Track: Meet records fall at Ed Wells Jr. Kiwanis Invitational
CLEARWATER — The 55th annual Ed Wells Jr. Kiwanis Invitational has a storied legacy. Hosted by Clearwater High, meet records on the boys side date to 1975. Female events only date back to 2006. Several of those meet records fell on Friday.
Gaither is not an annual attendee at Kiwanis but the emergence of senior hurdler Alessa Sandusky and sophomore sprinter LaSarah Hargrove have the Cowboys looking like a team to watch out for. Between them, three meet records fell and a fourth was six-hundredths of a second from falling. Sandusky led the charge, opening up in the 100-meters hurdle final where she’d run a 15.15 in prelims. She torched the field in the finals with a 14.55, just shy of former Dunedin Falcon Olivia Welsh’s 14.49. Kiona Anderson’s 46.43 meet record in the 300 hurdles didn’t stand a chance as Sandusky smashed it with a 44.30 that was more than six seconds ahead of the field.
“This was our first big invitational and I’m very excited for the rest of the season,” Sandusky said. “Everyone on our team has been so driven this year and it’s paying off.”
Sandusky’s 44.30 was a PR as well as a meet record and she said she’s run in the low 14s in the 100 hurdles in a smaller, hand-timed meet. Hargrove overcame a fast start by Lakewood’s Jamesha Moorer in the 100 meters to set a 12.03 as a meet record. She set down the 200 meet record with a 24.69 in that final, while Moorer was hampered by a leg injury.
“I kind of panicked (when Moorer got out so fast) but I kept my form and ran my race,” Hargrove said. “It’s exciting but I still have to work to get better, I want to hit sub-12s.”
Hargrove wasn’t hitting sub-12s until districts last season. She’s already close early in the 2017 season.
Also gobbling up meet records was East Lake’s Jennifer Lima. Lima is coming off a dominant performance at the Early Bird Invite and followed it up with rock solid showings in both the 1,600 and 800 meters. First, it was the 1,600 where she opened up a lead on Olivia Rovin of Shorecrest on the third lap. Coming in at 3:44, she kicked it into a higher gear and burned out the final lap in 1:18 to finish in 5:02.17, nine seconds faster than the meet record and a four-second PR.
“I could see the clock as I was coming in and I wanted to break five so bad,” Lima said. “I’m more confident I can get it now. When I was six seconds away, I thought it was out of reach but now I know I can do it.”
Lima complemented that with a 2:18.06 to win the 800 and set that meet record down as well. It helped the Eagles win the team title, outpacing Mitchell 89-76.
On the boys side, the Eagles outlasted a late charge by Steinbrenner to win the title 126-124.50; it was their first Kiwanis title.
“The 4x4 knew we had to at least get third,” assistant coach David Smith said.
The Steinbrenner relay won it in 3:27.73 with 400 individual champ Jameson Miller slotted in. Miller won the open 400 in 49.98, his first trip under 50 seconds in his career. Miller out-legged Gaither’s Nicholas Izquierdo (50.73) to make a statement in the early part of the season.
“Normally, I start slower the first 200 and pick it up in the back,” Miller said. “This time, I ran faster on both (parts).”
East Lake’s John Bowers won the 100 in 11.00 and the 200 in 22.40 with Miller in second at 22.75. A surprise for the Eagles was pole vaulter Kyle Kozlowski clearing a PR 12-0 to take second on attempts over Gaither’s Seely Brevan. Gaither’s Carter Palasti won the event, clearing 14-6. Defending Class A state champ Morgan Brown of Calvary Christian cleared 10-0 to win her first Kiwanis title.
Osceola 170-pounder Milos Boskovich managed to out-throw a host of football linemen in the discus to win with a 138-9 (42.29m). Steinbrenner’s Devon Connors was second with a 134-10 (41.11). Connors also won the shot with a 45-4(13.81m). The Osceola girls went 9:55.71 to win the 4x800 relay.