|This is the second of two stories unveiling the 2023 Bosshardt Realty All Area Track and Field Teams. Click here to read the All Area Track and Field girls teams. Go to our All Area Track and Field landing page by clicking here.|
Three individual track and field state champions from the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area highlight the inaugural Bosshardt Realty boys All Area teams.
They all had one thing in common, the ability to leave the ground and fly.
In Class 2A, Santa Fe (Alachua) senior Kyren Washington, a University of Oklahoma signee, defended his state high jump championship and Eastside junior Ta’Joun Waldon topped the triple jump.
Washington’s leap of 2.07 meters (6-feet, 9½ inches) edged Kyone Calhoun of Cocoa, who ended up at 2.02.
“Kyren is a wonderful young man who is very coachable and truly a hard worker,” Santa Fe coach Tommie Turner said. “He was a great leader for the Raider track team. It was my pleasure to have had Kyren as a member of the Santa Fe Raiders track team.”
Waldon jumped 13.78 meters (45-2½) to edge the second-place finisher by 0.06 meters to win the 2A state title.
Both Washington and Waldon were named the top jumpers for the small school 1A/2A All Area team.
“Ta’Joun’s sophomore year (last year) was the first year he participated in track and field,” said Eastside coach Byers Hickmon, whose Rams’ team finished eighth at the Class 2A State Championships. “He committed to the consistency and demands for improvement through hard work and has consistently improved his times in his running events, and his distances in field events. This year his determination, consistency, and commitment, resulted in his first-place win in the triple jump for Class 2A. This is a tremendous accomplishment and he is very humble and thankful.”
Oak Hall senior Caden Montini capped off a wonderful high school career by finishing second in the 3200 meters (9 minutes, 31.20 seconds) and third in the 1600 (4:19.81) for 1A and was selected as the top small school distance runner.
Montini’s time for the 3200 was about 2½ seconds off the winning time and he was about 5½ seconds off first in the 1600.
“Caden has been a staple of the Track and Field team for many years,” Oak Hall coach Edwin McTureous said. “Ending his senior season with four state medals was a great way to go out. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach Caden the past seven years and look forward to continuing to follow his running career at Yale.”
The top small school sprinter was Eastside’s junior Antoneo Wilson, who finished fifth in the 400 hurdles (15.33 seconds) and 11th in the 110-meter hurdles (56.79).
The final member of the 1A/2A team is the thrower — Suwannee (Live Oak) junior Will Wainwright.
Wainwright placed second in the state in the javelin with a toss of 53.59 meters (175-10).
Columbia’s (Lake City) Seth Stockton led the way in 3A by winning the triple jump.
The senior came up with a career-high jump of 14.55 meters to seal the win. It was a pretty comfortable win for Stockton as the second-place finisher behind him was at 14.39 meters.
For Stockton, it capped off an extremely successful season and career for the Tigers.
“He (Stockton) has always had a fantastic work ethic and it paid off this season and at the state championships,” Columbia coach Lawrence Davis said. “I expect him to continue working like that at the next level, and he will be successful as well.”
Stockton, who lost the triple jump title on the final jump in 2022, won every meet that his team participated in this season.
His state title was the first individual state championship for Columbia boys track in 56 years, with Thomas Hosford winning the 880-yard run in 1967 for the Tigers. According to the Lake City Reporter, Columbia’s 4X800 boys relay team won a state title in 2002.
Junior Riley Smith of Buchholz is the big school’s top distance runner after placing third in the 1600 meters for 4A with a time of 4:13.00.
The big school sprinter is junior Tyjah Edwards of Gainesville. Edwards finished sixth in the 400 (48.61 seconds) for 3A and also qualified for the 200.
“Tyjah is the type of athlete that sets a goal for himself and pushes himself until that goal is reached,” said Gainesville coach Tabresha Blake. “I would describe him as always hungry to get better and wanting to be recognized as one of the best.”
Blake said the key to his success at state was hard work and dedication.
“Tyjah came into the season knowing exactly what he wanted to achieve far as time wise for his events and what he wanted to focus on,” Blake said. “He was continually trying to better himself each track meet. He means a great deal to the team. He was always pushing his teammates to be better and get better. He was definitely like a big brother to the younger athletes of the team.”
SMALL SCHOOL BOYS (1A-2A)
Sprinter (100-400, hurdles) – Antoneo Wilson (Jr.), Eastside (5th state 400 hurdles/11th state 110 hurdles)
Distance (800-3200) – Caden Montini (Sr.), Oak Hall (2nd state in 3200/3rd state in 1600)
Jumper (HJ, TJ, LJ, PV) – Kyren Washington (Sr.), Santa Fe (1st state high jump)
Jumper (HJ, TJ, LJ, PV) – Ta’Joun Waldon (Jr.), Eastside (1st triple jump)
Thrower (discus, javelin, shot) – Will Wainwright (Jr.), Suwannee (2nd state in javelin)
BIG SCHOOL BOYS (3A-4A)
Sprinter (100-400, hurdles) – Tyjah Edwards (Sr.), GHS (6th state 400 and qualified for 200)
Distance (800-3200) – Riley Smith (Jr.), Buchholz (3rd state 1600)
Jumper (HJ, TJ, LJ, PV) – Seth Stockton (Sr.), Columbia (1st state in triple jump)