Edgewater jumper aims high with FHSAA track and field championships ahead

Edgewater senior Amaya Bien-Aime goes into next week’s FHSAA track and field Class 3A state championship meet still seeking one big goal she’s aimed for since she was a ninth-grader.

She’s won the high jump in all 10 meets she’s competed in this year and hopes to close that streak out with a milestone victory at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.

After top three finishes in each of the past three seasons, Bien-Aime has learned more about the strategy of high jumping each year.

“I feel confident. I’m ready,” she said this week following her Region 2 first-place finish. “Hopefully, I’ll get 5-10, a new PR [personal record]. I’m trying to better myself.”

Bien-Aime celebrates her 18th birthday Monday and can give herself a gold medal gift four days later, May 17, in the state meet.

The four-year Edgewater basketball player stands 5-10 and set her PR with a 5-8 clearance in the April 19 Metro Conference West Division meet. She’s also jumped 5-6, and gone 5-5 or better six times this season.

Former Evans standout Ann Larson set the Orlando area record in 2001 with a 5-10 effort. She won the 4A state title that year.

Bien-Aime cleared 5-3 3/4 at Wednesday’s 3A Region 2 meet in Plant City. That was her mark in last year’s state meet, where she placed third. She was the state runner-up at 5-7 1/2 as a sophomore and placed third as a ninth-grader at 5-3 3/4.

She’s the No. 2 state qualifier behind Satellite High junior Lorelai Filosa, who cleared 5-8 1/2 in her district meet.

Bien-Aime signed for a full scholarship with Florida International in February. That means she follows the path of former Edgewater high jumper Clarissa Cutliff, who cleared 5-8 as a high schooler and earned All-America at FIU.

“I don’t know her, but I know of her,” Bien-Aime said. “Everybody at FIU was so welcoming. It felt like they wanted me there. I’m really excited. I go to college two or three weeks after I graduate [May 28].”

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Watch list

Also in 3A, Lake Minneola junior Kai Evans is a contender to win four boys events. He owns the nation’s best time in the 400-meter hurdles (51.73 seconds) and is also the 110 hurdles favorite with a best of 13.88.

He’s run 10.49 in the 100 meter dash and 21.10 in the 200 and is in the running against very strong competition in those events.

“I want at least top three in all four events,” Evans said. “I want to win them all.”

Foundation Academy sophomore sprinter Christopher “CJ” Bronaugh ran 1A’s best times in the 100 (10.38) and 200 (21.14) in his Tuesday region meet and looks to run away with those titles. He anchors Foundation’s 4×100 relay, which also is ranked No. 1 going into the small-school classification championship meet Wednesday.

Trinity Prep junior Victoria Hill moved to the top of the 1A girls long jump performance list when she leaped 19-2 1/2 in her regional. As a ninth grader Hill won 2A state titles in the long jump and triple jump.

Orlando Christian Prep senior Joshua Demosthenes is the 1A top seed in the 110 hurdles. He ran a PR 14.42 in his regional win.

Montverde Academy will flex its muscle in the 2A finals Thursday. The Eagles’ lineup includes boys all-classes pole vault leader Alex Georgiev (16-4 3/4).

4A’s finest

Olympia senior Omaria Gordon is one to watch when the four-day series closes with 4A championships on May 18. She sailed to the state’s best girls long jump (20-8) in the Metro West meet and backed that up with a 20-2 in her regional win. Gordon is unbeaten in the event and has surpassed the 19-foot mark six times in seven meets.

Orlando University sophomore Christina Morris popped a state-leading 40-11 1/2 triple jump in a Region 1 win ahead of Seminole’s Oluwadara Soremi (39-8 1/2).

Apopka senior Rashad Hemissi is the top 4A boys 800 qualifier (1:54.83).

DeLand region champ and 4A girls state leader Kylie Neira, a junior, pole vaulted 13 feet to win the Florida Relays.

Varsity content editor Buddy Collings can be reached by email at