GAINESVILLE – Oakleaf High senior triple jumper Melvin Briley won the closest competition of his final year as the best triple jumper in Florida with a four inch win Friday night at the Pepsi …
GAINESVILLE – Oakleaf High senior triple jumper Melvin Briley won the closest competition of his final year as the best triple jumper in Florida with a four inch win Friday night at the Pepsi Relays at the University of Florida.
Briley, the defending Class 4A champion for the event, nailed his first jump at 48 feet, 5.25 inches then held off a challenge from Pine Crest High senior Tony Bridges who sprang to 48’-1.25” on his second jump to give Briley a slight challenge to the title. Trying to overcome Briley on his third jump, Bridges fouled then fell to 46’-55” and 46’-12” while Briley stayed in the 47’-plus range with a final jump at 47’-6”.
In the Friday night Elite 1600 boys race, Fleming Island High senior Andrew Miller, who has been out of racing for nearly five weeks with college commitment visits, returned to the track in one of the fastest fields so far in Florida.
“He’s been very busy getting ready for college and other things,” said Fleming Island coach Karen Moritz. “I think he did great for not being in a race of this caliber in five weeks. I’ll take it as we build to districts and regions.”
Miller, fourth last year in the Class 4A 3200 with teammate Evan Fuller 10th, broke his own school record of 4:25 while finishing 14th overall to winner Hugh Brittenham of Estero High’s 4:13.46. Brittenham, second in Class 3A last year with a 4:17.78 effort, led a vicious final lap that saw eight runners finish under 4:20 with Brittenham holding off Class 4A champion Tim Doyle of Freedom High for the win. Brittenham later took third in 1:53.30 in the 800 meter race.
“That race was one of fastest and competitive races I’ve seen this year with the front guys and back guys all in one long pack until the last lap,” said Moritz. “I think Andrew wanted a 4:20, but we’re happy with his time at this point.”
In sixth, from 4A-Lakewood Ranch, was Jonathan Reid in 4:18.49 with St. Cloud’s Tristen Montalvo, fifth in the 4A 3200 last year, in eighth in 4:19.29 and Buchholz’ Caden Monk 12th in 4:22.12 as three Class 4A runners set to battle in the upcoming region and state meet.
“Andrew has been ranked seventh to ninth through the year and most of the guys in Gainesville were 4A runners that we will most likely see again,” said Moritz.
Moritz liked her crew of Miller, Fuller and freshman Kameron Wallizada for the upcoming post season with Fuller running a strong 9:33 3200 on Fri., March 23 at the FSU Relays then coming back to run a 4:32 1600 at the UNF Spring Break Invite on Sat., March 24. Wallizada broke the 10 minute barrier in the 3200 with a 34th place in 9:56.86.
Keystone Heights miler Alex Guy finished the 3200 also in 10:23.01.
“Evan is a great finisher at the end of the season and he is coming into his part of the year,” said Moritz, who noted Fuller received a scholarship to run for Flagler College next year. “Kameron is a strong runner that is one of the top distance guys in the country for freshman.”
Also at the Pepsi Relays, Oakleaf’s Loren Johnson finished fourth in the triple at 38’-.75”; Keystone Heights miler Alex Guy finished 14th in the varsity 1600 on Thursday in 4:32.43 with Fleming Island’s Samuel Terry 53rd at 4:41.46 and Oakleaf’s Damien Pryce 92nd at 4:59.83 and Fleming Island’s Kayla Hermaon finished 84th in the Varsity 1600 in 6:0546 with Keystone Heights’ Camryn Williams 41st in 5:34.68.
In the girls 3200, Fleming Island freshman Emma Millson finished 41st in 12:04.92.
In the mens open 5000 meters, Keystone Heights graduate Enoch Nadler, now 33 and training for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, took on college runners and finished third overall in 14:05.292 with an intention to break 14 minutes. Nadler noted the pace was not strong enough to break the 14 minute mark with Nadler leading much of the way.
In the girls 800, Fleming Island junior Grayson Iller ran a strong 2:34.86 to take 91st in the race won in 2:09.40. Fleming Island senior Julie Franzoni ran 2:39.42.
In the boys 100 meters preliminaries, Fleming Island senior Anfernee McCaskill ran one of his fastest splits of the season; 10.91, but finished 21st in a field of superfast sprinters from south Florida.
In the girls 100 meters, Oakleaf junior Tahja Peoples ran 12.72 for 48th in a field won at 11.29 with four runners under 12 seconds.