Lady Bulldogs take step forward after promising showing at state meet
When the Bulldogs’ Namiah Simpson leapt over the final hurdle in the 300-meter hurdle in the girls 4A state final on Saturday, May 5, at the University of North Florida, she was surprised to discover she still had one more obstacle in her path: Flanagan’s Jaydea Carter, who was neck-and-neck with first place for much of the race, clipped the last hurdle and tumbled to the floor.
Simpson had to hurdle Carter, as well, on her way to a sixth-place finish in the event. It was Simpson’s first medal at states. Simpson, a senior at Flagler Palm Coast, had never competed at the state level before.
“I learned a lot (in my time at FPC),” she said. “I enjoyed the time I had here. I loved my coaches and my teammates.”
Reflecting on this past year, Bulldogs coach David Halliday said this was one of the best seasons the girls team has ever had.
The Lady Bulldogs set a school record in their 3:52.18 showing at the 4x400 preliminaries on Friday, May 4, and missed out on a medal in the 4x800-meter run by 1.99 seconds.
The boys team, however, struggled. For the first time in Halliday’s 14 years as coach of the Bulldogs, the boys failed to medal in an event.
But, out of the 70 boys who were on the team this season, only four are graduating.
“It’s hard to compete for a state championship if you’ve never been here before,” Halliday said. “We’ll have that experience next year. I think next year, they’re legitimately going to have a shot at a state championship if we put the pieces together.”