It’s only the first major meet of the track and field season.
But the Louie Bing Memorial Classic often provides a glimpse of which are the top teams and athletes who will have a chance to contend for state championships.
St. Thomas Aquinas won the boys’ and girls’ team races convincingly this past weekend at Traz Powell Stadium, and showed off the kind of depth that should make them top contenders in Class 4A.
The Raiders girls, who won back-to-back titles before the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the 2020 season, finished ahead of Miami-Dade County powers Southridge and Northwestern, which is currently on an 11-year state title streak in Class 3A.
Aquinas’ boys, who have not won a team state title since 2014, beat reigning two-time Class 4A champion Columbus and reigning three-time Class 3A champion Northwestern.
Junior Claude Campbell highlighted the Aquinas boys’ efforts winning the long jump title with a mark of 23-feet, 4 3/4-inches.
Senior Eddiyah Frye, a University of North Carolina commitment, will be among the leaders of the Raiders’ girls’ squad and one of their most versatile athletes. Frye set a meet record in the 100-meter hurdles at the Louie Bing (13.14 seconds) and finished runner-up in the 300 hurdles to North Miami’s Amanda Kinloch. Frye also won the long jump with a mark of 19-feet, 6 1/4-inches.
Senior Alexis Glasco leads the Raiders’ group of sprinters and also set a meet record winning the 100-meter dash in 11.68 seconds. Aquinas swept the 800 and 1,600 meter relays on the boys and girls sides.
The Raiders also have a talented group of freshmen girls, who won titles at the Louie Bing. Ashlyn Hubbard won the pole vault (8-6), Lauren Thomas won the discus (124-8) and Alayna Herring won in the javelin throw (88-7).
The depth of talent in Broward County is widespread.
▪ Flanagan junior Jassani Carter is a top sprinter. Carter won the 200 meters in 23.53 seconds.
▪ American Heritage senior Jada Joseph, a Brown University signee, won the triple jump in 39-10 3/4 and was the runner-up in the long jump.
▪ Pembroke Pines Charter senior Ahmari Alvin is one of the best discus throwers as he showed this weekend, winning that event with a mark of 151 feet.
Alvin will be joined by junior Kyvon Tatham, who has quite the lineage in Broward County track. Tatham’s brothers Rasheed and Jeremy Tatham both had stellar high school careers with Jeremy going on to star at Abilene Christian University.
Tatham’s mother, Mazel, was the only women’s NCAA Division I national champion at Abilene Christian winning the high jump title in 1987 (6-2 1/4).
▪ Chaminade-Madonna senior Torrie Cox, a cornerback on the football team who signed with Ohio University, will spearhead a Lions track team hoping to make noise in Class 2A. Cox started the season strong, winning the 400 meters in 47.90 seconds at the Louie Bing. Joining Cox among Chaminade’s best are sophomores Kwame Smith and D’Angelo Ponds.
The Lions’ girls are young, but will be competitive thanks to freshmen Nadya Grayson and Julian Stanish, sophomore Jasmine Hough and junior Haley Blades.
▪ Dillard senior Jerry Philippe set a meet record in the 110 hurdles. Northeast senior Rotchild Tesaint is another of the county’s top hurdlers, winning the 300 meters this past weekend.
▪ Fort Lauderdale’s boys will be tough in the distance events led by senior Michael Fiore, a University of Florida commitment and a champion this weekend in the 800 and 3,200 meters. Senior Humberto Ramirez, a champion in the 1,600 meters, is also back.
▪ Stoneman Douglas senior jumpers Isaiah Shaw and Ameer Hussain should be formidable as well. Shaw won the boys’ triple jump and Hussain won the high jump at the Louie Bing.
▪ Cardinal Gibbons junior Sam Mrky is among the top pole vaulters and showed it at the Louie Bing with a winning vault of 12-6.
▪ Somerset Academy’s boys will be young but competitive led by sophomore Chris Brown in the 200 and 400 and eighth-grader Kaj “Nitro” Baker in the 100, 200 and 400. The Somerset girls’ team will be led by eighth-graders Sydney Tyler (sprints, long jump) and Kayla Williams (400, 800).
▪ North Broward Prep’s girls will be led by seniors Mackenzie Osher, Emily Gordon, Olivia Demarinis and Morgan King. The Eagles’ boys will be led by juniors Christian Dohler, Jose Suarez, Connor Clyatt and Max Fuentes.