Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holmes, Howell Spur Mustangs; Mandarin Finishes Sixth in Tough Field

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holmes, Howell Spur Mustangs; Mandarin Finishes Sixth in Tough Field

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

Mandarin's boys track team is on a mission this season, and it started Saturday at the 43rd annual Bob Hayes Invitational Track and Field Meet.

More than 200 schools and 4,000 athletes were at Earl Kitchings Stadium at Raines High School for the self-proclaimed largest high school track meet in the country.

Teams from South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana joined nearly all the Jacksonville schools, a large number of teams from the Miami area and many other schools from throughout the state in getting an early preview of who some of the favorites will be at the state meets next month and in early May.

The Mustangs couldn't overtake some of the powerful Miami teams, but with seniors Harold Howell and Mike Holmes displaying the speed that made them a threat on the football field last fall, Mandarin finished sixth with 36 points, one of the team's best finishes in recent years.

It's all part of a team goal of going after the Class 4A team state title.

"We've got depth in the field events, long distances and sprints to help us hopefully win the state title," said Holmes who will enroll at Syracuse this fall on a football scholarship. "I'd like to win the 110-meter hurdles, help the 4x100 relay win that event and then place high in both the 300 hurdles and triple jump to score some points for the team."

Holmes did all he could Saturday to help Mandarin to its high finish.

He won the triple jump with a leap of 47 feet, 9 inches, was second in the 110 hurdles in a career-best time of 14.02, was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles and ran the second leg of the Mustangs' first-place 4x100-relay unit.

Howell also contributed points.

He took fifth in the 100 meters and anchored the winning 4x100-relay team. He will likely also score points for Mandarin in the 200-meter race later in the season. …

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