Khosla sets record at FSU Relays

Khosla sets record at FSU Relays


Khosla sets record at FSU Relays


Leon junior Sukhi Khosla didn’t know his time, all he heard was the roar of the crowd emanating from the Mike Long Track bleachers.

As he walked back towards his team’s encampment, struggling to stay standing up, heads turned in awed recognition. The murmuring among the patrons was for the astonishing accomplishment just witnessed.

On a perfect Friday night on Florida State’s campus, Khosla ran the 3200-meter race of his young life, crossing in 8:59.50, which broke former Leon star Matt Mizereck’s four-year old record at the FSU Relays by over three seconds.

“My coach tried to build it up for me before the race,” Khosla said. “Now that I’ve broke (nine minutes), three Leon guys are in the top 10 all-time in Florida (high school) history in two-mile. It’s just a real big tradition at Leon for distance running.”

Khosla, a two-time All-Big Bend cross country runner of the year and 3A state champion, led each of the eight laps. Not once did his stride break and his form looked relaxed as he built a 40-meter lead heading into the final lap. And on that lap, the crowd stood to its feet, cheering him on to break a record in a blazing fast time.

“It’s really cool to have the audience in to it,” said Khosla, who watches video of top runners’ form and has used the technical training to his advantage this track season. “I don’t think distance running gets as much rep as it should. It was really awesome coming through. I heard everyone say ‘Yeah!’ as I crossed so I figured I got it. It was awesome having the audience help me out.”

Also winning during the FSU Relays’ distance showcase that evening was Wakulla senior Madison Harris, who topped her elite competitors in the 800-meter dash. Harris, a state runner-up in the event and 2013 All-Big Bend cross country runner of the year, is signed to run for Florida State. She did not disappoint in her two-lap ordeal, knocking off future Seminoles teammates Kayla Thomas of Stanton Prep (fourth place) and Katie Slater of Estero (third place).

“I started thinking I would lead it at first, but then (Thomas) went out and stepped in front of me,” Harris said. “So I just decided to hang back, especially since she was breaking the wind. Coming around the first 300, she slowed up a bit, so I stepped in front of her against the wind.”

When Thomas’ form broke down, Harris pounced, beginning her kick with 200 meters left to cross in 2:14.67. After starting the season slow coming off soccer and with an injury sustained in her last game, her training has been altered to start the track season. She looked strong the entire way through, especially in her final burst to the finish.

“I definitely have confidence in my kick,” Harris said. “I wasn’t too worried when she got in front of me at the 300. I stuck with her on the curve and got her on the straightaway.”

In the girls’ 3200, Chiles’ Ashton McMurray dropped 10 seconds of her personal best, crossing in 11:28. Slater and Estero teammate Araceli Leon, also an FSU signee, led a victory in the 4×800. Chiles senior Justin Cromartie captured a narrow win in the 110 hurdles (14.63), while Florida High senior Brittany Corbett nabbed victory in the same event (14.97) on the girls’ side. Competition begins again this morning for the 110 high schools representing the 35th edition of the FSU Relays, which has brought in more than 1,500 athletes.

Among college activity featuring 24 schools from across the Midwest and east coast, several locals had good showings. FSU senior Chelsea Whalen captured second behind an unattached athlete in the javelin with a throw of 50.99 meters, FSU senior Darius King outjumped sophomore teammate Cristobal Hurtado-Arteaga (third place) in the high jump for a win, and Hannah Acton, Karly Jackson and Madison Schmidt of FSU went 1-2-3 in the women’s pole vault, respectively.

In the women’s discus, Florida A&M freshman Andrea Aaron had a winning toss of 38.45m, while Seminoles freshman Nicole Setterington earned a win in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.69.

In sprint action, FSU’s womens’ A team topped FAMU in the 4×100, and FAMU junior Isaiah Smith grabbed second in the 400-meter dash in 47.11 behind an unattached athlete. FSU junior Jacob Zivec and sophomore Otniel Teixeira finished 1-2, respectively, in the men’s 1500.

But the night truly belonged to Khosla, whose ceiling is still unknown yet has been steadily increasing in height with every blistering result.

“It’s a rare opportunity and we only have so many chances to concentrate on just one race on one night,” Leon coach Andrew Wills said. “The weather is great. I told him to go for it, and n


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