Buchholz’s Fleming named Class 4A Track Athlete of the Year

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

Following a pair of individual state championships, Buchholz’s Evan Fleming has been recognized as the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 4A Track Athlete of the Year.

Fleming swept the 800-meter (1:54 minutes, 50 seconds) and 1,600-meter (4:14.96) state titles on May 18 at the FHSAA Track & Field State Championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

He was recognized as the Pavlik Orthodontics Athlete of the Week for the week of May 13 after he helped lead the Bobcats to a fifth-place finish overall at the state meet.

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“Evan’s path to success I find both amazing but at the same time logical,” said Buchholz distance runner coach Patrick Douma. “He started by walking over after football practice his sophomore year to talk to his ‘distance running friends.’ For Evan becoming a distance runner was by no means planned, and that’s amazing. Fast forward 2 1/2 years and Evan has ended high school by establishing the 15th fastest time for the 1600m in state of Florida history and collecting a 1600/800m double state title.”

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.

The University of Florida signee is one of four finalists for the overall Mr. Track award along with junior Kai Evans of Lake Minneola, senior Micahi Danzy of Florida High (Tallahassee), and senior Henry Stark of Palmer Trinity (Miami).

“Evan is methodical, consistent, coachable, and a caring teammate,” Douma said. “Those characteristics logically produce athletic momentum. What serendipity for Evan, his family, and Buchholz that he will continue his running under Buchholz coaching alumnus Mike Holloway at the University of Florida.”

Evans, the Class 3A Track Athlete of the Year, swept the 110-meter hurdles (13.81) and 400-meter hurdles (53.02) state titles, while Danzy, the 2A Track Athlete of the Year, swept the 200-meter (20.88) and 400-meter (45.88) state titles for the second straight year.

Danzy’s 400-meter time was the fastest in all classes at the state meet.

Stark, the 1A Track Athlete of the Year, swept the 1,600-meter (4:16.76) and 3,200-meter (9:18.02) state titles.

Candidates for the overall Coach of the Year award includes Class 4A Co-Coach of the Year selections Todd Brigman of Niceville and Danny Areces of Miami Columbus, who shared the 4A state title with 70 points each, 3A COY Greg Barnes of American Heritage (Plantation), 2A COY Mike Acree, and 1A COY Barrett Saunders of The Benjamin School (Palm Beach Gardens).

Final ballots are due by Friday with the overall winners being announced next week.

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