Thanks to some strong individual performances, Christopher Columbus’ boys and Coral Reef’s girls took home Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) championships Saturday afternoon at Traz Powell Stadium.
The Explorers put on a nearly-historic performance by winning all but one of the individual dashes and runs – missing the sweep because they didn’t win the 3,200-meter run – as well as winning all three (400-, 800- and 3,200-meter) relays.
For Columbus’ dominant performance, it finished with a meet-high 142 points – well ahead of runner-up Southridge (103 points) and third place Homestead (62 points).
Explorers senior Tyler Harrell, a Louisville football signee, won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete edged out Southridge senior and University of Miami football signee Mark “Noodles” Pope in the 100-meter – winning with a time of 10.82 while Pope clocked an 11.09.
Senior Deshay Fernandes was also a double winner for Columbus, taking home the 800- and 1,600-meter crowns. Explorers sophomore Xzavier Henderson won the 400-meter dash and finished second to Harrell in the 200-meter dash to add 18 more points.
Sweeping the relays – which included a nearly 20-second win in the 3,200-meter relay – equaled 30 points while junior Gary Cooper’s win in the shot put tacked on another 10.
Even though Columbus didn’t win the 3,200-meter run, which saw Coral Reef senior Hunter Dobbs finish No. 1, the Explorers still got seven points in the event thanks to senior Christian Alexander and freshman Donato Scarcello finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
Southridge senior Kameron Davis did his part to help the Spartans, winning the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Southridge’s relay teams also finished second behind Columbus in the 400- and 1,600-meter and took third in the 3,200-meter relay.
Lady Barracudas Edge Southridge
The girls side went down to the wire before Coral Reef emerged victorious, finishing with 107 points – narrowly ahead of runner-up Southridge.
The Lady Barracudas led by nine points going into the 1,600-meter relay, the final event of the meet. Southridge needed to win the event, which it did, for 10 points and a chance to either win or tie while Coral Reef only needed to finish the race to guarantee at least a tie or better than eighth to cement the win.
Southridge’s easily won the event with a total time of 3:57.09 and Coral Reef’s time of 4:10.52 was good enough for fourth place.
Barracudas senior Rayquel Berry helped lift her team Saturday by accumulating 26 points. She won the long jump (clearing 18-feet, 5-inches), the triple jump, and finished third in the 100-meter hurdles.
Dalayni Etienne contributed 16 points for Coral Reef – taking second in both the 400-meter dash and the high jump – freshman Krystal Rodriguez added 10 points for her win in the 800-meter run and the Barracudas won the 3,200-meter relay.
Southridge stayed near the top of the team point totals throughout the day thanks to junior Raynaih Jones. Jones won both hurdle events (100- and 300-meters), including an impressive showing in the 300 with a 43.75 time – two-and-a-half seconds better than the rest of the field.
Kasia Cooper won the 200-meter dash, Briana Cox won the shot put and Jessica Thurston and Armani Curry finished second and third respectively in the discus to give the Spartans 34 points.
Norland, which finished fourth in team totals, got a glimpse of a bright future when freshman Pebbles Scott won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
For all the usual stuff that went on at Saturday’s GMAC Track and Field championship meet, it felt a bit different.
Something was missing.
South Florida track juggernaut program Miami Northwestern wasn’t competing.
The Bulls boys’ and girls’ teams were pulled from the meet stemming from their involvement in a large brawl with Miami Edison in Tuesday’s GMAC qualifier.
Edison’s teams did not compete in Saturday’s finals either.
The nearly 8-minute brawl was reportedly sparked when a Northwestern track athlete confronted a group of Edison athletes for sitting in an area of Traz Powell’s bleachers that the Bulls team has routinely sat in.
There is no such thing as “assigned areas” for teams in the stands – working on a first come, first serve basis. And the Red Raiders arrived at the meet and sat in the area before Northwestern did. Worse yet, there were other unoccupied areas in the nearly 5,000-seat grandstands.
Sources say that words were exchanged between athletes from both teams and the large melee began. Boys and girls from both teams were involved and it needed event officials and coaches from other schools to help break up the fight.
Police were called and sources confirmed that at least one athlete had to be treated by paramedics on the scene for injuries sustained during the brawl. Sources have also confirmed that there may be legal action to follow, noting that some athletes may press charges for the injuries they sustained.
Northwestern principal Wallace Aristide reportedly signed off on the decision to remove the team from the GMAC. There also may be future ramifications because GMAC meet officials sent an incident report to the FHSAA.
The FHSAA made any announcements regarding the matter.
It would be unfortunate if Northwestern’s girls team had its season derailed – due to individual suspensions – because of the fight. The Lady Bulls own the FHSAA record for state titles with 14, including nine consecutive from 2009 to 2017.
Northwestern’s boys team also won a Class 3A state title this past season.
Girls’ Team Results
1. Coral Reef 107, 2. Southridge 103, 3. Killian 94, 4. Norland 54, 5. Dr. Krop 44, 6. North Miami 38, 7. South Dade 31, 8. Ferguson 22.
