Bridget Blake wins 6th State Championship
Junior distance sensation Bridget Blake earned gold medals in both the 1600m and the 3200m, achieving her third State Championship this year and sixth in her career, at the Women’s Track and Field State Championship in Jacksonville. Blake’s time of 4:58.55 in the 1600m was over six seconds faster than the rest of the field, more than enough for her second title in the event in as many years. In the 3200m, Blake crushed the competition with a time of 10:57.35, over ten seconds ahead of the field, for her second consecutive State Championship in that event, her second of the night, and the sixth of her career which includes back-to back State Championships in Cross Country as well. No runner has ever dominated distance running, or the sport of Track and Field at Dr. Phillips like Bridget Blake. Freshman sprinter Teahna Daniels had an exceptional showing as well in her first State Championship appearance, earning the bronze medal in the 100m with a sparkling time of 12.09. Daniels, who earned District and Regional titles, was one of only two freshmen in the finals and will return as one of the gold medal favorites for 2013. Daniels and Blake amassed a total of 26 points for the Panthers, good for a ninth-place team finish.
Senior A.J. Cunningham was the lone DP representative to qualify for the Men’s Track and Field State Championship in Jacksonville and turned in a solid performance, finishing 11th in the 3200m. Cunningham’s time of 9:49.62 was his fastest of the year and a nearly a full second faster that his qualifying time in the Regional Championship. A.J. will coninue his career at the University of West Florida.
At the State Championship game in Tallahassee, Flag Football fell to Semiole Ridge, 20-13. With the score tied at 13-13 and roughly a minute and a half remaining in regulation, Daija Phillips stepped in front of a Seminole Ridge pass and raced toward the end zone for what could have been the game-winning touchdown but a sensational flag pull by the quarterback saved the game for the Hawks. DP (18-1) still maintained possession but the Panthers turned the ball back over with an interception with 17 seconds left. With just six seconds on the clock, Seminole Ridge connected on a quick strike pass and the receiver cut back to the middle of the field avoiding a DP defender and scampered 64 yards for the game-winning score. The Panthers took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter when Hannah Schaible connected with Jade Cheek for a 61-yard touchdown. The touchdown pass was the 55th of the season for Schaible, a new school record, while Cheek’s touchdown reception was her school-record 23rd of the season. Schaible would give the Panthers a 13-6 lead before the half on an 11-yard scoring run but DP was held scoreless in the second half.
On Tuesday the Panther baseball team heads to Olympia for the Regional Semifinal at 4:00 pm. DP (14-14) and Olympia (28-0) have met twice this season with the Titans taking both games but the Panthers have been on a roll of late in the playoffs and have nothing to lose. The Titans are the nation’s top-ranked team and have expectations of a state championship in front of them. Tickets will be $7.00 at the gate and a big crowd is expected to watch these rivals fight to move on to the next level.