The Dunbar boys pulled off a third-place team finish, even with some of their top performers being banged up at the Region 2A-3 meet at Berkeley Prep in Tampa.
They still managed to gut out strong performances across the board. Freshman Seneca Milledge got the day started off by winning the long jump at 22-9. Milledge is no stranger to track even being in his first year of high school competition.
He’s run with Olympia Track Club since the sixth grade and won the 2014 Junior Olympics in the long jump in Iowa and took second in the 2015 meet in Jacksonville.
Milledge carried a nagging hip injury into the meet and only made one jump, passing all others but still taking the regional title.
Milledge would go on to run the fastest 100-meter qualifying time, a 10.53 but by the finals, his hip was really starting to hamper even walking to the podium for awards. He wound up taking second in the final at 10.69 behind St. Petersburg Lakewood’s Terence Ware’s 10.60. Milledge has a 10.3 from earlier in the season and plans to get back into top form at states.
“I’m going to get a 10.3 at states,” Milledge said. “I’m taking states, I’m going to bring the title back to Fort Myers.”
Milledge still had just enough grit and gas left in the tank to help LaJuan Preston, Desmond Davis and Kenneth Benjamin in the 4×100 meter relay to a second-place 41.94. The boys’ 41.80 is still the fifth-best time in Class 2A this season. Milledge even rallied to help the 4×400 meter relay to a second-place 3:26.32 in the 4×400 meter relay.
“It was my last race, I had just enough to gut out the final,” Milledge said.
Preston, earlier in the field events, took second in the triple jump at 43-5. Rudy Alvarez, battling through a foot injury, took third at 42-7.5 and teammate Ezekiel Rose grabbed the last qualifying spot with a 41-8.5. Rose also took fourth in boys high jump at 6-4.
“I had much better jumps earlier this season but this foot injury held me back a little today,” Alvarez said.
On the girls side, Dunbar took eighth with 30 points. Sophomore Michel Guerdine ran a great 400 meter final in 58.44 but was stuck in by far the most competitive race of the day, where the top five girls were all under 59 seconds. Guerdine settled for fifth place. Lake Wales’ Maiah Walker ran the third-best time in the nation, a 53.27 and the next three girls behind her all ran personal bests.
Opening up the day, the LaBelle boys 4x800m relay took second in 8:10.74. Senior Omar Figueroa from the relay, came back and took second in the 1,600 meter (4:35.40). Oasis senior Thea Bowman placed third in the 100 meter hurdles (16.40) to qualify for states. Teammate Noah Houfek took the fourth qualifying spot in the boys open 400 meters (51.63)