Flagler Palm Coast senior Isaiah Joseph said his feet clipped a few hurdles at the Flagler Pinnacle Preseason track meet on Feb. 17.
That’s uncharacteristic of the hurdler who qualified for state last year in the 300-meter event.
But the 300-meter hurdles has been replaced this season by the 400-meter hurdles for both boys and girls. One hundred more meters and two additional hurdles may not sound like a lot, but the events are like night and day, FPC boys track and field coach Dave Halliday said.
“Any decent sprinter or hurdler can get their way through the 300,” Halliday said. “You have to be fast and strong to run the 400. It’s a different animal. Some won’t be able to make that transition.”
Joseph skimmed the last three hurdles again at the 19th annual East Coast Classic on Friday, Feb. 24, at FPC. But he’s handling the transition just fine.
Joseph won the event with a time of 55.05 seconds, edging out Ponte Vedra’s Jarrell Jimenez, who ran a 55.09.
Joseph’s time was more than two seconds faster than his time at the Flagler Pinnacle meet.
“It’s a learning process,” he said. “It’s a little different from the 300.”
Mainland sprint and relay coach Vern Conaway said the Bucs have changed their training for the intermediate hurdles event.
We have to reprocess their mental preparedness, show them it’s just another 100 meters. — VERN CONAWAY, Mainland sprint and relay coach
“We have to reprocess their mental preparedness, show them it’s just another 100 meters,” he said.
To prepare the hurdlers mentally, they have to be physically prepared, Conaway said, so the Bucs have toughened the workouts, lengthening sprints to 500 to 600 meters.
“They need that endurance to last longer,” he said. “With the 300, you don’t need that kind of workout.”
The 400-meter hurdles is not only more grueling on its own, but it makes a day of competition tougher on athletes who compete in multiple events.
Joseph ran the 400 hurdles after finishing second with a time of 15.76 seconds in the 110 hurdles at the East Coast Classic.
Mainland’s Jonathan Williams won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.71 seconds.
Mainland’s Cameron Boatright won both the boys 100- and 200-meter dashes. Boatright was timed at 11.35 seconds in the 100 and 22.81 seconds in the 200. FPC’s Rodney Hill finished fifth in the 100 but was just one-tenth of a second behind Boatright at 11.36.
Atlantic’s Aidan Dixon had the best performance of the day. Dixon won the 400-meter run in 46.95 seconds — the best time in the nation so far this season. Dixon crossed the finish line nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Dennis Murray Jr. of FPC, who ran a 48.92. D.Z. Steward of FPC was third in 49.80 seconds.
“I like to have some better competition with me,” said Steward who clocked a personal record.
FPC won the boys 4x800 relay. Brandon Kalasnik, Barak Olago, Peyton Woodward and Kamron Davis won by nearly 14 seconds with a time of 8:06.39.
Kalasnik, who had been a 400-meter specialist before this season, led the first lap of the 800-meter run before settling on a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:59.67.
Kalasnik also ran in the 4x400 relay with Steward, Joseph and Murray. The Bulldogs finished second with a time of 3:17.91.
FPC’s Ashton Bracewell place second in discus with a throw of 136 feet, 10 inches.
Among the girls, FPC freshman Marcelus Karina placed second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:07.16 and was fifth in the 100 hurdles in 16.09 seconds.
Summer Barnes of FPC was second in the 200 meters (26.53 seconds) and third in the 100 (13.00 seconds).
FPC's girls also finished second in the 4x400 relay. Marcelus, Barnes, Fabiola LaPlante and Cassidy De Young finished in 4:11.52.
FPC's boys team placed second overall behind Niceville. Mainland was fourth. Niceville also won the girls title with FPC sixth and Mainland 11th.