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31st Bert Warden Golden South Classic

Jasmine Stowers, Jamaal Wilson Win MVPs in Orlando

Saturday, June 2, 2007 Warden Stadium, Payne Stewart Athletic Complex, Orlando FL

benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

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Full Results - Story Below: Doublers Create the Drama by SteveU -

More Pix Coming - Additional Pix at fl.milesplit.com

Lead Highlights
  • Freshman Jasmine Stowers SC takes Girls MVP Award with upset of Teona Rodgers in 100H 13.72w and 3rd in 400H
  • Jamaal Wilson BAH is Boys MVP after dominating HJ with meet-record-tying 7-02
More Boys Highlights
  • Trenton Guy Jr. NC snares 3 golds with 10.52 / 21.62 (21.02w prelim) and anchor on 41.03 4x100 relay for Charlotte Speed club
  • Spencer Adams NC sweeps the hurdles with 13.78w 110H and 52.89 400H victories
  • Michael Putman dominates throws with 63-03 SP and 166-04 DT
  • D'Angelo Cherry GA leads 100 prelims at 10.32w, but settles for 2nd in final (10.54) and 200 final (22.11).
  • Chris Bilbrew AL rules 800 in 1:53.76
More Girls Highlights
  • Brittany Long GA blazes to 11.31w 100 prelim, 11.39 100 final, and 23.05w 200 pre. (DNC in 200 final)
  • After getting surprised in 100H, Teona Rodgers FL comes back to edge Odekia Bent in 200, 24.10-24.13
  • Oak Ridge FL, anchored by Odekia Bent, suprises Therrell GA and Brittany Long in 4x100, 46.66-47.15
  • Freshman Brianna Nelson SC takes 400 in 55.82
  • Daisy Glasser FL rules PV at 12-06
  • Soph Nyosha Bryant rules LJ with 18-06.75

Pole vaulter Daisy Glasser only appears to be skywalking on the bar. instead, it's a 12-06 clearance on her way to the Golden South title. Photo by RBuckleyPhoto.com
Doublers Create the Drama at Golden South

By SteveU

One gold wasn’t enough in the minds of many of the top sprinters and hurdlers that took to the track Saturday at the 31st Bert M. Warden Golden South Classic, which benefits the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Many of the best in those events from Florida and the rest of the Southeast went for doubles, whether it was 100/200, 100H or 110H/400H, or even 100H/200, in the case of Tampa FL sensation Teona Rodgers. They weren’t all successful, but following the evolving drama of the matchups with the top half-dozen or so talents in those shorter races was the most interesting aspect (on the track) of the relatively intimate gathering at the Payne Stewart Athletic Complex.

In a mix of girls stars that included Rodgers, Brittany Long GA, Odekia Bent FL, and Shataya Hendricks FL, the most successful of those was judged to be freshman hurdling sensation Jasmine Stowers SC. She couldn’t quite convert a double, but had the upset of the meet when she blasted a windy 13.72 to edge US#2 Rodgers by .01 in the 100H. That gave her the Girls MVP Honors.

Long had a chance for two victories, after claiming the 100 in 11.39w (after an 11.31w prelim), but chose not to compete in the furlong. That left Rodgers to edge Bent in a thrilling finish, 24.10 to 24.13 into a slight headwind. Bent, on the other hand, impressively held off Long in leading her Oak Ridge FL 4x100 squad to victory over Long’s Therrell GA quartet, 46.66-47.17.

The boys dashes and hurdles was almost exclusively a North Carolina show – or more specifically, a West Charlotte/Charlotte Speed show. Talented Trenton Guy Jr was clearly tops on the track, starting with his 4x100 anchor that brought two West Charlotte HS teammates and Butler HS standout Spencer Adams the first running gold of the program in 41.03. After a 10.47w prelim that had him seeded 2nd, he narrowly took the 100 in 10.52. His 200 prelim was a top-notch 21.02w, but he had to settle for 21.62 in the final into another slight headwind.

Adams, meanwhile, flew over the 110H barriers to a windy 13.78, then debuted at 400H in a very solid 52.89. Both wins were decisive.

The field events were not so much about doublers, but highlighted some of The Sunshine State’s most outstanding champions. There was pole vault queen Daisy Glasser adding to her basket of 12-06 clearances and titles. Or Clarence Powell easing to victory in the triple jump. One significant doubler was Michael Putman, who heaved another 63-footer (63-03) in the shot, and easily took the discus.

