OHS and Liberty favored
News-Gazette Photo/Donald Lamb
Osceola’s Akiel Hamilton is a favorite for the long jump and triple jump championships at the 4A-5 district track meet at St. Cloud Wednesday.
New Dimensions boasts district high jump champ in A-8
By Rick Pedone
The track postseason is underway as county athletes begin their quest for state meet berths.
St. Cloud hosts the 4A-5 district meet Wednesday at noon at Gannarelli Field.
Osceola, Celebration and Gateway, along with several Polk County teams, will compete. The top four athletes from each event will advance to the 4A-2 regional at Tampa Leto.
Harmony and Liberty travel to Lake Minneola Thursday at 11 a.m. for the seven-team 3A-6 district meet. Lake Minneola also will host the 3A-2 regional.
Since the state’s small-class programs began district competition this week, Poinciana ran Thursday at the 2A-8 district meet at Lake Highland Prep. The First Academy will host the 2A-2 regional meet Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
New Dimensions had one of its best performances at the A-7 district meet at The First Academy Wednesday. The First Academy hosts the A-2 regional Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
Osceola’s boys are favorites at the 4A-5 district meet at St. Cloud.
Coach Ray Hines, in his second season, said his team is beginning to realize its potential.
“I love the effort our kids are putting forth. We presented a program to them last year, and the ones who bought in when we showed up will soon see (that) the time, energy and good decision-making these young men make daily to avoid life’s pitfalls will bear fruit,” he said.
The Kowboys have one of the top hurdlers in Central Florida in Trayquel Hazly, the Orange Belt Conference champion at 110 meters. The Kowboys 4×100 relay of Dashawn Glass, Carlos Becker, Nzayah Brown and Stephon Brown won the OBC title at St. Cloud
Celebration has one of the state’s best high jumpers in Jhonny Victor, who has cleared 6-10.
St. Cloud’s girls, the OBC champs, will be pressed by Lakeland George Jenkins, Coach Kevin Harkema said.
St. Cloud has an outstanding distance team (Karissa Solorzano, Devin Montalvo, Octavia Santiago, Grace Miller, Kim Napolean). Jumper Kirsten Chambers and throwers Yairaliz Hernandez and Brittany Bakken should score well at districts.
“Jenkins beat us at the Celebration meet. It’s going to be close,” Harkema said.
Osceola’s girls excel in the jumps and sprints. Cayla Williams won the 100 meters OBC championship.
Gateway hurdler Deja Clayton won both high and low OBC titles.
Liberty’s boys are expected to dominate the 3A-6 meet at Lake Minneola.
The Chargers won their fifth straight OBC championship and have one of the strongest groups of sprinters in the state.
Devarius Turner won the 100 meters and 200 meters championships at the OBC meet, and the Chargers’ 4 x 100 relay has run 41.20, one of the best times in the country. But, the 4 x 100 scratched at the OBC meet.
Chargers Coach Robert Pauley said the team must improve if it is to reach its goal of winning the Class 3A championship.
“We didn’t get the total effort we needed from everyone at the OBC meet,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do if we are going to reach our goals.”
New Dimensions Coach John Timmerman said the Tigers turned in an excellent performance at the A-7 district meet.
“We had our most successful year with regional qualifiers and a district high jump champion (6-4) in George Chery,” Timmer-
Chery also qualified in the long jump (20-10.25) and the high hurdles (19.19).
For the girls, Sarah Pierre-Pierre qualified for regionals in the high jump (4-2) and long jump (13-11.75), and Zaray Sosa (25-4.25) advanced in the triple jump.
Sosa also qualified in the high hurdles (20.28). Mairim Jorge (59.33) advanced in the 300 hurdles.
Kimani Turnbull (60-0) and Deborah Emmanuel (58-10) advanced in the discus.
The 4×400 relay (5:13.69) placed fourth.
Poinciana’s Khalil Oliver (100), Aaron Meade (300 hurdles) and 4×100 relay qualified for 2A-2 regionals at the 2A-8 district meet Thursday. The Lady Eagles 4×100 also advanced.