A Sailor finds gold; three other area athletes also medal.
Sarasota High senior Robbie Peterson was not expected to win the 4A boys triple jump.
He qualified fifth for the event. He has been dealing with a painful shin injury all week. And yet, when all the sand in the triple jump pit had been blasted, it was Peterson who stood atop the podium, gold around his neck.
Peterson leaped 49 feet, 0.25 inches (or 14.94 meters) on his first attempt of the day. It held up as the winning distance and obliterated Peterson's previous personal best distance of 46 feet, 5.5 inches.
"I never doubted," Peterson said. "I have been training all (football) offseason. I came in with the mindset of jumping a high 14 (meters) and that is what happened.
Yesterday I got third in high jump. I was upset about that one, so I said to myself, 'Alright, I'm going to bring it home (in the triple jump).' And I did, on my first jump. It feels good. It's still unbelievable. I jumped a 14.9 and I'm still in high school."
Peterson, who played cornerback and quarterback for the Sailors football team, is undecided whether he will continue to do track and field in college. Peterson said he is still looking for the right destination after breaking his leg as a junior and missing most of that season, a crucial one in the recruiting process.
Whether he continues with the triple jump or not, this is a day Peterson will never forget.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lakewood Ranch High senior James Rivera, the defending champion in the 4A boys 300-meter hurdles, saw his crown fall.
Rivera (37.75) finished second by a sliver to St. Thomas Aquinas senior Jamal Cooney (37.56). Rivera said the second-place finish was because of a bad start.
"I was a little rocky getting off the blocks and from the first hurdle, I just was not smooth over it," Rivera said. "But at the end of the day, I have had an awesome season. I have the best coach around (Lakewood Ranch hurdles coach Larry Ryans) and I am happy to come out and get second.
"A million times, I have to go through my head and think, 'I have to get out pushing that back block.' I felt it when I got out. It was not it needed to be. I came out side-to-side instead of straight-on. It really affected me."
Fellow Mustangs senior Johnny Reid also ended his career with a medal, taking the bronze in the 4A boys 1600-meter race (4:19.14). He led after the second and third laps, but got caught down the stretch. Reid said even though he finished second last year, he was not upset with the third-place finish because he followed his race plan.
"I am really happy with how I ran," Reid said. "I wanted to control most of the race because a lot of these guys have strong kicks. I controlled two to three laps of it. They just had a little more (energy) than me at the end."
Sarasota senior Ben Hartvigsen started on the line for the 4A boys 1600-meter run — but when the gun rang, he walked to the sidelines instead of breaking into a sprint.
It was part of Hartvigsen's plan to try to win the 3200-meter race, one that would require every ounce of energy: Get out to an immediate lead and hold on the rest of the way. In other words, lead all 3200-meters.
He led 3100.
Hartvigsen was caught by Oviedo's Angel Vicioso — the same person who caught Reid — with about 100 meters to go.
"I gave it all I had," Hartvigsen said.
The silver medal will go in his collection alongside the two FHSAA cross country state titles he won in 2018 and 2017.
The Sarasota 4A boys 4x800 relay team finished fourth (7:58.79) in class 4A. The Sailors girls team finished ninth (9:35.90).
Lakewood Ranch junior Ava Klein finished fourth in the 4A girls 300-meter hurdles (43.47). Mustangs sophomore Sydney Granack finished 24th (51.53) in the same event.
Braden River junior Rose Ferla Philogene finished fifth in the 3A girls 100-meter hurdles (14.46 seconds) and 18th in the 300-meter hurdles (47.60).
The Out-of-Door Academy freshman Tristan McWilliam finished seventh (4:27.75) in the 1A boys 1600-meter run.
Lakewood Ranch sophomore Riley Simmons finished eighth in the 4A girls shot put (38 feet, 8.25 inches). In the 4A boys shot put, Mustangs senior Paris Pratt finished 17th (46 feet, 3.5 inches).
Cardinal Mooney senior Meko Mayes finished 13th (41 feet, 6.5 inches) in the 1A boys triple jump.
Sarasota junior Ash'shfi Sabur finished 14th (39.49) in the 4A boys 300-meter hurdles.
Cardinal Mooney senior Brandon Boynes finished 15th (23.15) in the 1A boys 200-meter dash.
Cardinal Mooney junior Kolby Crist finished 15th (11 feet, 9.75 inches) in the 1A boys pole vault.
The Lakewood Ranch girls 4x400 relay team finished 17th (4:01.14) in class 4A.
The Cardinal Mooney girls 4x400 relay team finished 18th (4:27.20) in class 1A.
The Cardinal Mooney boys 4x400 relay team finished 19th (3:36.74) in class 1A.
Lakewood Ranch junior Madeline McNinch (25.44) finished 19th in the 4A girls 200-meter dash.
Riverview High junior Alexa Tarohocker (34 feet, 4.25 inches) finished 22nd in the 4A girls triple jump.