GREEN COVE SPRINGS - At the Ron Riddle Track Invitational at Clay High on Friday, three Keystone Heights distance runners; Alex Guy, a junior, and two freshmen, Shelby Phillips and Camryn Williams, …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS - At the Ron Riddle Track Invitational at Clay High on Friday, three Keystone Heights distance runners; Alex Guy, a junior, and two freshmen, Shelby Phillips and Camryn Williams, showed off some track speed in dominating their events, but also some thoughts for preparation for this week’s upcoming district track championships.
“I just missed last year at regions and wanted to go to state badly” said Guy, a junior who won the district 1600 last year in four minutes, 45 seconds. “I went faster at region, but not enough.”
Guy, seventh at 4:41 in the region 2-2A 1600 last year, has been focusing on staying under 4:40 in 2018 with a best near 4:32 already under his belt.
At the Riddle 1600, Guy won convincingly in 4:42.16 with no competitors within 100 yards of him at the finish.
“It was windy and, with no one to run with me, tough to get a fast time,” said Guy, who came back to
smash the 800 field with a quick 2:02.47 split to win by nearly 14 seconds. “I have to learn to run fast by myself and not fall asleep on pace if it gets too slow. Some guys like to kick the final 150 meters.”
At last year’s region 1600, the winning time in the 1600 was 4:25.18 with Guy finished seventh in 4:41.91. Guy’s 4:32 from earlier this year, would have placed second.
“I know a 4:30 will get me to state,” said Guy, who ran junior high at Wilkinson Junior High School. “If I can get under that, I think I can get a state medal.”
Williams, who has improved drastically from her fourth place district finish in 6:01.31 that translated to a dismal 13th at regions in 6:12.88 has pushed to run in the 5:30 arena with a strong 5:42.90 for first place in the Ron Riddle 1600.
“She can run strong from the start, but I want to see her push,” said Keystone Heights coach Richard Bland. “She’s so smooth and makes it look easy. I think with someone on her shoulder pushing her, she can go much faster. She’s only a freshman and her times are fantastic. Now, we have to race.”
Williams came back to the track to dominate the 3200 with a 12:39.93 splits out-running teammate Shelby Phillips runnerup time of 14:28.83.
“I’m down to 5:40 mile time, but need to get stronger for the 3200,” said Williams prior to her Riddle 1600. “I’d like to hit the 5:30s to get out of regions.”
Phillips, also a freshman, has shown some willingness to battle at the front in the early part of races; is willing to take the pace out and hope to hold on.
“She’s courageous to do that,” said Bland. “With some mileage under her belt, she will be able to hold on longer as she goes. She’s tough though.”
Phillips pulled out a winning 2:41.67 winning split for the 800; ahead of runnerup Kierra Chauncey of Interlachen’s 2:43.20.
One other notable finish was a 53.88 winning split in the 400 for sophomore Jerry Payne with junior Jessica Yeldell timing at 1:07.41 to win the girls 400.
In team points, Ridgeview won the mens trophy with 130 points holding off a 128 runnerup effort from Clay and 112 points for Keystone Heights for third.
In girls action, Clay won convincingly with 171.5 points with Keystone Heights second at 116.
Clay’s girls got wins from Kelley Catlett in discus (108’-11”), Samantha Franco in the triple jump (34’-9.5”) and 300 hurdles (50.34), Alysse Williford in the 100 hurdles (19.53) and the 4 x 800 relay.