A.C. Flora put together its best overall performance at the Class 3A state track meet in nine years.
The girls team returned to the Top 10 for the first time since 2000, finishing is seventh place with 34 points. The boys team just missed the Top 10 cut, closing in 11th place with 18 points, four points off the pace of 10th place St. James.
Both ACF teams had gold medal winners for the first time since 2000.
Senior Emani Harrison, who entered with the lowest qualifying mark, emerged as the surprise long jump champion with a winning effort of 17 feet, four inches, beating Region 4-3A rival and pre-meet favorite Tamisha Foster of Fairfield Central by two inches. Harrison is the fifth Falcons female state champion, the first to strike state gold since 1999 and the first in the field events since Charlotte Reese claimed her second straight triple jump title in 1980.
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Harrison had a busy, productive day. She also earned a silver medal in the 400 meters, a bronze in the 200 and was fourth in the 100 to account for 29 of Flora’s 34 team points. It was the biggest state score by the Falcons girls since 1980’s 3A state championship run.
On the boys side, senior Darius Hammond had an interesting day. His goal was a PR in the discus and win in the shot put. He did neither. Instead, he set a PR in the shot put but finished second, and came in first in the discus without his best-ever throw.
Hammond is the first Falcon to claim a state title in the throwing events since Stephone Jefferson earned his second straight win in the discus in 1985.