Most outstanding of all on the field, though – and judged as such for the entire male portion of the meet – was Jamaal of Nassau, Bahamas. He made the trek to Orlando with 7-02.50 credentials in the high jump and did not disappoint. He cleared 7-00 and 7-02 on his first attempts, then just missed 7-04 in tough conditions. He joined Stowers as meet MVPs.

As for the “tough conditions,” that was the other dominant theme in the meet. For only about the fourth time in the meet’s 31 years, unseasonable wet, mild, and very windy weather played a big role in the proceedings. The wind was strong enough that the 100s, straightaway hurdles, and 200 prelims were all run on the opposite side of the track, allowing runners to ride tailwinds instead of fighting headwinds. The horizontal jumpers also rode the breeze, but the gusts played havoc with the vaulters. Things had died down enough that the 200 finals were run as normal, however. Threatening clouds rolled in and out of the area all day, but periods of rain and heavy mist were thankfully infrequent and there were no delays.

In the end, every medal was awarded, a full slate of “prep” events (for younger and non-elite athletes) was completed, and more than 300 athletes had experienced another Golden South Classic.

The Charlotte Speed crew, here on the 4x100 medal stand, included (clockwise from upper left) Spencer Adams, Demario House, Edward Alexander, and Trenton Guy, Jr. Photo Jason Byrne, fl.milesplit.com
Boys Sprints/Hurdles: Charlotte’s Speed

While he didn’t get an MVP award, the day seemed to belong to Trenton Guy Jr. more than anyone else on the track. There he was crossing the line with the stick in the 4x1. There he was pushing hard those last 20 meters for a narrow 100 win. There he was again, at nearly the end of the evening, blasting out of the blocks in the 200 as hard as he ever had, trying to get that elusive 20-point clocking.

There, even, was Trenton Guy Sr, who cheerfully promoted his athletes and explained to the confused the case of the multiple Trenton Guys (his son and nephew have the same name and have both been top sprinters, a few years apart).

But the famously dreadlocked son didn’t get the sub-21, instead nearly joining a number of athletes that injured themselves during the meet. The most wrenching collapse, perhaps, had been during the 100 that Guy won, as O’Neil Gunn of Jamaica grabbed his hamstring in the middle of the straight, toppled backwards, and writhed on the track in agony at his torn muscle while the others finished.

Guy went down to the track after the 200, as well, causing grave concern for some onlookers. But thankfully he had only cramped up and was spared perhaps missing his NON ticket two weeks down the road.

The senior was more frustrated than hurt. “I was trying to get under 21,” he said. “I started harder than I ever have in a 200, but then my leg started to tweak. I just started kicking my legs out more and fought through it.”

The 41.03 4x100 topped the Platinum Track Club’s 41.83. In the 100, Jonesboro GA’s DeAngelo Cherry had the best prelim time, a 10.32 with a 3.0 wind, and Guy was 10.47 in another heat with a 3.1. In the final, Guy got an “awful” start, but “came back in the end,” to edge Cherry, 10.52-10.54 (+0.2 wind).

In the 200, Guy had a great 21.02 prelim, even with a 3.4 breeze pushing him. With that fierce wind dying down a bit at night, the 200 final was run the “correct” way again, but Guy still hoped to improve on his prelim. But the leg and minus-1.5 wind didn’t cooperate. Still, his 21.62 was almost half a second ahead of Cherry.

In contrast to the twisted, contorted finishes from the muscular, bulky Guy were the graceful finishes of the tall Spencer Adams, who come clouds or nightfall still wore his stylish shades. He fairly swooped across the line upon winning the 110H, raising his arms and almost looking ready to take flight. His 13.78, aided by a 3.4 wind, was .34 ahead of Ft. Lauderdale’s Jeff Julmis’s 14.12.

The 400H gave Adams a bit more of a test, as Kissimmee FL sr Brandon Hartley accompanied him through the early part of the final straight, but he powered away for the solid 52.89-54.20 win.

It was a fairly easy two victories for the talented junior, whose signature race to date was his stunning 36.04 300H victory over Johnny Dutch at the NC 4A state meet.

“I felt really good out there,” he said. “I didn’t push myself that hard. The 400 hurdles was my first at that distance, but I just tried to run my own race.”