Girls Individual Results
100M: 1. Pebbles Scott (NOR) 12.33, 2. De’aria Smith (KIL) 12.48, 3. M’Kynzi Sanders (KIL) 12.65. 200M: 1. Pebbles Scott (NOR) 24.68, 2. M’Kynzi Sanders (KIL) 24.88, 3. Derricka Edwards (SR) 25.32. 400M: 1. Kasia Cooper (SR) 56.82, 2. Dalayni Etienne (CR) 57.03, 3. Rachel Pierre-Louis (DRK) 59.75. 800M: 1. Krystal Rodriguez (CR) 2:27.57, 2. Jamesha Williams (SR) 2:28.98, 3. Zynia Alvarez (CR) 2:29.67. 1,600M: 1. Jordan Shapiro (MPAL) 5:15.44, 2. Krystal Rodriguez (CR) 5:40.55, 3. Daniela Raime (REAG) 5:48.39. 3,200M: 1. Rahyah Andressohn (SD) 10:46.72, 2. Carla Garcia (REAG) 11:29.39, 3. Stephani Gonzalez (CR) 11:46.81. 400M Relay: 1. Killian 48.25, 2. Norland 48.82, 3. Southridge 48.84. 1,600M Relay: 1. Southridge 3:57.09, 2. Norland 4:03.35, 3. Killian 4:08.56. 3,200M Relay: 1. Coral Reef 10:11.98, 2. Southridge 10:28.73, 3. Dr. Krop 10:33.36. 100M Hurdles: 1. Rayniah Jones (SR) 14.47, 2, Nigeria Starks (ED) 14.73, 3. Rayquel Berry (CR) 15.43. 300M Hurdles: 1. Rayniah Jones (SR) 43.75, 2. Darnisha McGuire (KIL) 46.27, 3. Trillanie Robinson (NM) 47.51. High Jump: 1 Arielle Ho (VAR) 5-05.25, 2. Dalayni Etienne (CR) 5-03.25, 3. Nayla Burts (AM) 4-11.50. Pole Vault: 1. Anna Arriaga (FER) 7-05.75, 2. Aracelis Aguiar (GOL) 7-05.75, 3. Ana Pereira (FER) 6-06. Long Jump: 1. Rayquel Berry (CR) 18-05, 2. Destiny Whitehead (KIL) 16-08, 3. Tianna Jackson (DRK) 16-06. Triple Jump: 1. Rayquel Berry (CR) 38-02.75, 2. Shekinah Rachel (MH) 37-06.50, 3. Destiny Whitehead (KIL) 34-10.50. Shot Put: 1. Briana Cox (SR) 34-07, 2. Kayla Campbell (AM) 34-05, 3. Keri Allen (NM) 32-01.50. Discus: 1. Keri Allen (NM) 92-09, 2. Jessica Thurston (SR) 91-04, 3. Armani Curry (SR) 83-10.
Boys’ Team Results
1. Columbus 142, 2. Southridge 103, 3. Homestead 62, 4. South Dade 53, 5. Coral Reef 45.5, 6. Carol City 40, 7. North Miami 36.5, 8. Miami Central 29.
Boys’ Individual Results
100M: 1. Tyler Harrell (COL) 10.82, 2. Mark Pope (SR) 11.09, 3. Tajarie Arthurton (HOM) 11.11. 200M: 1. Tyler Harrell (COL) 21.62, 2. Xzavier Henderson (COL) 21.89, 3. Mark Pope (SR) 22.28. 400M: 1. Xzavier Henderson (COL) 49.36, 2. Cameron Daniel (COL) 50.06, 3. Ja’ki Chatman (BTW) 50.71. 800M: 1. Deshay Fernandes (COL) 1:56.97, 2. Musa Rigaba (SD) 1:58.83, 3. Robbie Wooden (CC) 1:59.22. 1,600M: 1. Deshay Fernandes (COL) 4:31.80, 2. Hunter Dobbs (CR) 4:34.21, 3. Derrick Spicer (DRK) 4:35.88. 3,200M: 1. Hunter Dobbs (CR) 10:17.66, 2. Andoni Mercado (SUN) 10:23.09, 3. Deiondre Williams (HOM) 10:28.35. 400M Relay: 1. Columbus 41.58, 2. Southridge 41.78, 3. Carol City 42.26. 1,600M Relay: 1. Columbus 3:21.95, 2. Southridge 3:23.10, 3. Carol City 3:24.65. 3,200M Relay: 1. Columbus 8:01.77, 2. Carol City 8:20.38, 3. Southridge 8:20.87. 110M Hurdles: 1. Kameron Davis (SR) 14.38, 2. Ulyesse Grace (HOM) 14.96, 3 Joshuah Burke-Warmington (NM) 15.17. 300M Hurdles: 1. Kameron Davis (SR) 38.52, 2. Keyshaun Paul (JACK) 40.42, 3. Lamont Wright (SR) 41.29. High Jump: 1. Andre Foster (SR) 6-02, 2. Phenol Williams (CC) 6-00, 3. Cory Smith (NM) 5-10. Pole Vault: 1. Richard Williams (HOM) 10-11.75, 2. David Trueba (COL) 10-00, 3. Joshua Monzon (FER) J10-00. Long Jump: 1. Amir Augustin (CEN) 21-07.50, 2. Tyrese Allen (DRK) 21-04.75, 3. Yedenier (Tony) Rodrigue (SW) 21-01.50. Triple Jump: 1. Jamahl Melvin (SD) 44-05.50, 2. Corey Thornton (BTW) 42-11, 3. Phenol Williams (CC) 42-00.50. Shot Put: 1. Gary Cooper (COL) 49-02.50, 2. Mathew Moulton (SR) 44-02.75, 3. Tony Mills (COL) 44-02.50. Discus: 1. Ruben Enriquez (SD) 121-00, 2. Joe Lawton (JACK) 118-02, 3. Kevin Lampkins (CR) 112-00.