The American Heritage boys’ team led the Broward County contingent at the FHSAA Track & Field Championships by winning the Class 2A title Saturday at IMG Academy.
The Patriots’ 63 points were 21 better than runner-up Cocoa, and brought a State title back to the school in coach Greg Barnes’ second year at the helm.
“It feels great because that was the mission coming in from the beginning,” Barnes said. “A lot of people were behind this success that came so quickly.”
Winning two events for American Heritage was senior McKinly Brown, who swept the 110- and 300-meter hurdles in Class 2A, edging out Hallandale’s Raymond Crittenden both times. Brown also ran a leg of the Patriots’ winning 1,600 relay team. Crittenden finished second in the 300 and third in the 110.
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Anthony Schwartz of American Heritage won the 100-meter dash in 10.68 seconds and ran the first leg of the Patriots’ winning 400 relay team along with Jason Heintskill, Marco Wilson and Patrick Surtain.
In the Class 4A 100 meters, sophomore Bryand Rincher of Piper edged out freshman Tyrese Cooper of American by one one-hundredth of a second, 10.67 to 10.68.
“I just ran hard and reached for the finish line. That’s all I did,” Rincher said. “He beat me by a head in Regionals, so I had to beat him by more [Saturday].”
It was Rincher’s first state title in his first year running track. Cooper won two other events, the 200 and 400.
Also capturing a state title on the boys’ side in Class 4A was Dominic Thieman of St. Thomas Aquinas, with a triple jump of 40 feet, 1 inch.
Girls’ winners were Jan’Taijah Ford of Northeast in the Class 3A 400 with a time of 54.01.
Ford also took second in the 200. Tia Strackman of Hallandale had two second-place finishes in Class 2A 100 and 300 hurdles. Asia McMillon of American Heritage was third in the 300 and fourth in the 100. Kaylen Clark of Hollywood Christian came in second in the Class 1A 400. Brittany Gill of Dillard was runner-up in the girls Class 3A 1600 meters.
Other top finishers for the boys were Jamie Kennedy of Ely (second place in the Class 3A triple jump) and Jamal Walton of Everglades (second in the Class 4A 400 yard dash). Shaun Shivers of Chaminade-Madonna took second behind Schwartz in the 2A 100 meters.
In the relays, the Dillard boys and girls both finished second in the Class 3A 400 relays. American Heritage was runner-up in the Class 2A 3,200 and Pine Crest took second in the girls’ 2A 3,200.
The American Heritage girls (Danielle Bass, Maya Fabri, Keri Collins, Morgan Rhett) took the gold medal in the 2A 1,600 relay with a time of 3:59.71, and Northeast (Chyna-Joi Staton, Daneisha Woodside, Jan’Taijah Ford, Takiyah Johnson) did the same in Class 3A with a time of 3:44.01. Aquinas was runner-up in 4A in both girls and boys, while American Heritage captured first in boys’ Class 2A with a time of 3:17.39.
In addition to the Patriots’ win in Class 2A, the boys from St. Thomas Aquinas finished third in Class 4A, but just two points behind first place Lyman’s 37 points. Ely was the top Broward finisher in Class 3A, finishing fourth with 26 points.
Calvary Christian tied for seventh in Class 2A with 26 points, while Westminster Academy was the top local team in Class 1A, finishing fourth with 16 points.
On the girls’ side, Aquinas took fourth in Class 4A with 33 points, one point ahead of fifth-place Flanagan. Northeast and Dillard finished 2-3 in Class 3A, but well behind winner Miami Northwestern. Hallandale took fifth place in Class 2A with 38 points, while American Heritage was ninth with 27. And Highlands Christian was seventh in Class 1A with 23 points.