JACKSONVILLE – Orange Park High senior track sprinter Alex Collier threw down on the first major meet of the 2020 outdoor season with two impressive wins at the Danny Brown Invitational held Saturday at Bishop Snyder High School.
Collier, the defending 400 meter Class 3A champion (46.33), opted to put his legs to a faster spin in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and proved prophetic in his endeavor to dominate all three sprint disciplines.
“I felt good for it to be a season opener,” said Collier. I’m going to keep working on those times in the 100 and 200 and keep dropping them for the 400.”
In the 100, Collier, third in 3A last year with a 10.75 split, blasted to a 10.79 overwhelming top time, ironically, followed closely by an 11.03 by teammate Markez Sermons, in prelims before returning later in the afternoon to better that split to 10.70 for the win with Bartram Trail’s TreVez Johnson second at 10.84. Sermons finished fourth at 11.06. Sermons also finished third in the long jump at 21’-4.75”.
In the 200, Collier again sizzled the field with a 21.73 prelim split that was up on Mandarin’s Brian Brown at 22.31 and Raines’ Reginald Harden at 22.58.
In the final, the top two remained the same; Collier at 21.96 and Brown at 22.27, with Bartram Trail’s Jeffrey Stiles third at 22.79. Fleming Island High freshman Sam Singleton took fourth at 22.85 with Harden falling to 23.31 for sixth.
Last year’s 3A 200 final was won in 21.01 with 21.78 second place.
Collier added to his aura for the day with an explosive anchor leg on the 4 x 100 preliminary relay with teammates Diego Soto, Vincent Walker and Sermons to score a 42.37 prelim to finish just ahead of Oakleaf. Orange Park, though, was disqualified from the final with Raines winning in 44.03.
In high jump, Oakleaf’s Donovan Thomas won in 6’-2” with Fleming Island’s Ezra McCollum second at 5’-10” and St. Johns Cameron Mackenzie third, also at 5’-10”.
In the final team scores, Bartram Trail won the boys title with 123 points with Raines second at 77 and Bolles third at 76. Orange Park finished sixth with 50.50 with Fleming Island eighth at 36, Oakleaf ninth at 24, Middleburg 16th at 11 and St. Johns Country Day School 18th at 10.
In a very fast 110 hurdles final, won in 14.81 by Raines’ Da’mon Daniels, Orange Park’s Joel Childs hit seventh in 15.91. Childs was sixth in the 300 hurdles in 41.89 with Daniels winning in 40.38.
In the 400, Orange Park’s Sean Dixon finished third in 51.54 with Middleburg’s Robert Nogales sixth in 53.86.
In the 1600, Oakleaf’s Dylan Nelson was top area finisher in sixth at 4:33.37 with Bartram Trail’s Jalani White winning at 4:26.20.
For the girls, Mandarin, Bolles and Bartram Trail battled to a 1-2-3 finish by just two points; 80-79-78, with Fleming Island fourth with 53, Oakleaf 10th with 32, St. Johns Country Day School 12th at 16, Orange Park 18th at 12.50 and Middleburg 19th at 12.
Oakleaf got a top time in the 4 x 100 relay for the girls with a 49.95 second win over Bartram Trail’s 51.26 in an impressive first split for the Lady Knights. Fleming Island was third at 52.21.
St. Johns got a crown to hurdler Courtney Sage who won the 300 hurdles in 45.89 ahead of Fleming Island’s Isabelle Flores at 48.59. Sage was third in the 100 hurdles. Last year, Sage was second in the Class 1A 300 hurdles in 45.38.
In the 1600, Fleming lsland sophomore Mei Chiang duked it out with Bolles sophomore Hadley Ropp and teammate Marisa Kortright in a race that ended with Ropp first at 5:25.96, Chiang second at 5:28.32 and Kortright third at 5:29.47 in a thrilling final lap. Chiang was 18th in 4A last year in 5:24.18.