Dillard’s Brandon Mosley crossed his chest with his index finger, pointed to the sky and clapped his hands after crossing the finish line of the 200 meters at the Region 4-3A championships on Wednesday.
Mosley followed up his dynamic anchor leg on the Panthers’ winning 400-meter-relay team with the best curve running of his career to win in 21.68 at Traz Powell Stadium.
The victory sets Mosley up as a gold medal co-favorite at the Class 3A state finals at the University of North Florida on May 3.
“Coach [James Kirby] was telling me to get out, cover my drive phase, pick up my knees and follow through,’’ Mosley said. “I ran the curve as hard as I can. I got out real good and I did my best. When I came off the curve I knew I would win because the straightaway is my strongest point.”
The Panthers’ 400-meter-relay team celebrated the return of John Flood to the third leg by winning in 41.75, thanks in large part to Mosley getting the baton in second place and pulling away from the rest of the field down the straightaway.
Boyd Anderson’s nationally-ranked junior star Javon Patterson clocked 1:54.68 to win the 800, in his last tuneup to break the state record (1:49.75) set by Miami Booker T. Washington’s Timothy Harris in 2004.
Patterson clocked a personal-best and then U.S. No. 1 time of 1:52.04 at the Florida Relays on April 3, to put himself in position to challenge Harris’ state mark.
Patterson wrote the state record time on his silver medal from last year’s state finals as motivation and is confident he will be able to etch his name in history.
“The state record has been my focus the whole year,’’ Patterson said. “I think I can get it. It’s going to take a lot of heart and a lot of pain that I will have to go through. I think I can push myself to run 1:49. Each lap has to be at at 51 or 52. I will need a strong finish.”
The top four finishers qualify for the Class 3A state Finals at the University of North Florida on May 3.
Pines Charter’s Andrew Iglesias, Broward’s best hope for gold in the distance races, stayed with Belen Jesuit’s Ryan Rodriguez for most of the 1,600 but didn’t have an answer for Rodriguez’s kick down the stretch. Rodriguez finished in 4:20.32 and Iglesias finished second in 4:22.50.
“I just have to race harder and go for the win next week,” Iglesias said. “I need a quicker start for sure. There will be some pretty good guys up there. Should be pretty entertaining. Contact will be important. Stay in the pack and see what I have the last two laps. I have to leave it all out there. No regrets, you know?”
The Miami Northwestern girls’ team, 10 time state champions, rolled to the title with 252.50, ahead of Miami Carol City and seems a lock to win No. 11 at the state finals. The Bulls boys’ team behind victories by Antonio Howard (100) and Jeffrey Green (400) helped the Bulls sweep both team titles by scoring 92.33 points, ahead of runner-up Boyd Anderson (69.33).
Boyd Anderson’s Chyna-Joi Staton, meanwhile, clocked 56.77 to finish second in the girls’ 400 to Carol City’s Terneka Gibson (55.71) but promised a better showing next week when everything will be on the line.
“I just tried to qualify maybe get a 55 [seconds]. Staton said. “I’m expecting first next week. My last 50 meters will be my most crucial. I need to push it more next week.”