- May 5, 2021
Mainland's Nate Davis has qualified for three events at the state track and field championships, while Seabreeze's Ella Chandler is projected to medal in two events at state.
Davis is the No. 2 seed in the 100-meter dash. He will also run in the 200 and the 4x400 relay at the Class 3A championships May 13 at the University of Florida's Percy Beard Track.
Chandler, who finished third at state last year in the 800-meter run, is the fourth seed in Gainesville after winning the Region 2-3A title May 6 at Orlando East River High School with a time of 2:15.68.
Chandler also ran lead leg on the 4x800 relay team that placed second at region with a time of 9:40.56. The relay, which also includes Nickole Dane and twin sisters Ariana and Mackenzie Roy is seeded sixth at state.
Davis transferred from Atlantic High School after football season. When track and field practice began, he was out of shape, Mainland coach Terry Anthony said.
"He hadn't done any running, and it took him a while to get into tip-top shape, but he worked his butt off, and right now he's running his fastest times," Anthony said.
Because of strong headwinds at the district meet that slowed everybody's times, Davis and Mainland's Jordan Porter were placed in the slower heat. Davis ran a 10.63, before Lake Minneola's Valentino Rudolph ran a 10.60 in the second heat to win the region title and gain the top seed at state.
"I told him, 'You've got to blow that field away to have a chance,'" Anthony said. "And he came out blazing. I truly believe if he would have been in the fast heat, he would have run faster."
Porter finished sixth with a time of 10.89 seconds and also qualified for state with the 15th seed.
"I told him, 'You've got to blow that field away to have a chance.' And he came out blazing."
TERRY ANTHONY, Mainland coach on sprinter Nate Davis
E'Zaiah Shine, Davis, Devin Franklin and Porter won the 4x100 at region with a time of 41.70 and are seeded third at state. The team is aiming for a top-two finish as well as the school record, which is 41.57. Miami Northwestern has the top seed at 41.02. The next four seeds are bunched up within three-tenths of a second.
Seabreeze's 4x100 relay ran a 42.60 and missed qualifying for state by one-tenth of a second.
Other state qualifiers for the Bucs include Jonathan Williams in the 110 hurdles, who placed second at region and has the fifth seed at state; Zavier Mincey in the high jump (seventh seed) and long jump (18th seed); Nick Antoine in the high jump (13th seed); and the girls' 4x400 relay team of Marin Hawryluk, Yashaiya Yisreal, Alexa Wilson and Kiera Williams, which is seeded 18th.
Davis has the 11th seed in the 200. He finished ninth in the 200 for Atlantic last year in the 2A championships. The last four Mainland state champs were 200-meter runners: Cydney Wright, who won both the girls 100 and 200 titles last year; Adrian Killins, who won back-to-back 200 titles in 2016 and 2017; and Tony Wilson, who won the 200 in 2003.
"We have a good chance to bring some hardware home," Anthony said. "Who's to say gold won't be the color."