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FHSAA Florida State Championships

Showalter Field, Winter Park

May 1-2 (Class 1A, 2A) and May 8-9 (Class 3A, 4A), 2009
Class 4A Preview - By Ricky Quintana

4A State meet Preview
by Ricky Quintana
For Dyestat.com

Winter Park, FL- Northwestern (Miami) girls are heavily favored to win their 4th championship in 5 years. On the boy’s side, Flagler Palm Coast is a slight favorite to win their second title in 3 years.

Athletes to watch


  • Sr and Auburn signee Maya Pressley(Coconut Creek) goes after title #2. Her 5-10 mark at regionals was a US #5 performance. She attained that mark twice last year and has produced two consecutive marks of 5-10 in the district and region championships. A PB may be in the making at state.
  • Miami Northwestern owns the state meet record of 9:05.90 set in 2007. The Bulls won in 2008 and are looking for their #4 consecutive title and 5th in six years. They’ll be challenged by Boyd Anderson (Fort Lauderdale) who came within 4 seconds of upending the Bulls last year.
  • Sr Brianna Rollins (Northwestern, Miami) is the top qualifier by 0.71 seconds in the 100mH. Her best of 13.83 is ranked 3rd in the nation. Her 43.50 in the 300mH is ranked #16 in the nation.
  • Three sub 48 teams square off in a tight 4 x 100m relay field. Boyd Anderson (Fort Lauderdale) owns the best mark of the season with its 47.42(US #28), but Northwestern is a on their heels with a 47.48(US #32) set in winning the Florida Relays. A fantastic final is on tap.
  • Jr Ebony Eutsey (Southridge, Miami) the US leader (52.42) will be eyeing her third consecutive win the in 400m and her second consecutive win in the 200m where she is ranked US #4 with her 23.78. Olympian Sanya Richards’s 2002 state meet record of 52.51 may be in jeopardy in the 400m. Erica Whipple’s record in the 200m is 23.36 from 2001.
  • Sr Brittany Koziara (Boone, Orlando) will have a tough time defending her state championship in the 1600m. Shelby Hayes (Winter Park), Mandy Perkins (Spruce Creek), Skyler Wallen (Northwestern, Miami) will all be in the mix in this highly competitive 4A state final that should have a winning mark in the 4:55 range.
  • Sr Skyler Wallen (Northwestern), will be vying for her first ever championship in the 800m run. The Ohio State signee has two marks of 2:09.00(US #5) this season. Ana Groff (Winter Park) will have the home field advantage and owns a 2:11.64 PB and a 2:12.57 best this season.
  • Sr Mariana Lucena(Cypress Bay) is the top entrant(10:56.74) after Ashley Brasovan(Wellington), the state and state meet record holder, went down with an injury after the World Junior Cross Country Championships in late March. 4 could potentially break 11:00.
  • 5 teams with bests of 3:52.56 or better toe the line in a deep field in the final event of the girl’s competition, the 4 x 400m. Northwestern leads the state with a 3:45.15 (US #7) win at the Florida Relays. They’ll be challenged by Boyd Anderson,who posted a 3:43.68 for the win last year’s state champs and set a state meet record. At last week’s region meet, Boyd Anderson ran without Rebecca James


