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Dillard wins its first boys track crown; Northwestern girls extend state title streak

·7 min read

Dillard senior Renand Jean had only one thing on his mind as he lunged toward the finish line.

“You have to fight to the finish if you want to get a chance at anything in life,” Jean said. “That’s all that was going through my head.”

Trailing by several meters down the home stretch of the 3,200-meter relay on Friday afternoon, Jean turned on the jets and surged past Belen Jesuit’s Adam Magoulas at the last possible second to win the race.

The victory set the tone for a historic day for the Dillard boys’ track-and-field team, which secured its first-ever state championship with 80 points in the Class 3A meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

The Panthers, who had three previous state runner-up finishes, finished ahead of Miami Belen Jesuit in the team standings as well as the runner-up Wolverines posted their best finish since winning their lone state title in 2007.

Dillard, which had only one individual state champion in the past 15 years, swept all three relays and Jean took home the state title in the 800 meters. Jerry Philippe also posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the 110 and 300 hurdles.

“We’ve been working hard at this for over 10 years when coach James Kirby and I started this together,” said Dillard coach Davidson Gill. “He had a stroke and was forced to retire a few years ago, and I wanted to continue the fight to accomplish this for him and our community.”

Three of Dillard’s seniors have signed with colleges. Jean and Rushane Miller have each signed with Southern University while Tajay Roberts has signed with Eastern Michigan.

“It took a lot of work to get here,” Jean said. “It was a slow process at first and we had to get ourselves together mentally and physically.”

THE STREAK LIVES

Miami Northwestern’s girls didn’t win a state title last year only because there was no meet due to COVID-19.

Back on the track Friday, the Bulls continued to do what they do best, winning their state-record 12th consecutive state championship and state-leading 17th title overall.

It wasn’t without a close battle, however, as Northwestern’s 78 points were just enough to finish six points ahead of Miami Southridge, the last team that beat Northwestern for a state title back in 2008. Led by junior Alyssa Jones, who won the long jump, high jump and 100 meters and finished second in the 200 meters, the Spartans were the closest runner-up during Northwestern’s title streak.

Trailing by 24 points with six events remaining, junior Aaliyah Butler won the 400 meters for Northwestern. And then the Bulls placed second through fifth in the 300 hurdles led by Shakynah Tresvant.

The Bulls finished the night by backing up their top ranking in the nation in the 1,600-meter relay, winning the race in 3:45.41.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS

Belen Jesuit senior Javier Vento, a two-time individual cross-country state champion, led Belen with victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

Sophomore thrower Kiara Moss made school history Friday afternoon when she became South Miami’s first-ever individual state track and field champion. Moss’ throw of 42-feet in the shot put secured the championship.

American Heritage Jada Joseph won the triple jump in Class 3A, finished second in the high jump and fourth in the long jump to help the Patriots finish third overall.

Mater Academy’s Jinah Mickens-Malik won the 800 meters championship.

Highlands Christian senior javelin thrower Nicholas Veynovich and Palmer Trinity junior high jumper Brandon Pottinger were the only state champions in the Class 1A meet from Dade or Broward. Veynovich, who held the top throw in the state for most of the season, won the javelin with a throw of 180 feet, 2 inches. Pottinger secured the title with a jump of 6-feet, 5 ½ inches, which helped the Falcons place fifth overall with 35 points — the highest finish for a South Florida team in that class.

RESULTS

Class 3A team scores — Boys: 1. Dillard 80; 2. Belen Jesuit 56; Girls: 1. Northwestern 78, 2. Southridge 72, 3. American Heritage 61.

Class 3A girls’ individuals (winner and/or top Dade/Broward finisher) – 3,200 relay: Winter Springs 9:28.32, 2. Dillard 9:28.40; Shot put: Kiara Moss (South Miami) 42-0; Long jump: Alyssa Jones (SR) 20-3¾, Javelin: Daniella Vance (Sunlake) 119-6; 5. Kaleigh Joyce (AM) 102-7; Pole vault: Elizabeth Lydon (Gaither) 11-9¾, 2. Sydney Nicholson (AM) 11-9¾; High jump: Alyssa Jones (SR) 5-7¾; Discus: Akari Isaac (Tampa Bay Tech) 133-3, 5. Me’Kayla Rothmiller (NW) 115-10; Triple jump: Jada Joseph (AH) 39-8¾; 100 hurdles: Lucheona Williams (Dunbar) 13.71, 3. Shakynah Tresvant (NW) 14.37; 100: Alyssa Jones (SR) 11.67; 1600: Caroline Wells (Winter Springs) 4:51.64, 3. Ashley Fitzgerald (AH) 5:12.44; 400 relay: American Heritage 46.25; 400: Aaliyah Butler (NW) 53.89; 300 hurdles: Lucheyona Weaver (Dunbar) 43.11, 2. Shakynah Tresvant (NW) 43.89; 800: Jinah Mickens-Malik (Mater) 2:11.41; 200: Cydney Wright (Mainland) 23.68, 2. Alyssa Jones (SR) 23.96; 3200: Caroline Wells (Winter Springs) 10:21.14, 4. Ashley Fitzgerald (AH) 11:14.28; 1,600 relay: Northwestern 3:45.41.

