 1,600 meters, and Jordan Washington (15.35) and Rasheed Tatham (15.52) went 1-2 in the 110 hurdles.
Ibrahim Dodo (39.84) won the 300 hurdles, and the Raiders added the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay titles.
Nobody shone brighter than Dillard’s Shakima Wimbley who turned in a rare sweep of the 100 (12.12) , 200 (24.54) and 400 (55.60) titles.
The Raiders girls’ team went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles behind Toria Levy (14.43) and Nastolgia Smith (14.73), Kendall Ellis finished second in the 200 and Aquinas secured its victory by taking the 400- and 1,600-meter relay titles. Aquinas also flexed its depth in the 3,200, where freshman Alexa Cruz led a 1-2-3 finish.
Four defending state champions, four other state final four teams and a pair of unbeaten hopefuls highlight the field at this year’s Pinecrest Physical Therapy South Florida softball SlamFest.
The 36-team, three-bracket tournament, which is in its 19th year, begins Thursday at Palmetto Bay Park. The tournament will continue Friday and conclude Saturday with each bracket’s finals.
Three-time defending state champion Gulliver Prep will play in the Blue bracket, which will also include reigning Class 3A state champion Delray American Heritage and Class 7A champion Tampa Chamberlain. Also in the bracket is 5A state runner-up Belleview and Western.
Reigning Class 5A state champion Plantation American Heritage is a favorite in the Grey bracket that also includes Palmetto, Jacksonville Bishop Snyder and Cooper City — all state final four teams last season. The bracket also includes undefeated Coral Reef and perennial local contenders St. Thomas Aquinas, Westminster Christian and Doral Academy.
The White bracket features undefeated Coral Springs Charter as well as Florida Christian, Southwest, Coral Gables, South Dade, St. Brendan, West Broward, Goleman, Braddock and Deerfield Beach.
GULLIVER 7, KEY WEST 2
WP: Davis Brown (2-1). LP: Darren Miller Brent Diaz 3-3, HR, 2 RBI, run. Henry Hernandez 2-3, RBI, 2 runs. Carlos Ruga 2-3, HR, RBI, run
LATE TUESDAY — BELEN 16, HOMESTEAD 0 (5)
WP : Danny Parets 4IP 7K. Top performers: David Guevara double, 3 RBI. Ryan Rodriguez-Mena 2-3, double, 2 runs. Christian del Castillo 2-3, 2 runs
LATE TUESDAY — PALMER TRINITY 13, MARATHON 1 (5)
WP: Ben Roberts (1-2). LP: Kyle Pierce. Top performers: Ben Roberts 1-2, run, 2 RBI, SB. Justin Ziegelasch 2-4, double, run, RBI. Matt Roberts 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI. PT 5-4.
• Sagemont 4, Pine Crest 1: Camilo Escobar won No. 1 singles 9-8. Andrew Quiros won No. 2 singles 8-4. Chris Tasker won No. 3 singles 8-6