Adams was relaxed enough to enjoy a hearty laugh at another’s expense when teammate Edward Alexander “pwned” a befuddled DyeStat reporter with some sophomoric trickery. But his expression changed as the talk turned to his task in the NON 400H race coming up. Most years, Adams’ 36.04 would be enough to lead the country, but in a season where a record 3 hurdlers have broken 36, he’s just fourth. Word of Jeshua Anderson’s 35.34 prelim run at the CIF finals brought a grimace to Adams’ face (Anderson would break the HSR later that evening). Of course, the Butler star is just a junior, but even that doesn’t give him a clear path in 2008 since William Wynne GA will have another season as well.

Keyon Jones and Akeem Williams won their respective 400 heats, each in 50.10. But in the final, Jones had the far better outing, ripping a 48.66 to beat Gus Vazquez-Milan by more than a second, with Williams 3rd.

Girls Sprints/Hurdles – Surprising Stowers
Jasmine Stowers (left) gets the nod over Teona Rodgers in the 100H.
Photo, Jason Byrne flmilesplit.com

Jasmine Stowers appears to be as shy and soft-spoken as it gets, at least when talking to media types at the track, but when she’s battling the barriers, it’s a different story.

Stowers, who has been setting grade and age-records the last two years, took another step toward the top with her first sub-13.8 (13.72, albeit with a huge 5.0 wind) and a very big victory. She fought Tampa Wharton sr Teona Rodgers, the US#2 at 13.33, every step of the way and finally prevailed by .01.

Her first concern after the race was attending to an injured teammate. But then the freshman allowed herself an excited grin. “I’m surprised I won,” she said. “I felt great. I felt strong.”

Did she hit any hurdles? “No, I had a clean race.”

The short-sprint/hurdle wars had started earlier in the afternoon when Brittany Long (Therrell HS, Atlanta GA) laid down an 11.31w in the 100 prelims (+4.5 wind), well up on Nyosha Bryant NC’s 11.67w (+3.2) and Shataya Hendricks FL’s 11.74w (+3.2). There were no 100 hurdle prelims, but then in the 200, Long also dominated qualifying with a blistering 23.05 (+3.6), topping Rodgers 23.67 (+3.7), Orlando’s (Oak Ridge HS) Odekia Bent 23.69 (+3.4), and Hendricks 24.08 (+3.2).

In the first final of the evening, Long and her Therrell teammates were the favorites in the 4x100. But with a little struggle in the middle legs, Long had a big deficit to make up and it wasn’t happening against Oak Ridge and Odekia Bent. The anchor thrilled the crowd with a powerful final leg that brought the Florida power home under 47 at 46.66, .51 up on Therrell.

After Stowers won the hurdles, the 100 final saw Long, Bryant, and Hendricks toe the line. This time the wind was just 2.2, and Long took it in 11.39, with Hendricks 11.56 and Bryant 11.71 following.

Stowers was a bit gassed for the 400H finals (longer than her ideal distance) and she was 3rd (1:05.36) to Orlando’s J’Zotta Rolle (1:02.45) and Anjoure Teele (1:02.56). But her 100H win was still enough for the MVP on a day when no one won twice.

Finally, the 200 was left, which was supposed to bring together Long, Rodgers, Bent, and Hendricks. Long, however, decided to call it a day. Rodgers, with the best legal time in the field, was stinging from the 100H defeat, but Bent and Hendricks badly wanted the win, too.

Off the turn, then still with 50 meters to go, Bent was hanging onto the lead. But Rodgers closed very hard to get the win at the end, 24.10 to 24.13, with Hendricks 3rd in 24.42. They ran into a 0.5 headwind.

“I definitely wanted to come back and make up for the 100 hurdles,” said Rodgers. She added that she struggled to adapt to the milder, windy conditions in her first race (she loves the heat). In the 200, she used an unusual strategy at the end of holding her breath as she drove to the finish, which she said helps her with the final push.

In the 400, Jazmyn Shorter should have been the favorite based on her sub-54, state-leading win at FL State, but she was seeded just 4th at 55.04. But Shorter was off form after all, and freshman Brianna Nelson was able to lead the prelims at 55.51, then win the final by more than a second at 55.82.

