May 07--With the runner of the nation's top time in the 100 hurting his hamstring and a few other upsets, everything didn't go entirely according to plan for the area's top athletes on Saturday, but Broward County still came away with three boys teams to win championships.
Miramar easily rolled to its first team title in Class 4A, Hallandale took American Heritage's crown in Class 2A on the final event, the 4x400 relay, and Westminster Academy earned a share of the 1A title, also coming through clutch in the end at the state track and field championships at IMG Academy.
Miramar had only won two individual state track championships in its history, let alone a team title, coming into this season. Junior Jamal Walton got two on his own on Saturday, winning the Class 4A 200 in 21.31 seconds and the 400 in 46.11. He's the first to ever win state gold in those events for the Patriots.
"I'm happy for the kids, happy for the school," said Miramar coach Chris McComb. "It means a lot coming from a football school to now we're bringing track along."
Teammate Terrence Horne Jr. finished second behind him in the 200 and also was second in the 100 at 10.82, well below his personal best. The Patriots, who also earned points off the finishes of sophomore sprinter Taylor Banks, were second in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays to win by 20 points over Miami Columbus.
"It showed how hard we work in practice because all of us can run," Horne said. "That's why training with [Walton] helps with my foot speed."
His silver was actually a surprise as the projected winner in the 100 in 4A. In the same race, Walton was fifth and Banks sixth in the 100 as the Patriots won the team title by 20 points over Miami Columbus.
"We were expecting more points out of the 100 and I was expecting Terrence to win. Sometimes things go the way they go," McComb said.
While Horne finishing second in the 100 was the lone disappointment for the Patriots, just about everything that could go wrong for American Heritage did to keep the Patriots from repeating as 2A champs.
World-class junior sprinter Anthony Schwartz, who currently runs the fastest 100 in high school, tweaked his left hamstring running it in Saturday's final. He pulled up and finished last, but teammate Tyson Campbell picked up the slack, winning the race in 10.76 seconds, two-hundredths of a second faster than Chaminade-Madonna's Shaun Shivers.
"I was just trying to get across the finish line," said Campbell, also a four-star recruit as a cornerback on the Patriots football team. "Eyes straight on the finish line, just keep pumping, just get across. That's what I did."
Later Saturday, Campbell and Shivers also had a 1-2 finish in the 200. Schwartz, a favorite coming in after winning both races last year as a sophomore, jogged it to finish and salvage his team a point.
With all that, the Patriots still had a five-point lead in team standings on Hallandale going into the 4x400 relay, but with Schwartz unavailable, Heritage finished fifth while Hallandale won the event to give the Chargers just enough to edge their Broward 2A counterpart. Hallandale also won gold in the 4x800 relay, but didn't have a winner in an individual event Saturday.
"We have a group of unsung heroes, we say the 'No Name Gang,'" said Hallandale coach John Battle. "They just come together for one common goal and work very hard."
Amari Johnson's second-place finish in the 300 hurdles also gave them a boost in points. Hallandale won its second state title in three years and third overall.
Westminster Academy tied St. Stephens Episcopal with 42 team points by winning its 4x400 relay to make up the two-point deficit the Lions faced. They went from fourth to a tie for first on the final event and now have won team titles in three of four seasons.
Northeast's Thomas wins 110 hurdles again
Northeast senior Damion Thomas wrapped up his high school career with a third consecutive 110 hurdles title.
"It's a great feeling to come out senior year and repeat as champion," said Thomas, who is signed to run at LSU.
"I'm just really happy with the outcome of the season and to deliver a third state title for Northeast."
Thomas stumbled at start but came back to win handily.
Fagot defends shot put title
Calvary Christian senior Diego Fagot defended his Class 2A boys shot put title, throwing a new personal best 17.48 meters (57-4.25).
Fagot, signed to Navy to play football as a linebacker and also in the middle of baseball districts, was having a down year in the shot put after winning it last year as he was also playing baseball this spring, but in his final throw of his high school career, cocked back and unleashed.
"I wasn't putting as much time into it, and then I just realized I need to push through," Fagot said. "My mindset was, 'This is my last throw. I'm not going to let these guys beat me, and I just went for it.'"
Hallandale's Milton Ingraham, a favorite in the event after winning in Class 1A with Dade Christian last year, finished third (56-4).
Other local notables
The Class 2A boys 4x800 relay had Broward schools finish in all top four positions with Hallandale winning in 8:06.17 and Calvary Christian, American Heritage and Pine Crest to follow. Westminster Academy's boys 4x800 relay team won the 1A title, finishing in 8:15.81.
The St. Thomas Aquinas (47.11) and American Heritage (46.70) girls 4x100 relay teams won gold in their classes. Cardinal Gibbons(41.33) won the boys title in 2A.
Heritage had girls win gold and silver in 2A in the 400 with freshman Danielle Bess winning in 55.38 and eighth-grader Kenya Thompson right behind her (56.56). In 3A, Northeast sophomore Jan'Taijah Ford won in 53.90. Palm Beach Central senior Karimah Davis could not defend her Class 4A title in the 400, falling to Miami Southridge's Symone Mason by just under three-hundredths of a second.
In the boys 400, Somerset Canyons senior Jonathan Meyer won the 1A title (50.71).
Hallandale junior Takira Williams won the girls 2A triple jump state title, leaping 39-3.75.
Archbishop McCarthy senior Marcus Mijares won the boys 2A discus, throwing it 166-9.
Pahokee won the girls 4x400 relay in 4:00.70. Trinity Christian senior Tyler Hall missed out on the boys 1A title in the 100 by three-hundredths of a second (11.06).
American Heritage also had its girls team finish as a runner-up in 2A. The St. Thomas Aquinas girls finished second in 4A while Northeast did the same in 3A.
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