Florida high school sophomore is second-fastest 400-meter hurdler in nation

Lake Minneola sophomore Kai Evans is the fastest 400-meter hurdler in Florida, and the second-fastest in the country. 

"It took me a second. I had to really look at the results. I was like stunned," Evans said.

Evans ran a 52.94 at the class 3 region 2 meet at Davenport High School last week, punching his ticket to the state meet. 

"This race I decided to pick it up a little bit, more on the first 200. I still wasn’t even going that fast on the first 200. So, I feel like that’s the way I got the time that I did," Evans said.

Before clocking a record-setting time in the 400-meter hurdles, Evans competed in two races prior to that one, and he qualified for the state meet in both. Altogether he qualified in four events – the 110-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles, and the 200 meters.

"Endurance and strength. You have to be strong to be able to run 400 meters and add jumping hurdles on top of it," Lake Minneola track and field coach Corey Isom said.
Evans is a special athlete.

He came out for track and field in the 7th grade, as a way to stay in shape for baseball and football, but now this is one of his main sports.

"I’ll come out here on the weekends and will see Kai out here by himself working on starts, working on endurance. So he’s prepared himself over the course of the year to do what he’s done," Isom said.

After gaining national attention, all eyes will be on Evans at the state meet. He’s anticipating getting an extra push from his competitors.

"It’s very overwhelming. I’m still at a loss for words. I don’t know what to say. It’s like unbelievable," Evans said.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is holding the 3A track and field meet on May 19.