The rain poured down and Beau Burroughs looked for cover. He and the rest of the competitors at the Golden South meet in Orlando found shelter under the stadium and waited out the rain and lightning.
But Burroughs took to the field after two hours of delays and did what he usually does - win. The Class 2A shot put and discuss champion pulled off the feat again Saturday, besting state champions from South Carolina and Louisiana. But weather ruled the day, forcing competitors to perform at less than their bests.
"A lot of the energy went out of the contest with the rain," Burroughs said. "Then, it was all about who wanted it more and who was able to focus more after all the rain delays."
Burroughs was luckier than St. Petersburg Catholic's Sam Secord, who was scheduled to run the 800 meters but had his race rescheduled to today because of the weather. The 2A, 800-meter champion runs against Miami Booker T. Washington's Tim Harris, who set a state record with a 1:49.75 at the 3A meet, and Alabama's Chris Smith, who finished second at the DeKalb International Prep Classic on May 22.
The wet conditions prevented the competitors from going for personal bests and forced them to worry about their safety first.
"You can't spin fast on a wet surface," Burroughs said of the steps leading into a shot put or discuss throw. "You have to slow everything down, and you can't go after it.
"The marks weren't exceptional. The weather killed everybody's performance."
Burroughs couldn't threaten the 61-feet, 7-inch throw that won him the shot put title at state or his 178-2 discuss throw. There will be other chances though, starting next week when Burroughs travels to Sacramento, Calif., for the prestigious Golden West meet. He'll be one of nine throwers at that meet at the facility used for the upcoming U.S. Olympic trials.