Florida State Champs Retro: Alex Collier Goes Beast Mode

The Florida High School Athletic Association state track and field championships may be canceled, but we can certainly look back and reminisce on the prolific performances of history. 

In this case, we're going to dial it back to 2019. 

The Class 3A boys 400m championship featured Miami Norland senior Tyrese Cooper, in his final time at the distance in a Florida high school uniform, against the likes of Alex Collier and Jovan Ferguson, among others. 

While Cooper, who had won four straight state track titles in the 200m and 400m over his first two seasons, had missed the previous state championships due to off the track issues, he was ready to go after big performances in his final time on the track for Norland. 

In 2017, Cooper recorded the the second-best effort in state history, going 45.51 at the IMG Academy track in Bradenton.

Maybe it was a bit presumptuous to say it was his race to win, but there was a ton of motivation for the Miami star, who many see as one of the best track and field athletes to ever come out of Florida. 

But who could have suspected a run for the ages from Collier. 

The Orange Park junior gave it his all in the final 200 meters, registering the seventh-best effort in state history. 

Check out the performance above. 

Boys Class 3A 400m Championship

1	Alex Collier	11	Orange Park HS	46.33		1
2	Tyrese Cooper	12	Miami Norland HS	47.19		1
3	Jovan Ferguson	11	Miami Carol City HS	47.63		1
4	Donte Sol	12	Wesley Chapel HS	48.00		1
5	Mekhi Rhoden	12	Boyd Anderson HS	48.25		1
6	De'wante Deas	10	Blanche Ely HS	48.30		1
7	Zackary Nelson	12	Bartram Trail HS	48.35		1
8	Elijah Wright	12	Naples HS	48.47		1

Retrospective: Collier's performance may go down in history as one of the most surprising victories over a legendary figure. The race saw him break 47 seconds for the first time in his career, and it marked the first state track title of his career. The next fall, he signed with Florida State University. Cooper, meanwhile, would go on to race a few more times, finishing fourth at the USATF U20 Championships in the 200m in 21.09. Cooper spent his first collegiate season at Hinds Community College, where he set a personal best indoors in the 200m (21.00). He was an JUCO All-American in the 60m, scoring a fourth-place finish at nationals, and was sixth in the 200m.