I've been lucky to have been around countless outstanding high school distance runners over the last 40 plus years. I've been lucky enough to have witnessed, trained with, even coached, young men and women who eventually made national teams including the United States Olympic Team. Given my background as a coach and journalist I think I can accurately assess runners and their accomplishments.
On a windy Saturday and with a 800 meter relay leg in her legs, Gear finished up an incredible triple capturing the 1600 meter gold in an outstanding time of 4:56.04. She ends her high school career at Fort Myers High School with six state championship golds. She won three titles at 1600 meters. In the span of those same three years she was 2nd, 5th and 1st in the 800 and captured back to back titles in the 3200. Oh, and don't forget she scored in the pole vault as a sophomore.
It is fair to mention Gear with other great prep distance runners in Florida High School history, Betty Jo Springs, Ashley Brasovan, Nicole Tully and Jenny Simpson, world champion and Olympic medalist. And soon Gear will add to her honors representing the U.S.A. in a international competition upcoming in Cuba.
Gear has one final prize she would like before she puts a cap on her outstanding prep career and heads to Furman. She will travel to North Carolina in June with Coach Rob Strong looking to add run a fast mile. The goal is a sub 4:45 which would rank her among the best five in the nation. I suspect deep down inside she would like to take a crack at running the fastest mile by a Florida girl, ever. With her 800 meter speed it's not beyond her grasp. Regardless, Gear can stake her claim as Lee County's GOAT.