High School Sports

Quartet of South Florida teams win boys’ track and field state championships


Miramar’s Jamal Walton kept looking at the clock as he reached the finish line.

He knew he was going to win. He just wanted to see by how much.

That confidence helped Walton lead Miramar to its first state boys’ track and field championship on Saturday.

The Patriots, who won the Class 4A title, weren’t alone.

Jamal Walton, Miramar HS, wins the state finals in the Boys 200 Meter Dash 4A Varisity race at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

South Florida’s boys’ athletes made it look easy all weekend at IMG Academy as, in addition to Miramar, Miami Northwestern, Hallandale and Westminster Academy each walked away with team championships.

It was the first time in the history of the event that teams from Miami-Dade and Broward counties swept all four boys’ classifications.

And along with Southridge and Northwestern’s wins on the girls’ side, it gave Dade and Broward a combined six state team titles in one season for the first time.

The two counties combined to win 22 events overall, with 14 individual championships and eight relay wins.

Miami Norland’s Tyrese Cooper, one of the nation’s fastest sprinters, prevailed in the 200 and 400 meters and finished second in the 100 meters.

Tyrese Cooper, Miami Norland HS, wins the Boys 200 and 400 Meter Dash 3A Varsity race at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl, on Saturday,May 6, 2017.

Miramar, which had only two individual state champions prior to this season, doubled the school’s individual titles with Walton’s victories in the 200 and 400 meters.

“After all the hard work in practice, it feels good to see it pay off,” Walton said.

After its girls cruised to victory, Northwestern ended a 14-year title drought on the boys’ side with 57 points in the Class 3A meet to beat Creekside by seven.

Junior Thomas Burns won the 300-meter hurdles in 35.90 seconds, finished second in the 110 hurdles and helped the Bulls win the 400-meter relay in 41.50 seconds, and the 1,600 relay in 3:12.31.

Thomas Burns, Miami Northwestern, wins the Boys 300 Meter Hurdles 3A Varsity race at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Burns’ older brother, former Bulls star hurdler and University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns, was in attendance on Saturday to support the Bulls.

Hallandale pulled off one of the biggest stunners by clinching the Class 2A title — its second in the past three seasons — by winning the 1,600 relay. The Chargers won the 1,600 relay and coupled with American Heritage finishing fifth edged the Patriots by one point, 56-55.

Sophomore Amari Johnson ran the final leg of Hallandale’s winning relay. He bobbled the baton but managed to secure it and overtake the competition.

“We knew coming in Heritage couldn’t finish better than fifth, and we had to win,” Johnson said.

American Heritage junior Tyson Campbell won the 100 meters in Class 2A in 10.76 seconds, edging Chaminade’s Shaun Shivers by two-hundredths of a second, and later won the 200 in 21.35. But a hamstring injury to junior Anthony Schwartz, one of the nation’s best sprinters, caused him to finish last in the 100 and 200 and made him unavailable in the final relay.

Westminster Academy started Saturday by winning the 3,200-meter relay and finished by clinching a share of the Class 1A state title with Bradenton St. Stephen’s after winning the 1,600 relay. Patrick Sastre anchored both relays to victory.

It was the Lions’ third title in the past four seasons and fourth overall.

Broward County dominated the 3,200-meter relays, winning two state titles.

Broward teams swept the top four spots in Class 2A led by Hallandale, which won the title in 8:06.17. The team of Zamione Jones, Peter Anderson, Calvin Golson Jr. and Johnson ran the county’s fastest time in the event.

Northeast’s Damion Thomas won the 110 hurdles for the third time in his career.

Calvary Christian’s Diego Fagot capped his stellar throwing career by repeating as state shot put champion.

Archbishop McCarthy senior Marcus Mijares won the 2A discus with a throw of 166-9.