Jazonte Levan of Seaford High burst from the fastest field ever assembled in a Delaware race Wednesday night to electrify the Rod Lambert Meet of Champions by running the fastest 200 meters in state history at Wilmington’s Abessinio Stadium.
Levan covered the turn in 21.01 seconds to break the record of 21.24, set 11 days earlier at the New Castle County Championships on the same track by Salesianum’s Jasyn Truitt.
The season-ending meet, which gathers the top finishers from last weekend’s team-oriented, two-division DIAA meet into a single showdown in each event, featured three victories by Yougendy Mauricette of Sussex Tech, all-time performances by Molly Flanagan and Sophia Holgado of Padua and Sussex Central’s 4 x 100 boys relay, and underclass dominance. No seniors won any of the eight girls running events.
Of the five Delaware fastest 200-meter runners in the era of fully automated timing, three lined up on Wednesday night. Levan was flanked by record-holder Truitt and Sussex Central’s Tim Wright, who had already banked two gold medals.
The knowledgeable crowd at the most history-laden site in Delaware track cheered in crescendo as Levan accelerated between his rivals, then exploded in the loudest roar since football season when his record-breaking time was posted on the scoreboard.
MEET OF CHAMPIONS: Final results
“I know that my opponents were worthy of my full speed,” said Levan. “I give respect to Jasyn because he’s my man. I tried to break his record. I know that my drive wasn’t the greatest. But when I went past Jasyn on the curve, I knew that I had it. My top speed is probably the best trait of my running.”
Sussex Central’s Wright capitalized on an excellent start to win the 100, then anchored William Harrison, Brayden Elliott and Malik Kelsic to a 4 x 100 victory that was the state’s third fastest ever, beating the Salesianum quartet that set the state record of 41.70 at the county meet. Sussex Central ran 41.96 to the Sals’ 42.00.
Mauricette completed his dominant career by winning both hurdles and the long jump.
“I like doing a lot of events. I’m already here. I might as well have fun doing the things I love,” said Mauricette. “I did hit a couple of hurdles on the turn and the straightaway, but I’m a mile ahead of last year.”
TIGERS ROAR, SALS SOAR:Salesianum, A.I. du Pont set pace among boys at DIAA track and field
He hopes to reach 50 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, where he had the nation’s fifth best time (51.31) in 2022, and to qualify for the U.S. under-20 national team, before entering the University of Southern California in August.
Flanagan won the 800 in 2:10.34, second best ever by a Delaware girl.
“I wanted to go out in 66 seconds, because I did that in my 4 x 800 earlier and I felt comfortable,” said Flanagan, who also anchored Padua victories in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relays. “More recently, I’ve been starting my kick around the 300 and leaving it all out in the final 150.”
In a match of the state cross country and divisional track champions, Holgado outdueled Indian River’s Brynn Crandell in the 3,200. Her 10:31.51 was fifth all-time fastest in Delaware. She then joined Flanagan, Madelyn Mead and Juliana Balon in a 4 x 400 that clocked a 3:50.23, third best in state history.
Balon repeated as 100 and 200 champion but remains her own sharpest critic.
“My form isn’t the greatest. I have to work on that,” she said. “When I run, my knees don’t really get up. There are so many critiques that need to be made. There’s so much to work to do. There’s always someone coming for you when you’re up there.”
DELIGHTFUL DAY:Padua, Tatnall rule but many have memorable DIAA track and field meet
Arianna Montgomery, a ninth-grader from Tatnall, won the long jump in 19-2½, third in state history, won the high hurdles and anchored Tatnall’s 4 x 100 victory. A multi-talented athlete who has focused on track since sixth grade, she has won the long jump at national youth meets.
Using a 15-foot pole for the first time, Matty Klous of Salesianum became the state’s first 15-foot vaulter in seven years. On his final try at 15-3, his body cleared the bar by six inches, but a stray knee dislodged the standard.
Sage Phillips of St. Georges took a big early lead to win the 400, then anchored Amari Burke, Elijah Burke and Malachi Walton to the 4 x 400 victory in 3:19.41, among the top 10 times in state history.
Ian Cain of Caesar Rodney traded leads with Delaware Military’s Ethan Walther before winning the 800 in 1:54.44.
JUMPING OVER:Former elite gymnast now setting records in track and field
“I knew I was going to have to work on the last lap,” said Cain.
Camerin Williams of Hodgson bolted past Matt Miller of Salesianum to win the 1,600.
“I didn’t have my season opener until the Blue Hen Conference championship,” said Williams. “I had three or four invitationals that got rained out.”
Ryan Baker of Cape Henlopen ran away with the 3,200. Donte Dockery of A.I. du Pont again reached 48 feet in the triple jump. Middletown’s Kyle Davenport won the high jump. Brandon Rife of Laurel prevailed in the discus. Courtney McDermott of Mount Pleasant was shot put champ. Connor Gebhardt anchored Saint Mark’s winning 4 x 800 relay.
Katie Payne of Tatnall caught Middletown’s Isabella Walsh on the stretch to win the 1,600.
“I really looked up to her this season,” said Payne, who also was second to Flanagan in the 800. “My goal was to stay with her, and to take a strong final lap.”
Reagan Garibaldi won the 400, then anchored Saint Mark’s victorious 4 x 200 team. A second-year runner, she explains the quarter-mile as “Getting out a 200 as hard as you can and trying not to die in the last 200.”
Kennedy Smith, a ninth-grader from Caravel, accelerated over the last half to win the 300 hurdles and was second in the 100.
Mekiyah Earnest of Tatnall launched a 38-9 triple jump, among the state’s 10 best ever. Abby Cholewa of Caesar Rodney pole vaulted 10-8. Simone Cooper of Middletown won both weight events.