(more coming today)

SteveU Preview - Watch for Rodgers, Guy, Wilson, Among Others

Start Lists -

Many top athletes from several Southern and Southeastern states, as well as Jamaica and The Bahamas, are gathering this weekend at the 31st Bert M. Warden Golden South Classic, which benefits the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children. Approximately 300 competitors will compete in elite (“Classic”) events, as well as in the new “Prep” division, designed for younger athletes or those not quite at elite standards.

Positioned between the end of the state seasons in the South and Southeast, and national championship events like Nike Outdoor Nationals and USATFs, the Golden South Classic has national and regional-caliber fields in several events, most notably the boys and girls sprints and hurdles.

Teona Rodgers, vying for the title of the nation’s best 100H and 200 runner, is arguably the meet’s top athlete. She is ranked 2nd in the nation in the 100H (13.33) and is #3 in the 200 (wind-legal 23.44). But also competing for top honors on the girls side are the likes of sprinters Shataya Hendricks FL, Brittany Long GA, and LaKeshia Williams AL; hurdler Jasmine Stowers SC; and pole vaulter Daisy Glasser FL.

The infusion of talent from North Carolina threatens to head the charge on the boys side, with the star power of West Charlotte sprinter Trenton Guy Jr. and Butler sprinter/hurdler Spencer Adams leading the charge. But 800 standout Chris Bilbrew AL; sprinter O’Neil Gunn JAM; shot putter Michael Putman, and high jumper Jamaal Wilson BAH, are among those who could take the headlines.

The meet’s unique features include a “prep division,” for athletes that do not quite meet the elite standards for the “classic” division, and athletes from outside the U.S., including Jamaica and The Bahamas.

Girls Sprints/Hurdles/Relays

The girls 200 field is probably the most enticing of the meet for either gender, with the other girls speed events not far behind. Lining up in the furlong will be FL 3A-4A 100H/200 champ Rodgers (Tampa Wharton HS, sr.) and 100/200 runner-up Hendricks (St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale, sr.), as well as Long (Atlanta Therrell, sr.). With Birmingham (Ramsey HS) AL jr LaKeshia Williams and Orlando (Oak Ridge) FL sr and 3A/4A 100 champ Odeika Bent, the field boasts 5 seeded at 24.10 or better.

Earlier, Rodgers will race in her signature event, the 100H, while Long and Hendricks will be racing the flat 100. Rodgers will be challenged by Stowers, the Anderson SC freshman who has been setting new standards for 9th-graders all year. The century also includes St. Petersburg FL (Lakewood HS) sr Jazmyn Shorter, a 53.73 400 runner dropping down, and Harding NC soph Nyosha Bryant.

The flat 400 could be a battle of freshmen (or Brianna’s), with Anderson SC’s Brianna Nelson and Jacksonville FL fr Brianna Frazier the only seeds listed under 55 seconds. Shorter should actually be the favorite, though, with her 400 time from state. LaKeshia Williams could provide a stiff challenge, as well as Kissimmee FL sr Unique Singleton. In the 400H, Ft. Lauderdale sr Latoya Parkinson (58.37), Orlando sr J’Zotta Rolle (59.19), and Atlanta GA jr Dejia Ricks (61.47) are the top seeds, but don’t be surprised if the experienced Stowers is right up there, too.

Therrell of Atlanta, led by Brittany Long, is the premier squad in the 4x100, at 46.20, with the Quick Striders club (SC) and West Charlotte NC next. With Stowers as a top leg, the Quick Striders are listed top in the 4x400 at 3:47. They could be challenged by W.M. Raines FL (3:48.00) and Oak Ridge FL (3:52.30).

Boys Sprints/Hurdles/Relays

The boys sprints, with Guy and the West Charlotte crew, plus some of the best from FL, SC, and a talented Jamaican, are pretty much on a par with the girls.

Guy, among the top five in the US most of the year at 100 and 200, tops both lists. Kingston JAM sr O’Neil Gunn is tied for 2nd with Josh Donald FL among 200 seeds at 21.20 and could be a 100 finalist as well.

Other top names in the 100 include West Charlotte sr Edward Alexander, St. Petersburg sr Marqual Sanders, Jonesboro GA jr D’Angelo Cherry, the previously-mentioned Adams, and College Park GA sr Brandon Lowe. Lowe, Alexander, Cherry, Anderson SC jr Kevon Wardlaw, and Anderson SC sr Jesse Oliver are other leading 200 entries.

