Ladies of NE Florida torch the track at Bob Hayes 2023

3 · 24 · 23

As we all know, the Bob Hayes invitational track and field meet is probably the most prestigious one day track meet of the year in the northeast Florida region, as well as the United States. Every year this meet is known to draw over 150 schools across the US, Canada and the Virgin Islands. Even though Jacksonville, Florida is always where this meet is held, it is rare that the student athletes of Jacksonville receive any recognition because the athletes from various other areas often displayed better performances. For the lady student athletes of Northeast Florida in 2023, you can say that this theory is dead. There were several standout performances in the 2023 Bob Hayes Invitational Track meet worth mentioning by the female student athletes of Jacksonville. Senior sprinter from Sandalwood High school, Emani George ripped up the track winning the 100 meter dash finals in a flashing time of 11.80 seconds and the 200 meter dash finals clocking in at 24.78 seconds. The 400 meter dash finals title went to a 9th grader from Fletcher high school, Zyaire Thomas, finishing in 57.08 seconds. Second place went to Andrew Jackson’s Junior runner, Kaitlyn Webbie (57.71). Bishop Kenny’s Ka’Mya Haywood came in 2nd place in the 800 meter run finals with a time of 2:14.73. Creekside high school freshman, Alyson Johnson won the invitational 1600 meter run finals in stunning fashion with a time of 5:08.56 while the 3200 meter run finals crown went to Mary Pace-Balzan from Nease. Brittney Jennings, a junior from Sandalwood high, brought home the gold for the 100 meter hurdles finals in 13.80 seconds. All of the above events are very exciting and occupied by some of the supreme talent here in the Northeast Florida region. However, everyone knows that the event that mostly everyone comes to see is the 4 x 100 meter relay. This event is exciting from start to finish and is filled with just as much emotion in under one minute as any other sporting event. To win this race, a team has to possess 3 attributes, speed, focus and teamwork. The 2023 crown for the girls 4 x 100 meter relay finals at the Bob Hayes Invitational track meet went to Paxon. All of these young ladies displayed their talents with much class and grace while at the same time showing the schools from other areas that the days of just coming to the city of Jacksonville and winning a medal like it was theirs from the start, those days are over. It is widely perceived that if one can win their event in the Bob Hayes, the sky’s the limit as to how far they can go. It should be interesting to see the improvement of each and every last one of these student athletes  as the season progresses in their pursuit of winning the state championship.

About the Author

Vaughn Foster