Class 3A boys’ individuals (only events with Dade/Broward top 8 finisher) – 3,200 relay: Dillard 7:52.00; Discus: Isaac Tavo (Land O’Lakes) 153-11, 3. Ahmari Alvin (Pines Charter) 151-3; Long jump: Curtis Williams (Leon) 25-5¼, 3. Edward Louis (DIL) 23-3¼; Shot put: Isaac Tavo (Land O’Lakes) 57-7; 4. Malik Lewis (DIL) 52-8; Triple jump: 1. Sergio Morancy (Lely) 47-4¼, 2. Kalil Murphy (McArthur) 46-10¾; Javelin: 1. Cole Crkvenac (New Smyrna Beach) 161-10; 8. Kevin Alpizar (Bel) 143-7; High jump: Guy Bond (Poinciana) 6-8 3/4; Pole vault: Dylan Peterson (Merritt Island) 14-3¼; 2. Miguel Roque (McCarthy) 14-3¼; 110 hurdles: Leonard Mustari (Dunbar) 13.62; 2. Jerry Philippe (DIL) 13.77; 100: Aaron Bell (Terry Parker) 10.34, 6. Jamari Sharpe (NW) 10.69; 1600: 1. Javier Vento (Bel) 4:14.58; 400 relay: Dillard 41.42; 400: Kaseem Ibraheem-Washington (Rickards) 48.05, 2. Mekhi Gammons (HML) 48.27; 300 hurdles: Leonard Mustari (Dunbar) 37.16, 2. Jerry Philippe (DIL) 37.69; 800: Renand Jean (DIL) 1:53.70; 200: Aaron Bell (Terry Parker) 20.71, 3. Trimaine Brown (NW) 21.45; 3200: Javier Vento (Bel) 9:02.61; 1,600 relay: Dillard 3:16.34.

Class 1A Team scores – Boys: 1. Mount Dora Christian 45; Top Dade/Broward: 5. Palmer Trinity 35, T-15. Highlands Christian 14; Girls: 1. St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut 46; Top Dade/Broward: T-19. Palmer Trinity 13, 44. South Florida HEAT 2.

Class 1A girls’ individuals (only events with Dade/Broward top 8 finisher) – Triple jump: 1. Grace Lathrop (Northside Christian) 36-10¼; 8. Selah Sims (SFH) 33-6½; 3,200 relay: 1. Cambridge Christian 9:26.12; 8. South Florida HEAT 10:13.42; 100 hurdles: 1. Leah Martin-Gonzales (St. John Neumann) 14.50; 6. Gaby Dorta (PT) 16.66; 400 relay: 1. Wildwood 49.07; 8. Westminster Academy 51.85; 300 hurdles: 1. Loren Brown (Community School) 44.45; 5. Gaby Dorta (PT) 47.40; 1,600 relay: 1. Fort Myers Canterbury 4:02.13; 7. Palmer Trinity 4:16.04.

Class 1A boys’ individuals (only events with Dade/Broward top 8 finisher) – 1. Jonathan Jean (Victory Christian) 44-1¼; 5. Robbie Robertson (PT) 42-4¾; Javelin: Nicholas Veynovich (HC) 180-2; High jump: Brandon Pottinger (PT) 6-5½; Pole vault: 1. Nick Molloy (Community School) 15-5; 6. Nicholas Jhoslien (SFH) 11-9¾; 3,200 relay: 1. Gainesville Oak Hall 8:01.57; 5. Palmer Trinity 8:20.96; 110 hurdles: 1. Darian Mills (Port St. Joe) 14.55; 6. Isaiah Thomas (PT) 15.86; 1600: 1. Austin Montini (Oak Hall) 4:21.54; 5. George Stark (PT) 4:29.63; 400: 1. John Oleksak (Indian Rocks Christian) 49.41; 5. Maxwell Mejias (Champagnat) 51.13; 800: 1. Austin Montini (Oak Hall) 1:55.55; 5. Payton Caja (HC) 1:59.31; 1,600 relay: Orlando Masters Academy 3:23.53; 5. Palmer Trinity 3:29.59.

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