Caroline Wells achieved the most dominant distance running season in area history this spring — and she’s not done.
The Orlando Sentinel girls track and field Athlete of the Year for 2021 broke the Florida record for 3,200 meters during the regular season and is looking to drop that standard even lower when she competes in this weekend’s RunningLane Track Championships national invitational in Madison, Ala. Wells, a Winter Springs High School junior, is scheduled to run the 3,200 in a fast field on Friday night.
She set the state record with a time of 10 minutes, 10.39 seconds early in an undefeated season that culminated with state championships in the 1,600, 3,200 and 4x800 relay.
Friday’s race will be Wells’ second big postseason competition. Two weeks ago, she ran a 4:45.22 mile, which converts to 4:43.35 for the shorter metric distance, to place second in the adidas Boost Boston Games.
Athlete of the Year
Caroline Wells, Jr.
Buzz: Wells was the 3A state champ and Florida cross country runner of the year in the fall and never slowed down. Her 4:44.90 time for the 1,600 is second fastest in state history by a junior and she also had the area’s best 800 time for the year at 2:13.55. It was her sensational anchor leg, timed at 2:09, that led the Bears to a come-from-behind victory in the 4x800 relay at the state meet.
Sidney Allen, Seminole, Fr.
Buzz: Region long jump champ 18-1¼. Sprint bests of 12.69, 25.47.
Jenya Burton, Jones, Sr.
Buzz: Area-best state 200 time 24.10 for fourth in 2A. Bests of 23.89 and 55.23.
Lily Henne, Montverde Academy, Jr.
Buzz: 5:01.77 to win 2A state title in 1,600. Second in 3,200 at 11:05.19.
Victoria Hill, Trinity Prep, 8th
Buzz: State placer in triple (37-2¾), long jump (18-1½ best). High jumped 5-1¾.
Helena Huyke, Celebration, Jr.
Buzz: Conference champ in 100 and 300 hurdles and long jump. Bests of 14.80, 44.49, 17-4½.
Miracle Johnson, Ocoee, Jr.
Buzz: Class 4A state runner-up in 200; fourth in 100. Bests of 11.88 and 24.17.
Sydney Lake, Timber Creek, Sr.
Buzz: Undefeated regular season in discus; third at 4A state (142-7).
Sinkenesh Parker, Circle Christian, Sr.
Buzz: Second in 3,200, third in 1,600 in 1A. Season bests: 2:17.98, 5:01.11, 11:06.25.
Jahnile Registre, Evans, Sr.
Buzz: 4A runner-up in 400 (54.77) and champ in two relays. Also ran 24.75 200.
Arbriel Scott, Evans, Soph.
Buzz: Third in 4A 300 hurdles. Area-leading hurdles bests of 14.73 and 43.78.
Cassie Thompson, South Lake, Sr.
Buzz: Fourth in 100 (11.72) in 3A state meet. Region champ in 200 (23.86).
Sentinel Super Six team rankings
1. Evans: Trojans set school records for 4x400 and 4x800 while finishing third in the 4A state meet.
2. Montverde Academy: Seniors Keturah Bullford-Trott and Kendyl Cardwell helped Eagles take third in 1A.
3. Ocoee: Much-improved Knights, led by juniors Johnson and Alyia Green, were third in rugged region.
4. Winter Springs: Distance duo of Wells and Evie McIver gave Bears big points in big meets.
5. Seminole: ‘Noles, with a young team, were third best area finisher in 4A Region 1.
6. Winter Park: Wildcats were Metro East champs with middle distance crew leading the way.