It is Outdoor Time - Chiles Relay and Jessie Forbes Invite

Jana Stoltz, March 8, 2009

This past weekend saw the Big Bend’s first two major track meets of the outdoor season take place: the Chiles Relays and the Jesse Forbes Invitational. Both events proved to be exciting openers to what promises to be a groundbreaking season for Tallahassee tracksters.

Chiles took home both the boys’ and the girls’ overall titles at its relays. The girls’ team was led by strong performances in the throws (Raven Otway- 3rd in the discus and 2nd in the shot put), the relays (Chiles- 1st in the distance medley and the 4x800m), and the 3200m run (Carly Thomas- 1st in 11:51, followed by teammates, Kendall Andrews, Kelley Bahn, and Stephanie Reynolds, for a 1st-4th Chiles sweep).

On the boys’ side, the performances were equally as impressive. Chiles athlete, Brandon Bassett, should be the MVP of his team for this meet. He placed 2nd in the 110m hurdles, 2nd in the high jump, 1st in the pole vault, and 3rd in the long jump. The Timberwolves also had strong performances by their 4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m teams (which all placed 3rd), as well as their 4x800m and distance medley teams (which both placed 2nd). These combined efforts allowed Chiles to best its nearest competitor by 30 points, a very decisive win.

On the opposite side of town, upon a track of blue, the Jesse Forbes Invitational welcomed a field of nearly 1100 athletes. The Big Bend was well-represented on both the boys’ and girls’ podiums.

The highest scoring female team was the host, Godby, who placed second overall. A pair of 1st places from thrower, Michelle Edwards, in both the discus and the shot put as well as a surprisingly deep team in the other events helped secure the number two spot for the Cougars. The girls of Maclay placed fourth overall, led by a 1st place finish in the 1600m (Stefanie Kurgatt, with a 5:34), a 1st place finish in the 3200m (Jana Stolting, with an 11:02 (editor’s note – it was a meet record performance)), a 2nd place performance in the pole vault (Liz Landers, with a height of 9 feet), and a second place performance in the discus (Stephanie Post, with a throw of 90-11). Lincoln tied with Rickards for 5th, Leon finished 12th, and Wakulla finished 13th.

On the boys’ side, Godby snagged 1st place overall by 28 points. They were led by a 1st place 4x800m team, a 2nd place 4x400m team, a 2nd place 100m finish (Lavorrie Johnson- 11.23), and a 2nd place 3200m finish (Dieumy Duclos- 10:01). Rickards showed off its depth with by grabbing 3rd place overall, Lincoln took 5th, Leon 6th, and Maclay 8th. Leon’s, Rhiley Doherty won the 3200m run with a time of 9:52. Wewahitchka’s, Billy Naylor won the 1600m run in a time of 4:32, edging out Maclay’s, Patrick Swain (2nd in 4:35). North Florida Christian’s, Whitney Strickland won the 800m run with a time of 1:57.

Two season openers, two thrilling glimpses into what the next couple of months have in store for the athletes of the Big Bend. If this weekend is any indication of things to come, we are about to witness a year of track unlike any we have seen in quite some time.