Kaylin Whitney and Terry Jernigan seemed immune to the elements.
The East Ridge High School runners defied rainy conditions and blistered the track at the University of North Florida on Saturday to win state championships in the boys and girls 100-meter dashes at the Florida High School Athletic Association state track-and-field finals.
Despite coming into the finals with the fifth-fastest qualifying time, Whitney recorded the fastest time in the preliminary heats, stopping the clock in 11.64 seconds. The sophomore was more than 3/10ths of a second faster than the next-fastest runner during preliminaries.
In the finals, Whitney started in the middle of the track and bolted from the blocks. She maintained an advantage throughout and won in 11.48, beating Krystal Sparling from St. Thomas Aquinas by .16 seconds.
In the boys race, Jernigan set the standard with a 10.53 time in the preliminaries. He got out fast in the finals and finished in 10.51 to beat Piper’s Andre Ewers, who stopped the clock in 10.67.
Whitney and Jernigan posted the only wins by Lake and Sumter County competitors in all four classes.
A large contingent of local student-athletes competed in the Class 1A and Class 2A meets on Friday.
In Class 2A, Montverde Academy’s boys team finished in a tie for 22nd place with 10 points.
In the boys Class 2A 800-meter event, Montverde Academy’s Jesse Wear sparkled with a second-place finish with a time of 1:54.97. Pine Crest senior John Decker nipped Wear by 2/10ths of a second.
Montverde Academy’s Tahj Malone finished seventh in the boys high jump with a leap of 6-0. Wakulla’s Corion Knight had the winning jump of 6-4.
In the girls Class 2A 3200, Montverde Academy’s Ciara Hopkins was 13th with a time of 12:12.48.