The Alachua County Sports Center in Gainesville, Florida became a new home for a handful of standout performers this indoor season. The facility, which opened in January, played host to a handful of the nation's top times in various events.
That included the 400m.
At the unofficial Florida Indoor Championships last weekend, we saw the first boy in the nation to break 47 seconds in the quarter.
In his first-ever indoor season, Aidan Dixon of Port Orange Atlantic (FL) put together a breakthrough performance of 46.98 to capture the state title.
* Aidan Dixon clocked a 46.98 at the Florida Indoor Championships in Gainesville
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How special was that performance for the South Florida commit and how did this underdog put it all together?
"Training has been more intense as I'm improving, but my [mind] has improved a lot," Dixon told MileSplit recently. "I would get nervous, like a bad nervous. Going into this indoor season, I've been able to calm myself before my races. I don't go in overthinking my races. I know what I have to do. I just have to trust myself. I definitely improved a lot mentally by racing a lot more this season and it has been showing in my times."
Dixon was just 0.01 seconds off of his all-time best at this distance from 2022. But how about this: Did you know that it was only his third time running the distance ever indoors?
"I'm happy with the indoor time being 46 because this shows me that this season I should be able to consistently run 46 hopefully and maybe a sub-46 performance can come to me this outdoor season," he said.
Looking into the history books, the performance made Dixon one of three boys to dip under 47 seconds indoors for the 400m in Florida High School history, just behind Tyrese Cooper, who clocked a 46.01 in 2017 and Tennessee commit Zyaire Nuriddin, who ran a 46.04 last year at the adidas Track Nationals.
The time also puts Dixon at No. 20 on the national all-time list. And the icing on the cake? Dixon also finished second in the 200m with a personal best time of 21.66.
As Dixon gears up toward the outdoor season, he says he would like to run a 45-point and charge into the top 10 all-time on the national level.
He's looking forward to running 20 seconds in the 200m and being a contributor on his 4x400m team at the Florida State Outdoor Championships.
"I think [the indoor season] shows the most potential for what I can do this outdoor season," he said. "The indoor season is the introduction to the outdoor season, everyone is just getting started. I'm excited to see what we can all do, especially in Florida in the sprints."
* Aidan Dixon prepares for the final of the 400m at the Florida Indoor Championships
Photo Credit: Nancy Scott / MileSplit Florida
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Florida Indoor Championship Results
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