Buchholz’s Evan Fleming named Athlete of the Week

Buchholz's Evan Fleming won Class 4A state titles in the 800- and 1600-meter races.
Buchholz's Evan Fleming won Class 4A state titles in the 800- and 1600-meter races.
Courtesy of Anna Hongisto

Buchholz’s Evan Fleming has had a memorable senior campaign.

In March, he set a school record in the 800-meter run at the FSU Relays in Tallahassee with a time of 1 minute, 52.03 seconds, breaking the previous record set in 1976.

It was the second-fastest time in the state and ninth-fastest in the nation at the time.

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Last Saturday night at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville on the campus of the University of North Florida, he closed out his high school career as the state’s best.

Fleming won two individual state championships, helping lead the Buchholz boys to a No. 5 finish overall in Class 4A.

He has been recognized as the Pavlik Orthodontics Athlete of the Week for the week of May 13.

The University of Florida commit won the 800 (1:54) and 1600 (4:14.96) to earn 20 points for Buchholz, which finished with 27 points and just behind Chiles (Tallahassee) and Nease (Ponte Vedra), which tied for third with 30 points.

Fleming’s win in the 1600 was the first for a Buchholz boys’ athlete since 1983 and the 800 win was the first for a Buchholz boy since 1977.

“His two state wins with just 70 minutes back-to-back is monstrous,” said Buchholz distance runner coach Patrick Douma. “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…athletes that are well trained and normally wouldn’t have crashed.”

Douma said that since the two races were only separated by 70 minutes that “most of the time people don’t even try to get a win in both events.”

“Evan accepted that we were going to reduce his core temperature to shivering in between events,” he said. “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. His second event was only won by .19 seconds, so preparation details were important, to say the least.”

Fleming is the 39th athlete to be selected for the weekly award during the 2023-24 school year.

Last week’s winner was Brant Bivens of the Trenton baseball team.

The freshman was a combined 3-for-6 with four runs scored and an RBI in two playoff wins against Chiefland and Newberry, helping lead the Tigers to their first final four since 2018. He also had two relief appearances and allowed no runs in seven innings pitched.

Other recent winners include Braylin Cook of the Gainesville softball team and J.J. Gardner of the Buchholz baseball team.

For a link to past winners, click here.

Coaches are encouraged to email their nominations each week, along with stats, no later than Sunday night to mike.ridaught@mainstreetdailynews.com.

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