Two state title teams and a torrent of fast times, big jumps and rapid relays highlighted a historic boys high school track and field season this spring.
Standing atop the list of 2021 Orlando area standouts is Athlete of the Year Ethan Exilhomme, who piled up points for his Timber Creek team. The Northeastern University signee won the 110-meter high hurdles and had top-four finishes in all four of his events at the Class 4A state meet. His 13.67-second time in the hurdles ranks No. 2 nationally for the season.
Class 2A Bishop Moore and 1A Mount Dora Christian won state team titles to give the Orlando area two FHSAA winners for the first time in 55 years. And a dozen different boys won individual gold medals.
Oviedo senior Sam Austin, a UF recruit, ran the second fastest 800 in area history with a 1:50.00 time that makes him No. 8 on the state all-time list.
Bishop Moore junior C.J. Smith ran the fastest 200 time in area history, a wind-aided 20.62. Smith, who was voted Florida Dairy Farmers Class 2A track athlete of the year, also clocked a wind-aided 10.28 that ranks fourth all-time for area juniors.
DeLand junior Kevar Williams’ wind-legal 10.40 time in the 100 is No. 2 in Florida and ninth nationally.
Kissimmee Osceola senior Markevus Jackson ran a 20.99 that was second best in Florida and national top-10 on the wind-legal list. And Jackson and another state champ, Weston Baptiste of Montverde Academy, matched up in a regular-season run and turned in two of the all-time bests in the 400.
Smith helped Bishop Moore finish atop the Sentinel Super Six team rankings for the first time. Hornets coach Carolista Ware was voted state 2A coach of the year.
Darnell Harrison, a longtime area assistant, earned the state 1A coach of the year honor in his first year as Mount Dora Christian’s head coach.
Seminole’s 4x100 relay clocked one of the area’s best-ever times of 41.00 in the regular season and won the 4A title with Florida’s fastest state meet time of 41.12
So strong was the area talent level that we have to give just honorable-mention status to a trio of talented pole vaulters and a long jump state champ.
Dillon Dechristopher of Lake Mary vaulted 15-feet, 5¾-inches and was the 4A state champ. Alex Georgiev won the 2A title and his best of 15-5 ranked No. 1 nationally among ninth-graders. And Bishop Moore’s Justin Kern was the state leader with a 16-foot clearance before a foot injury slowed him in a second-place state finish behind Georgiev.
The First Academy’s Will Richards, a junior, was the 1A long jump state champ with a leap of 23-8¾.
Athlete of the Year
Ethan Exilhomme, Timber Creek, Sr.
Buzz: Seemingly tireless technician finished second in the 100-meter dash only minutes after winning his 110 hurdles title at the state meet. He then anchored the Wolves to a fourth-place finish in the 4x100 relay before scoring another fourth in the 200. Exilhomme had wins in all four of those events in the Metro East and 4A District 4 meets. His best times for the 100 and 200 dashes were 10.49 and 21.69.
Sam Austin, Oviedo, Sr.
Buzz: 4A 800 champ at 1:51.06 also set school 400 record at 47.71.
Weston Baptiste, Montverde Academy, Sr.
Buzz: 2A champ for 400 (47.00); ran bests of 10.60, 20.90 and 46.63.
Guy Bond, Poinciana, Sr.
Buzz: Undefeated 3A high jump champion had best height at state meet (6-8¾).
Justin Campbell, Orlando University, Sr.
Buzz: 4A triple jump champ (47-8) with best mark for all four classes.
Jimmy Horn Jr., Seminole, Sr.
Buzz: 4A champ in long jump (23-0¾) and 4x100. Scored in 100 and triple jump.
Jacari Kennedy, Jones, Sr.
Buzz: 3A runner-up in 100 (10.42) and 200 (21.15). Best area state 100 time.
Markevus Jackson, Osceola, Sr.
Buzz: Best 400 (46.99) at state meet for 4A title. Ran 10.79, 20.99, 46.84.
Marc Morrison, Bishop Moore, Sr.
Buzz: 2A long jump champ and triple jump runner-up. Bests of 24-1¼, 46-4¾.
Chadrick Richards, Lake Brantley, Sr.
Buzz: Won district 100, 200 and 4x100 relay. Bests of 10.54, 21.34 and 47.40.
Chandler Smith, Bishop Moore, Jr.
Buzz: 2A champ for 100 and 200 with wind-legal bests of 10.50 and 21.01.
Kevar Williams, DeLand, Jr.
Buzz: 4A 200 champ (21.40) had wind-aided best of 21.01. Also ran 10.40 100.
Sentinel Super Six team rankings
1 Bishop Moore: Hornets won 2A state title with by far the best team in school history.
2. Seminole: District and Seminole Athletic Conference champs had area best fourth-place finish in 4A.
3. Timber Creek: Metro Conference East and district champions placed sixth in 4A state meet.
4. Mount Dora Christian: Bulldogs, with area’s deepest distance corps and more, were 1A state champs.
5. Montverde Academy: Eagles were second to Bishop Moore in district; placed fifth at 2A state meet.
6. Lake Brantley: Patriots trailed only Seminole and TC among area teams in 4A region and state meets.