Israel Diaz, a junior at Citrus High School, clears 6-feet 6-3/4-inches during the Class 2A boys high jump at the IMG Academy in Bradenton during the Florida High School Track and Field State Championships on Friday evening. The successful jump resulted in the 2A state title for the Hurricane.
BRADENTON — It took nearly all of Friday’s set of events, but Citrus’ Israel Diaz managed to secure the area’s lone gold medal finish in the FHSAA Track and Field Championships at IMG Academy with a first place finish in the Class 2A boys high jump under the lights.
Diaz cleared 6-feet, 6.75-inches in the event in a jump-off against Bolles’ Bryson Kirksey, who failed to clear the height in the third jump-off.
Diaz’s teammate, Rodney Mike, finished ninth in the event.
Lecanto senior Harrison Mancke finished her track and field career with impressive performances in the discus and the shot. In the discus, she took fourth with a personal-best distance of 128-feet, 3-inches, and in the shot, she finished fifth with a toss of 38-feet, 4-inches.
"I’m happy, but not satisfied," said Mancke, who will continue her track career at Florida International University. "I was able to get my personal record (a distance of 39.12) in the preliminaries so that was good. I am overall happy with the progression I have made as an athlete, but I am looking forward to taking it to another level in college."
Seven Rivers had several athletes secure impressive results in Class 1A. Markel Pryor was fourth in the Class 1A boys long jump, Maloni Lewis finished fourth in the girls discus and Paige Eckart placed fifth in the girls high jump.
Pryor, who did not advance to the state finals last year, tallied a personal best in the long jump with a distance of 22-feet, 8.5-inches.
"It was great experience," said Pryor, who was the football team’s leading rusher during the 2016 season with 785 yards along with eight touchdowns. "I just started running track for the team last season so I’ve learned a lot."
Lewis had a personal record of 114-feet, 1-inch in the discus, which she secured in the preliminaries. Lewis’ previous best was 106.
"The throw before the one I got my p.r. was 112, so I was already excited about it," Lewis said. "I knew I had done a great job in the states, so I just kind of relaxed on my next throw and I was able to throw it even further."
Eckart cleared 5-feet, 1-inch to take fifth in the 1A high jump.
Crystal Rivers’ Madison Winship had a personal best 5-feet, 5-inches in the Class 2A high jump to finish in third place.