Eastside, Buchholz athletes lead All Area Boys Track and Field team

Buchholz's Evan Fleming (left) and Eastside's Kennith Martin won titles at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships in May.
Buchholz's Evan Fleming (left) and Eastside's Kennith Martin won titles at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships in May.
Graphic by C.J. Gish/Contributed photos

The Eastside and Buchholz boys track and field teams both finished in the top 10 of their respective classifications at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships in May.

And for that reason, the Bobcats and Rams dominated the 2024 Bosshardt Realty All Area Boys Track and Field team.

Buchholz finished fifth in the Class 4A state championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The Bobcats finished with 27 points, as Columbus (Miami) and Niceville were co-champs with 70 points apiece.

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Distance runner Evan Fleming, who finished second in the voting for the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Track award on June 10, captured two individual state titles for the Bobcats, winning the 800- and 1600-meter races.

Buchholz's Riley Smith.
Courtesy of Riley Smith Buchholz’s Riley Smith was injured during the state championships but set the state record in March for the 3200 meters at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.

In the 800, Fleming put up a time of 1 minute, 54.50 seconds, well ahead of the second-place finisher’s time of 1:54.69. Fleming then won the 1600, finishing in 4:14.96, just 0.70 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Matt Ryan of Nease (Ponte Vedra).

Fleming’s win in the 1600 was the first state title in that event for a Buchholz boy since 1983, and the victory in the 800 was the first for a Bobcats boys athlete since 1977.

in March at the FSU Relays in Tallahassee, Fleming set a school record in the 800 meters with a time of 1 minute, 52.03 seconds, breaking the previous record set in 1976. It was the second fastest in the state and ninth fastest in the nation at that time.

“His two state wins with just 70 minutes back-to-back is monstrous,” Buchholz distance runner coach Patrick Douma said. “He had to sit in a cold tub for 15 minutes in between races as I noticed from the three prior days of the state meet that athletes were crashing in their second events.

“Evan accepted that we were going to reduce his core temperature to shivering in between events. That’s the definition of coachable since most athletes would balk at such drastic measures and ones that we had never taken before prior to this event. But Evan is a gamer and understood we needed a different tool to get the job done.”

Joining Fleming is another distance runner in University of Florida signee Riley Smith. Smith, a senior, missed the postseason after an injury in early April. But before that, he set the state record for the 3200 meters at the Florida Relays in Gainesville with a time of 8:39.71, which also led the nation and broke the old state record by five seconds.

“With Riley in there at the state meet we would have picked up 16 more points, which would have put us third in the final state standings,” Douma said.

Buchholz’s distance coach reflected on his two senior runners who turned in record-setting seasons.

“I think what made the coaching relationship special with Evan and Riley is both of them were reluctant distance runners, and I really had to earn their respect and trust when it came to directing their training. Riley and Evan are ready for the next stage of their running careers.”

Eastside is represented by two sprinters and a jumper. The Rams placed sixth at the Class 2A state championships with 32 points. Montverde Academy finished first 52 points.

Sprinter Kennith Martin picked up an individual state title in the 100 winning in 10.57 seconds, easily beating the second-place finisher’s time of 10.68.

Martin, a Florida A&M signee, also placed second in the 200, finishing in 20.99 seconds. Micahi Danzy of Florida High (Tallahassee) won with a time of 20.88.

Martin also helped the Rams 4×400 relay team to a sixth-place finish with a time of 3:22.38.

“Kennith is consistent and a hard worker and proper preparation delivers results,” Eastside coach Byers Hickmon said.

Eastside’s Ta Joun Waldon finished fifth in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump at the Class 2A state championships.
Courtesy of Byers Hickmon Eastside’s Ta Joun Waldon finished fifth in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump at the Class 2A state championships.

Also representing Eastside are sprinter Antoneo Wilson and jumper Ta Joun Waldon.

Wilson was part of the 4×400 relay team and placed sixth individually in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.87 seconds.

Waldon finished fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 13.58 meters (44 feet, 6.75 inches) and was eighth in the long jump at 6.70 meters (21-11.75).

Bradford’s Elijah Kellum took home that 2A triple jump title, leaping 13.96 meters (45-9.75) to outdistance Stone Bureau of Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale), who jumped 13.93.

Kellum also finished fourth in the 2A long jump at 6.90 meters (22-7.75).

The final jumper on the All Area team is senior Terek Logan of Santa Fe. Logan, who transferred in from Oregon this year, finished second in the 2A pole vault with a leap of 4.80 meters (15-9). He captured the Oregon state title in pole vault and long jump in 2023.

Logan, a South Alabama signee, finished behind Alex Georgiev of Montverde Academy, who vaulted 4.95 meters.

The All Area thrower is Will Wainwright of Suwannee. Wainwright finished second in the 2A javelin competition, throwing 59.12 meters (193-11). Wainwright also placed third in shot put at 16.29 meters (53-5.5) and sixth in discus at 47.39 meters (155-6).

Oak Hall's Dakota Brower.
Courtesy of Edwin McTureous Oak Hall’s Dakota Brower.

Wainwright set the school record for the javelin at FSU Relays, finishing second as he threw 61.7 meters.

“I had fun throwing, I had fun competing,” Wainwright told the Lake City Reporter. “I like the winning. So I did my best to get to the point where all I’d do is win.”

Wainwright also injured his right elbow on his first throw of the javelin, which hindered him from challenging the first-place finisher.

“I definitely think I could have done a lot better than I did,” Wainwright told the Lake City Reporter.

Rounding out the All-Area boys team is Oak Hall junior sprinter Dakota Brower. Brower placed fourth in the Class 1A 400 competition with a time of 49.78 seconds.

Brower also finished eighth in the 200 (22.43), 11th in the 100 (11.16) and was on the 4×400 relay team that finished sixth with a time of 3:27.38.

“His (Brower’s) season is one of the most impressive seasons I have seen from an Oak Hall runner in my coaching career,” Oak Hall coach Edwin McTureous said. “His drive to excel over the past year has been thrilling to watch. Winning four individual events at districts [triple jump, 100, 200 and 400] and qualifying for four individual at the state championships, he is the first runner in Oak Hall history to achieve this remarkable feat.”

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