The Choctawhatchee High School track and field team made their mark at the FHSAA Outdoor State Finals 2023, held from May 17-20 at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. The team showcased their prowess in various events, with standout performances that underscored their hard work and dedication.
The boys’ team was particularly impressive, with the 4 x 400 relay team of Kyler Collins, Kaleb Hollins, Cole Tabb, and Justin Whidbee clinching the state championship with a blistering time of 3:16.02. Their victory is a culmination of their teamwork and resilience that we have seen all year, as they outpaced formidable competitors from Rockledge and Miami Northwestern.
- “We knew it was gonna be a tough race. It was gonna be close and then we did our thing. We came out with the dub [win],” said Justin Whidbee, reflecting on the team’s victory in an interview with FHSAA after the win.
Kaleb Hollins, who had just run and placed 3rd in the 800m with a time of 1:56.06, added, “We knew it was going to be a dog fight. I just had to stay in the pack or get us as close to first place as we possibly could. I was able to do that and hold.”
Kyler Collins, who took the baton from Hollins and gave the team the lead, said, “I just believed in the practice that I put in and I knew it was gonna be a dog fight, but I did what I had to do to get us up there.”
- Cole Tabb, the anchor for the team, summed up the sentiment of the team, saying, “I knew it was going to be a fight. But I knew my boys’ were counting on me so I had to finish it for them.”
In the individual events, Isaiah Johnson earned 1st place in the long jump with a leap of 7.35m (24-1.5), showcasing his exceptional talent and skill. Trevon Tyson also put up a commendable performance in the 100m and 200m races, clocking times of 10.73 and 22.08 respectively.
The boys’ 4 x 100 relay team, consisting of Isaiah Johnson, Cole Tabb, Owen Burks, and Trevon Tyson, also made their presence felt, finishing 2nd with a time of 40.95. In the 4 x 800 relay, the team of Brendan Cutler, Zachary Brainerd, Zachary Smith, and Kaleb Hollins finished 9th with a time of 8:09.20.
In the field events, Chad Russell placed 14th in the high jump with a mark of 1.87m (6-1.5), while Ryan Seaton and Owen Burks placed 6th and 9th respectively in the triple jump with marks of 13.63m (44-8.75) and 13.46m (44-2). Owen Burks also competed in the javelin, placing 8th with a throw of 47.71m (156-6).
On the girls’ side, Hayley Boyle finishing 17th in 800m with a time of 2:24.33. The girls’ 4 x 100 relay team, consisting of Wynter Downs, Khamauri Hardy, Adriana Lampon, and Saniy Lindsey, clocked a time of 49.20, placing 13th.
- The girls’ 4 x 800 relay team, made up of Hayley Boyle, Brylie Kilgore, Chi Medina, and Isabel Harter, finished 12th with a time of 9:59.25.
The Choctawhatchee High School track and field team has indeed left an indelible mark at the FHSAA Outdoor State Finals 2023.
- “Our coaching staff worked extremely hard to prepare our kids to win and place on the state podium and they went out there and shocked the whole state,” said Head Coach Courtland Fuller.
It was Awesome watching. I love all these young men and women. They were incredible!!!️