  • Jr Antron Jackson(Carol City)  was the state runner-up last year soaring over 7-00.00. This year, he hit the mark at the early season Louie Bing meet ( US #8). Since then, he has been sporadic qualifying with a 6-06.00 mark. Four others have reaching 6-08.00 at regionals making this a very deep field.
  • In the PV, three 15 footers square off. Jr Wyatt Metzger (Timber Creek, Orlando) has the best mark this season with a 15-03.00. Drew Marcello (Taravella), and Sean Zuppke (Park Vista) complete the deepest field of all the state meets.
  • Sr Neaman Wise (Lake Brantley) hurt his ankle in this event at the region champs. He is the top qualifier with a 23-10.25, his best mark of the season. Tough competition will come from Kentrell Sanders(South Dade), Marquis Noble(Buchholz, Gainesville) and Gary Bush(Columbus, Miami).
  • Jr Kentrell Sanders (South Dade), owns a best of 48-08.00 and enters with the top seed from regions, 47-05.50. He’s one foot better than the rest of the competition.
  • Sr Austin Gamble (Cypress Bay) has had a monster season. Last year’s 4th placer improved 36+ feet since last year with his 201-5.50(US #4) mark at the Broward County North Qualifying meet in late March. Since then, he has sailed the platter consistently beyond the 190+ mark. He’ll have some tough competition in US #21 Chris Lickfield (Spruce Creek), the defending state champ (PB 183-07.00) and Demetri Baker (Orange Park), 3rd last year, who owns a PB of 178-05.00.
  • 6, 50+ footers complete a very deep field. Jr Demetri Baker (Orange Park), the defending state champ, won this event with a PB of 58-07.00 heave last year.
  • Flagler Palm Coast (Bunnell) flexed its muscle, beating the state’s best at the Florida Relays in a state leading and US #6 time of 7:46.57. Sickles posted a US # 6 time of 7:50.28 at the region meet on the backs of the Wehunt twins. Look for a super competitive race for the title.
  • Sr Andre Booker (Riverview, Sarasota) dipped below 14 with his 13.98(US #11), a new PB. He’ll try and duplicate that here at the state meet.
  • Sr and Tennessee signeee, Dentarious Locke (Chamberlin, Tampa) had a sensational region meet posting marks of 10.31(US #5) and 20.81(US#1) marks at the region meet. He is the defending state champ champ. The field will be deep with Sr Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach), 3rd last year, who owns a 10.44 best, and Adrion Archer (Venice) who owns a 10.49 best, entered in the field. Jeff Demps’s state meet record of 10.37(2007) could go down. In the 200m, 11 have qualified with marks of 21.9 or better. The best two, Benjamin McRoy (Lakeland) and Akeem Williams(Carol City) are 0.7 back. The state meet record of 20.62 was set by Olympian Walter Dix in 2004.
  • After last weekend’s 40.54(US #1) mark by Monsignor Pace (Miami) in the 2A state finals, bragging rights will be on the line. Region 3 champion, Deerfield Beach, lines up a stellar team that sped to a 40.82 clocking. Behind them Coral Springs and South Broward clocked 41.50(US #16) and 41.56(US #23). The field is deep with 6 teams having PB of 41.88 or faster this season A scorching final may be the highlight of the meet.
  • Sr Quincy McDuffie (Edgewater, Orlando) cranked out a 46.02(US #2) at the region 1 meet on Showalter Field Track, the site of this week’s state championship. The mark came as a surprise to him. In interviews, the UCF football signee (UCF has no men’s track team), stated that he just keeps getting better. 2007 400m champ CJ Lockhart raced to a 47.00(US#6 and personal best) clocking at district and could also dip under 47.00.
  • Sr Neaman Wise (Lake Brantley) was advised not to push too hard in the 300mH regional final because of a bum ankle. His competitive drive got the best of him and he raced to a US #3 clocking of 36.81. The field is stacked with three others having bests of 37.8 or faster with Wise being the top returnee from last year’s final with his 3rd place effort.
  • Sr Derek Wehunt (Sickles) has turned back all challengers in the 1600m this outdoor season posting a state leading and US #10 mark of 4:11.14 in winning the Florida Relays. Lurking under the radar has been Armando del Valle (Columbus, Miami), PB 4:18.33, who pinned the lone defeat in the 1600m indoors on Wehunt with spirited and convincing win at the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Track and Field Invite in February. Add 4:17.23 performer James Post (Melbourne) and you have a potentially close final.
  • Sr John Mitchell (Durant,Tampa) has the top personal best of 1:53.7. That’s just ahead of Daniel Wehunt’s (Sickles,Tampa) best of 1:53.8. Last year Mitchell false started after wining the 1600m title and Wehunt took 12th place. Expect a faster time for Mitchell who did not qualify in the 1600m this year and will be fresher.
  • Jr Brian Atkinson (Melbourne) did all he could at regions to get away from Derek Wehunt(Sickles, Tampa) in the 3200m final, but a 58 second last 400m gave Wehunt the win. Atkinson will have the benefit of several of the top competitors bouncing back from a competitive 3200m. If they run, Atkinson’s habit of pushing the pace may work to his benefit this year and bring him his third consecutive 3200m title, a mark met by only three runners in state meet history.
  • Flagler Palm Coast (Bunnell) raced to a US #2 clocking of 3:13.15 at the Florida Relays winning by 4+ seconds. Northwestern (Miami) has a quick 3:15.67 from the Greater Miami Athletic Conference(GMAC) in mid April. Two others have posted sub 3:19 marks. New Bern’s US leading mark of 3:12.82 could go down in the final event of the night.