JACKSONVILLE -- It wasn't the distance or margin of victory that Southridge’s Epiphany Thompson wanted to finish her career with.
But the first-place medal around her neck sure softened her disappointment.
Thompson's winning throw of 41 feet, four inches in the shot put earned her the distinction of the only Miami area female performer to win a state title in the Class 4A State Track Meet Saturday held at the University of North Florida campus.
Thompson's winning throw barely edged out Northeast's Camora Sanders by half an inch. Her winning toss was also under her best throw this year and was nearly a foot less than what she threw last week at the regionals. But the half-inch victory gained her a measure of revenge over Sanders who had beat her by two inches at the regional meet.
"I started out pretty rough today," she said. "I love the shot put but I was disappointed with what I did in the event today. I could have, should have, done a lot better. I should have at least gone 42 feet.
"Sure it's nice to be a state champion, but I'm never pleased with what I throw. I've just got to keep working hard and getting better."
Thompson would have liked a double-win in her last high school meet, but she fell more than ten feet short of Sanders who won the event with a toss of 132-09.
Thompson finished sixth in the competition with a best of 122-03.
She'll now turn her attention to FIU where she plans on enrolling this summer.
"Walking away a champion is important so I'm glad about that," she reiterated. "I just wish I could have thrown better in my last meet. It will make me work even harder at FIU. I've already set a goal of 50 feet in the shot. I want to get to that figure during my freshman season at FIU."
Thompson wasn't the only disappointed athlete from the area.
American's Ari Cogdell came into the state meet with the top qualifying time in the 400 meter race.
But the junior sprinter failed to live up to the billing, fading to third in his specialty.
"It was disappointing," he said afterward. "I came out too fast and didn't pace myself. I warmed up properly and everything but I didn't run my race. I knew it around the 300 meter mark. I didn't get my slingshot affect coming off the curve.
"All I can do now is try and make up for it in the four-by-four."
Cogdell did have success early and late. He ran the second leg of the Patriots' 3,200 meter relay team that posted a four-second win over St. Thomas Aquinas.
In the night's final event, he fulfilled his desire by running the anchor leg of American's 1,600 relay unit that again edged Aquinas, this time by a little over a second.
It was an important win for the Patriots as it earned them 10 points and gave them second place in the final team standings, one point ahead of Dr. Phillips but well behind St. Thomas Aquinas' winning total of 76.
Teammate Christian Williams won the only individual title among area 4A athletes when he captured the high jump event with a winning leap of 6-6.
Coral Reef's Kurt Convey appeared to have a hold on the 3,200 crown, leading most of the race, but in the last 100 meters he was passed by two other runners and finished third.
Southridge's Dominique Bullock took second in the long jump with a leap of 18-6.25 and Ferguson's 3,200 meter relay team had to settle for second, losing out to Aquinas by 1.02 seconds.
• 4A Girls—St. Thomas Aquinas 109.50, Northeast 50, Southridge 39, Lake Mary 35.5, Santaluces 31, John A. Ferguson 31, Atlantic Coast 29.5, East Ridge 20. 100 - Kaylin Whitney, East Ridge, 11.48. 200 - Kaylin Whitney, East Rid, 23.69. 400 - Kendall Ellis, STA., 52.9. 800 - Sinclaire Johnson, Lake Brant, 2:12.30. 1600 - Emily Harding, Sara., 4:51.61. 3200 - Alexa Cruz, STA, 10:52.44. 100 Hurdles - Gordon Daeshon, Northe., 13.88. 300 Hurdles - Daeshon Gordon, Northe., 42.15. 400 Relay - St. Thomas Aquinas (St. Fort, Spaulding, Laidlaw, Sparling), 46.18. 1600 Relay - St. Thomas Aquinas (Sparling, Spaulding, Jean-baptiste, Ellis), 3:41.01. 3,200 Relay - St. Thomas Aquinas (Kalis, Jean-Baptiste, Cruz, Lewis), 9:15.65. Shot Put - Epiphany Thompson, Southr., 41-04.0. Discus - Camora Sanders, Northe., 132-09. Long Jump - Stacey Destin, Santaluces, 18-10.75. Triple Jump - Brittany Bowald, Atl. Coa., 39-03.50. High Jump - Stacey Destin, Santal., 5-08.0. Pole Vault - Erica Sergeant, Lake Mary, 12-0.
• 4A Boys—St. Thomas Aquinas 76, American 44, Dr. Phillips 43, East Ridge 23, Coral Reef 22, Miramar 22, HB Plant 20, Evans 20. 100 - Terry Jernigan, East Rid., 10.51. 200 - Terry Jernigan, East Rid., 21.39. 400 - Rasheed Tatham, STA, 47.22. 800 - Kyren Hollis, Olym., 1:54.49. 1600 - Jack Guyton, Plant, 4:11.86. 3200 - Jack Guyton, Plant, 9:20.35. 110 Hurdles - Carl Augustin, Cyp. Creek, 14.26. 300 Hurdles - Trevon Grimes, STA, 37.94. 400 Relay - Dr. Phillips (Marshall, Gaines, Brown, Bryant), 41.49. 1600 Relay - American (Turner, Williams, Fortune, Cogdell), 3:14.25. 3200 Relay - American (Hylton, Cogdell, Haynes, Damon), 7:48.22. Shot Put - Jamal Whittaker, Apopka, 59-06. Discus - Ryan Crozier, STA, 164-0. Long Jump - Leon Boyd, Evans, 23-08.75. Triple Jump - Leon Boyd, Evans, 47-09.75. High Jump - Christian Williams, American, 6-06.0. Pole Vault - Sean Clarke, Lyman, 14-03.