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ODA Senior Wins Gold at State Championship

Tristan McWilliam finishes his high school athletic career on a very high note.
Tristan McWilliam ’22 brought home the hardware from the 2022 Class 1A Boys Track & Field State Championship in Gainesville. For his first race of the day, Tristan outpaced the elite field of runners in the 1600-meter race, setting a personal best time, a new school record, and earning the top spot on the podium. The gold medal run was followed by a highly competitive third place finish in the 800-meters and another new ODA record. 

“I expected to finish second or third because everyone had better PRs than me…I gave all I had to the very end and it worked out,” said the seasoned runner.

During the 2021-2022 seasons, the fleet-footed student-athlete has set nine school records and personal best times in both cross country and track events during his final year at ODA. He also helped lead the cross country team to an 8th place team finish at the State Championships this fall - the best individual and team finish in school history. 

“Not only did Tristan have a phenomenal year as an athlete, but he has developed into an incredible teammate and leader,” said Mr. Sam Pederson, Head Coach of the Varsity Cross Country and Track & Field teams. “He has helped to change the culture of athletics at ODA and has left such a positive legacy for his younger teammates to follow.”

His impressive accomplishments this year include running the fastest double (1600m and 3200m races) in Sarasota Country history, first-place finishes at county, district, regional, and state championships, and standing out as the only tri-county area athlete to win a state title this season. 

Capping off his senior year, Tristan now holds ODA school records in the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, 5000m, 4x1600m, and the Distance Medley Relay. Looking ahead, Tristan will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this fall, where he will continue his athletic career running for the Eagles on their cross country and track & field teams.

The Out-of-Door Academy

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