In a fitting end to what was the most successful season in school history, the George Jenkins Eagles Boys Track team walked away from the State Championships in Jacksonville with the most medals, team points, and the highest team finish in school history at the State meet this past weekend. All totaled, 7 Eagles brought home medals in 5 different events. Compiling 29 overall points, the Eagles finished in 6th place overall as a team, besting the previous school best finish of 7th place in the 2017 season and placing inside the top-10 for only the 2nd time in school history.
Senior Steele Alleva capped off what was a sensational career as an Eagle with a 4th place finish in the Pole Vault competition. Alleva’s 4th place finish adds on to his 6th place medal from the 2017 season in the Pole Vault, as well as a 10th place finish in the 2018 Pole Vault competition. Alleva also ran to a 15th place finish in the 110MH in a downpour, while also running on the 11th place 4×100 leg. A 3-time state qualifier, in 6 total events, Alleva will end his high school career as one of the most decorated, and versatile, Eagle track and field athletes in school history.
Also in the Pole Vault, Junior Kyle Murawski had a big day as he jumped to a new PR of 13-9.25”, placing 5th, just behind Alleva. Murawski’s finish improves on his 11th place finish in last year’s State Championships and makes him a name to watch in next year’s competition.
Putting a stamp on his comeback season, after suffering a devastating injury last March, Junior Tyson Williams proved himself to be one of the top hurdlers in Florida, placing 3rd in the 300 Meter Hurdles and 4th in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Williams is the first Eagle in school history to win two individual state medals in the same meet.
Damarcus Sneed had a great weekend of competition as well, highlighted by his 6th place finish in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Sneed also just missed out on medals in two other events as he placed 10th in both the Long Jump and the 300 Meter Hurdles.
After running a new personal record of 48.74 in the 400 Meters in the preliminaries, good enough for the last qualifying spot in the finals, Junior Riley Ott knew he had to do a little more if he wanted to earn a medal and he did just that. In the finals, Ott dropped his time to 48.48 placing 8th in what was a very fast and competitive 400 Meter finals. Ott’s time was almost a full 1.5 seconds faster than the school record coming into the year and places him as one of the top-returning 400 runners in the State next year.
Ending the State Championships in style, the Eagles 4×400 team of Frosty Rudolph, Tyson Williams, Austin Cowans, and Riley Ott ran to a 4th place finish and a blazing new school record time of 3:17.85. Their time dropped the previous school record, set last year, by almost 5 seconds. With all 4 of these athletes being Juniors and returning, the 4×400 team will be one to watch next year.
Other Eagles to compete in the State Championships were Brady Zimmerman, who ended his career as a 3-time State qualifier, Thomas Townley, Johnnie Salter, Gavin Bendross, and Michael Flores.
With the conclusion of the State Championships, the Eagles proved themselves to be one of the top programs in all of Florida. The Eagles won the Regional Championship for the first time since 2008 and only the 2nd time in school history, while also winning their 3rd consecutive District Championships and 4th consecutive County Championship. On the year, 7 school records were broken, some multiple times, and the Eagles again went undefeated in regular season meets, marking 3 years in a row the Eagles have not lost a regular season meet. Of the 12 State qualifiers, 9 will be returning next year, with only 1 State medalist from this season graduating.
The Eagles would like to thank everybody for their support throughout the season and look forward to continuing the strong tradition that has been built.