The 1999 State Track Meet in Review


By Allison Eagan
(Allison is a GWTC member and was an all state runner for Leon High School where she ran cross country and track. She now attends the University of Florida.)

Upon my return to Gainesville, I had the pleasure to be one of 6,900 spectators, a state meet record, to witness the state meets which took place on May 7th-8th for 2A-3A and May 14th-16th for 4A-6A. As usual, athletes from the Big Bend did an excellent job of displaying their talent.

Among the smaller schools, teams from the area obtained the first two spots in both the girls and boys 2A division. Maclay once again exhibited its track dominance among the smaller schools by attaining its second strait team title for girls with 93 points. In the 1600 meter run, Elizabeth Wester, a Rhodes College signee, took third place with a 5:23. Finishing her first track season, Jennifer Emo (8th grade) ran a seven second PR of 5:27 to take sixth place. In the 3200 meter run, three of the top ten spots were taken up by runners from the area. Kara Newell (freshman) ran a 12:03 to give her third place and the best performance among the 3200 meter runners in the area at the state meet. Not far behind was Nicole Posey, a sophomore from North Florida Christian, who ran a PR of 12:11 to finish in fifth place and Elizabeth Wester who ran a 12:36 to inch into tenth place. All three runners were also All Big Bend cross country first team selections. Also for Maclay, Georgia Tech signee, Jamie Ostrov accomplished a rarely seen feat by winning her fourth state title in the high jump after clearing 5’06”. Ostrov also won a title as a member of the 4×400 team, placed third in the 200 and fourth in the long jump. Not very far behind Maclay was Famu High with 71 points to gain the state runner-up title. A pair of sprinters, Tahesia Harrigan and Ashley Hartsfield earned most of the points for Famu High. Harrigan (junior) may have had the best performance among all the Big Bend athletes at the state meet by earning 42.5 points. She won state titles in the 100, 200, long jump, triple jump and was a member of the winning 4×100 team to give her a total of ten titles for her high school career thus far. Hartsfield finished second in the 100, fourth in the 200 and was also a member of the 4×100 team.

For the boys, area teams grabbed four of the top five spots. Port St Joe won its sixth straight title with 75 points. Fundamental to this title was the performances of Roderick Givens. Givens ran a PR of 4:25 to win the 1600. He also won the 3200 with a PR of 9:51 which was a new 2A state meet record. Givens, a junior, also won a state title for cross county and was the All Big Bend Cross Country Runner of the Year. Finishing second was Maclay with 61 points. Maclay was able to win a lot of points in the distance events. In the 1600, Michael Caire took second place with a 4:25 while Joshua Connor placed fourth with a 4:30. In the 800 meter run, Senior Caleb Connor ran a 1:58 to finish third while Chris Serna and Caire finished fifth and twelfth respectively. Also, Maclay’s 4×800 team finished second. Finally, in the 3200, Ryan Deak (7th grade) ran a 10:02 to finish fourth while Joshua Connor ran a 10:09 to finish seventh. Mostly through sprinting events, North Florida Christian and Famu High were able to take fourth and fifth place respectively. For North Florida Christian, Constantin Ritzman finished third in both the 100 and 200 and was a member of the second place 4×100 team. Taylor Jacobs of Famu High continued to excel in his post regular season performances by winning the 100, 200 and anchoring the 4×100 team which set a 3A state record to win in 42.42. Finally, Wewahitchka finished in twelfth place with twenty points. James Taunton earned the majority of these points with a third place finish in the 1600, fifth place in the 3200 and seventh place in the high jump.

For area runners, the 3A and 4A meets were highlighted by mostly relay action. In the 3A meet, Florida High’s girls 4×800 team attained second place. In the 4A meet, Rickards’ girls 4×100 team placed third while the girls 4×400 team from Shanks came in fifth. Finally, for the boys, Shanks’ 4×400 team finished third.

In the 5A division, runners were faced with an added challenge of being forced to run the state meet just four days after running regionals due to a rain delay which forced the regional meet to be moved from Friday, May 7th, to Monday, May 10th. In spite of this delay, Leon freshman, Zita Magloire, ran a 5:33 to finish thirteenth after running a PR of 5:25 at regionals. Also for the girls 5A division, Mamie Lewis of Godby finished seventh in the high jump, twelfth in the long jump, and eleventh in the triple jump. For the boys, Michael Joanas, a sophomore from Leon, highlighted his state meet debut by running a PR of 9:44 to finish fourth in the 3200 and etch his mark as best in the Big Bend. Perhaps the best performance of the meet came when Nick Thompson won the 400 in 47.74 to put him among the top three in the state for all classifications.

The 6A meet was very exciting since the titles for first, second, and third for both boys and girls were undecided until the final event. For the girls, Lincoln’s lone qualifier, Theresa Daniels, placed fifth in the 400 meter run with a 57.47. In other 6A races, Lincoln’s boys 4×100 team and 4×400 team finished eight and ninth respectively while Jamaal Sermon placed third in the long jump and fourth in the high jump to give Lincoln sixteenth place.

All in all, athletes from North Florida once again exhibited their track prowess, and one can barely wait to see next year’s group of athletes produce the same record breaking and title filled results that this year’s group displayed.

Last edited 07/10/08