Despite great adversity, Andres Arroyo made history on Saturday during the annual Florida Class 4A state track meet at the University of North Florida.
The talented senior distance runner from Colonial (Orlando, Fla.)
became Florida's first large-school athlete to win the 800-meter run (1:54.09), the 1600 (4:15.50) and the 3200 (9:30.75).
In addition to rain and wind problems, Arroyo had his own personal problems, too, making his performance even more remarkable.
He told Buddy Collings of the Orlando Sentinel, "I practiced in the rain on Thursday and started to feel bad (Friday). I had to overcome it in mind. I was hurting badly in that 3200. I had to do it for a lot of people."
Even before the meet started, however, he had to make some major adjustments, because the start of the meet was moved up twice due to worsening weather on an already rain-soaked track. His parents had not yet arrived with his uniform and track shoes and he had to hustle just to make the start of the 1600.
He noted, "My coach (Rene Plasencia) rounded up pieces from other guys to put together a uniform for me."
* A freshman made a major impact during the Class 3A meet.
Kaylin Whitney of East Ridge (Clermont, Fla.)
- in her first state meet - won gold in the 100-meter dash (11.79) and the 200-meter dash (23.40).