Adams, whose specialty is the 300H (36.04), tops the 110H field at 13.65, with Ft. Lauderdale sr Jeffery Julmis his most serious competition. The most prominent Tennessee entry, Elizabethton jr Justin Fuqua, is top-seeded in the 400H at 52.87, with Miami FL sr Omar Hansborough 2nd.

In the 400, six are seeded in the 48-second range, with Jacksonville FL sr Kyle Teeter the best at 48.27. He’s followed by St. Petersburg FL jr Paul Britten, Miami FL jr Akeem Williams, Orlando FL sr Dexter Miller, Miami FL jr Robert Lanier, and Birmingham AL soph Johnny Ault.

As for the relays, Guy and Adams are listed together on a West Charlotte 4x1, and would be the likely favorite. In the 4x400, Smiths Station with long-sprint/mid-distance star Chris Bilbrew is the top seed.

Girls Middle Distance/Distance

The distance races look slated to be all-Florida shows at the top. The 800 field is led by Winter Park jr Ana Groff, the 4A runner-up and seeded at 2:11, four seconds ahead of anyone else. Orlando jr Jamia Hutto and Port Orange soph Brooke Nebel could be the best challengers. Another Port Orange runner, soph Mandy Perkins, is top-seeded in the mile at 5:02, with Tampa jr Katrina Skinner the only other competitor listed under 5:10 at 5:04. St. Petersburg sr Alexandria Crabb, the 3A 3200 champ, is the top 3000 seed at 10:26.90.

Boys Middle-Distance/Distance

The 800 should be an exciting battle, as any race with Smiths Station AL sr Chris Bilbrew (1:51) is. The Nike Indoor Nationals runner-up will be fought by Dwayne Ferguson BAH (1:52) and Winter Springs jr Nat Duby (1:54), the 4A runner-up.

In the 1600, many of Florida’s best distance runners, sans Joe Franklin, will be in the race. Tampa Jesuit’s Connor Revord was runner-up behind Franklin’s 4:08.84 at state 2A and had the #2 time for the year in FL. Gainesville (Buchholz HS) sr Laurent Williams is probably his most likely challenger of several seeds listed in the 4:20 range.

Revord, along with Pembroke Pines (Flanagan HS) jr Sebastian Castillo and Crawfordville (Wakulla HS) sr Tyler Price, head the 3000 meter list.

Girls Field Events

Glasser, the Jacksonville Episcopal sr, 2A champ and an all-time great here in the event, is the class of the field event seeds. She has a best of 12-09 and will continue to push the magic 13-foot barrier. Other 12-footers listed are Kennesaw GA jr. Kimber Shealy and Lake Mary FL jr and 4A champ Meagan Martin. The high jump field is headed by Groveland FL (South Lake HS) jr and 2A champ Monica Carney, at 5-08, with the Naples FL duo of jr Naomi Andre and sr Asha Tavernier following.

Miami FL sr Markeva Daye is listed as the top long jumper; but she is in reality one of three 18 footers in the hunt, with Decatur GA (Southwest Dekalb) soph Kia Jackson the leader. In the triple jump, 39-foot junior and 3A champ from Orange Park (Ridgeville HS) Tomika Story should be the class of the field, with St. Petersburg jr Samantha Specht next.

The throws are led by Sebastian FL (Sebastian River HS) jr Atasha Warren and Nassau, BAH sr Gabrielle Nixon. Warren is top-seeded in the shot, at 44-05, less than a foot up on Nixon, while Nixon’s 134-02 in the discus is five feet ahead of Warren.

Boys Field Events

The field events are headed by Bahamian high jumper Jamaal Wilson, one of the top Juniors in the world with a PR of 7-02.50. Five seeds at 6-08 will try and give him battle. In the pole vault, Sarasota Riverview FL sr and 4A champ Joe Davis is his state’s best and leads the event at 15-10. Three others at 15-00 hope to give him a battle.

Cottondale FL sr Clarence Powell, the 1A champ and state’s top jumper at 48-10.50, is the clear leader in the triple jump field. The long lump field is led by Poinciana jr Tilden Matthews, a 23-06 performer, with Johnson City TN (Science Hill) jr Adrian Hill the next best bet.

Miami (Christopher Columbus HS) sr Michael Putman is by far the class of the shot and discus fields. He won Florida’s 4A battles with PRs 63-09.75 and 179-08, and leads the state in both.