The middle of May means the Florida High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships are here. The Sarasota area is always well represented at the event — or events, in this year's case — and 2022 is no different. A handful of participants have the potential to reach for medals, perhaps even gold. This year's championships, previously held over two days, will be held over four days in Gainesville, each FHSAA class getting its day in the sun. Class 1A goes Wednesday afternoon and Class 4A will be held Saturday afternoon, going in ascending order.
Here is a rundown of all Sarasota athletes participating in the championships this week:
The Sailors have, by far, the most athletes of any area school in the championships with 20 (10 boys and 10 girls). Junior boys runner Alec Miller enters the Class 4A event seeded first in the 1,600-meter run (4:19.86) and junior boys hurdler Tyler Boyer enters ranked fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (38.42 seconds) and seventh in the 110-meter hurdles (15.00 seconds). The boys 4x800-meter relay team is ranked sixth (8:07.61).
On the girls side, junior runner/hurdler Isabella Nebel has the best shot at a medal. She enters the event ranked fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (43.94 seconds). Nebel is also part of both the Sailors' 4x400-meter (18th; 4:07.05) and 4x800-meter (15th; 10:01.23) relay teams.
The Rams have three athletes (two boys and one girl) attending this year's championships. Sophomore boys athlete Luis Castaneda enters the Class 4A event ranked seventh in the discus (44.60 meters) and senior boys runner Riccardo Testini enters the event ranked 10th in the 1,600-meter run (4:27.62), while sophomore girls discus thrower Susan Lowther is ranked 15th (34.32 meters).
Sophomore Jakai Peterson enters the Class 2A girls championships ranked fourth in the long jump (5.49 meters) and 11th in the 400-meter run (57.96 seconds). Peterson is also part of the school's 4x100-meter relay team with senior Ty'Anna Ash, freshman Ibre Edwards and freshman Lashema Williams. The relay team is ranked ninth (49.14 seconds). No boys qualified.
The Cougars have 11 girls attending the Class 1A event. In the discus, junior Madeline Carson is ranked third (34.39 meters) and senior McKayla Cantrell is ranked 10th (30.04 meters). Cantrell is also sixth in the shot put (10.48 meters). The Cougars' 4x400 meter relay team, which lists eight participants — four starters and four alternates, though they aren't marked as such — enters ranked fifth (4:09.48).
On the boys side, the Cougars have just one participant: junior Cooper Flerlage. He's ranked ninth in the discus (40.88 meters).