Westminster Academy’s Andrew James showed the Region 4-1A field at Dade Christian why he’s become one of the biggest box office draws in Florida.
James pulled off a rare sprint triple, winning the 100 (10.94), 200 (21.78) and 400 (49.93) and capped his big night by anchoring the Lions’ winning 1,600 relay team as the Lions rolled to the boys’ team title.
“It’s all about winning a state team title this year,’’ James said. “That is the No. 1 goal for us as a team. I want to do my part by winning the 100, 200 and 400 at states. That is the hardest thing you can ever think of, but it’s a challenge I want to take on.”
The Lions girls’ team was expected to join the boys’ team at the top of the podium but not even victories by Ebony Brown (100, 200) and Denise Spann (400) could stop the South Florida HEAT from pulling the upset.
Despite only winning two events, the HEAT had enough depth to outscore the Lions 139-128 for the team title.
The top four finishers advanced to the Class 1A state finals at the University of North Florida on May 2.
Meanwhile, Westminster Christian freshman Natasha Strump stamped herself a runner to watch at the state finals after sweeping the 1,600 and 800.
Dade Christian’s Jonathan Saintil, in only his fourth 300 meters hurdles race, provided one of the biggest surprises by winning in 41.03.
Saintil said the 400 meters, his forte, has accelerated the learning curve in the 300 hurdles.
Doctor’s Charters 400-meter relay team of Jean-Maxon Adrien, Samuel Mompremier, Cameron Floyd and Abigael Neus overcame not having a home track to win the regional title in 43.60.
“We don’t even have a track,” Neus said. “We are running on concrete every day. We run in the parking lot. But we made it.”
After winning his first District 15-3A championship in the shot put, Archbishop McCarthy’s Joseph Bost strutted around the Mavericks track facility with a replica heavyweight championship belt slung over his shoulder Thursday.
If Bost has his way, the “district champion” he plans on writing on a strip of masking tape over the belt friends purchased at a local store, will be scratched out with “region champion” next week.
“Earlier in the track season we started wrestling with each other and had a joke track league,” Bost said. “We always wanted to get a belt. I asked coach [Dave DiNicola] if I would get a plaque if I was district champion. He said they used do do that, but it would cost too much money. My brother [Nicholas] said how about you get a belt and you can defend it each time?”
Bost earned the right to celebrate “WWF” style by throwing a career-best 46-4 a year after failing to qualify to regionals in the shot put.
Bost also finished second in the discus by throwing 143-0, behind Boyd Anderson’s Tanes Joseph (156-10).
Career-best times and distances were at a premium, however, as athletes endured a 25-minute lightning delay and rain soaked track.
The top four finishers advanced to the Region 4-3A championships at Traz Powell Stadium on Wednesday.
Dillard’s Brandon Mosley overcame the unfavorable conditions to win the 200 in 21.80 and anchor the Panthers’ 400-meter relay team to victory in 42.30.
Archbishop McCarthy freshman Madison Malone stole the spotlight in the girls’ shot put, launching a career-best and school-record 33-7.50 to win the district title.
Boyd Anderson’s dynamic trio of Javon Patterson, Phillip Lee and Chyna-Joi Staton held up as favorites. Patterson, who holds the U.S. No. 5 time in the 800 (1:52.04) cruised to victory in that event and led the Cobras’ 1,600 relay to victory.
Lee, meanwhile, won the high jump, and Staton won the 200, 400 and led the Cobras’ girls to victory in the 1,600 relay.
Pines Charter’s Andrew Iglesias, in the best shape of his career, cruised to victories in the 1,600 meters and 3,200.