Monday, February 24, 2020

Five Big Things: Week 2

Things are beginning to percolate around the Southwest Florida running scene.  A nice cool front offered distance runners to race under tolerable conditions but a strong north wind ruined any chance of fast times Friday night at Bishop Verot but it did hold temperatures down for Saturday's meet at Golden Gate.

1.  Friday night's girl's 3200 at Verot promised to be the first big race of the season.  Canterbury junior Jessica Edwards was stepping up in distance and would face Fort Myers senior distance ace Stephy Ormsby.  After a lackluster 800 leg in the 4x800 Ormsby scratched the 3200 leaving Edwards alone to face the winds and Estero's Mia Perez.

Edwards slowly but surely pulled away from Perez and ran 11:31.7 winning by 20 seconds.  Perez showed heart breaking 12 minutes in the terrible conditions.

2.  Sarah Schultz scored a double win at Verot, one coming in the rarely run 1200, the other in the 1600.  Her times were not world shattering, 4:10 and 5:38, but it shows that the Fort Myers senior is rebounding after an unsatisfying end to her cross country season.
3.  Franklin Caceres finally emerged at the Jim Smith Invitational at Golden Gate.  The Ida Baker senior ran the 3200 in 10:02.74, the second fastest time in Lee County behind Estero's Kolton Pickard.  Pickard opted for the 4x800 at Verot and an easy win in the 1600 in 4:39.7.  Estero's boys took every distance race save for the 800 at Verot.

4.  Lehigh Acres may have a super sophomore in the making.  Evan Meyer won the 1600 in 4:38.63 at the Smith Invitational.  The mark is the fastest in Lee County though it's very early in the season.

5.  Fort Myers junior Liam Holston made his first track appearance of the season racing the JV 800 at Verot.  Foot issues has hampered the start of his track season following an exceptional fall in cross country.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Five Big Things: Week 1

Track and field have gotten underway to Southwest Florida.  I am going to attempt to stay on top of the Lee County distance scene while noting former area athletes who are competing elsewhere as we head into the season with Five Big Things that I take away from the results of the week.

Thing 1:  Canterbury's Jessica Edwards appears ready and loaded for bear.  She started the week with a respectable 11:32 3,200, an event she loathes and fashioned a fine 4:51 and 2:17 1,500 and 800 double at Ida Baker.  Folks, she's made the opening statement that she's the class of Lee County distance running.

Thing 2:  The Missing in Actions this week were ECS and Oliveira twins.  They were scheduled to compete at Neumann but did not.  The other MIA was Ida Baker's Franklin Caceres who didn't run at his home opener.  Let's hope he's healthy.

Thing 3:  Fort Myers senior Stephy Ormsby ran a puzzling 800, 3000 double at Ida Baker.  It appears she sandbagged her 800 head to head with Edwards running 2:43, a jog for her and opted for a hard effort just minutes later in the 3,000 running a 10:46 which equates to a sub 11:30 3,200.  She's still on pace for some fireworks as the season progresses.

Thing 4:  The return of Estero's Kolton Pickard could be something. He popped off a fine 9:14 3,000 opener at Ida Baker which is well under 10 minutes for 3,200. He's a runner with fire in the belly and I want to once again apologize to him for letting him down last week at the Strides 5K when he was trying to accomplish something special.

Thing 5:  Fort Myers senior Ryan Murphy was on the roads this weekend running a solid 17:36 at the Edison Festival of Lights 5K.  No, Ryan's not going to set the world on fire but I've watched him work over the last four years and finishing second at this race is nothing to sneeze at.  Way to go Ryan.

I could do a whole Five Things on the start of Krissy Gear's season at Arkansas, but I think we'll save that for the SEC indoor championships.