Celebration’s Victor signs with Gators
News-Gazette Photo/Donald Lamb
Jhonny Victor signed a track scholarship to the University of Florida before the end of the recent school year at Celebration High. Members of the school’s coaching and advisory staffs joined him for the event.
By Donald Lamb
For the News-Gazette
Another Celebration track athlete is heading for the University of Florida.
Jhonny Victor, ranked among the top 20 high school athletes nationally in the high jump this season, signed a grant to the Southeastern Conference powerhouse at the high school recently.
He joins former Celebration track stars Tyler Osorio (2011) and Sean Blaney (2006) as UF signees.
Victor, who placed third (6-2) at the Class 4A state meet and eighth in the triple jump, said Florida was his first and only choice.
“I got my very first offer from UF and accepted it because it was the school I always wanted to go to since I was young,” Victor said. “Other schools showed interest, but ultimately I didn’t want to leave the state of Florida.”
Unlike some high school athletes, Victor found the recruiting process enjoyable.
“I enjoyed being in the spotlight. I had coaches calling me all the time and my visit to UF was very enjoyable,” he said.
Victor has been one of the top high jumpers in Florida the past few years, reaching his best jump of 6-10 in March at the St. Cloud Invitational.
He went over 6-6 twelve times in the past two years, winning every meet he competed in as a junior and senior except two – the state championships. Poor weather two straight years in Jacksonville was his only hiccup along the way.
Along with his high jump, he picked up the triple jump late into his junior year and became a consistent winner, hitting his top mark of 45-2 to win the 4A-2 region last month. He qualified for state in the long, triple and high jumps this year.
The Celebration coaching staff said Victor was an outstanding athlete,
“We are very proud of him and know that he will represent CHS very well,” boys track coach Joel
Cory Green, who mentored as well as coached Victor at Celebration, said that the Storm athlete was outstanding.
“Jhonny works really hard and he is deserving,” Green said.
Victor excelled in the classroom, posting a
“There are numerous athletes out there with SEC talent, but miss out due to grades. Academics have always been big in my family, so having good grades was a competition among my household,” Victor said. “I also keep up my grades because if sports don’t work out, I can still get a good job.”
Victor will be joining perhaps the nation’s premier college track program. The Gators have won five indoor/outdoor NCAA championships over the past five years.
Olympic medalists Christian Taylor and Will Claye competed for the Gators, along with 2013 NCAA champ
“To practice with Olympic medalists is a rare (opportunity) that can happen, and for me to possibly have the opportunity to get better with them is a blessing,” he said.
Victor thanked Fox, Green and all of his high school support group plus Storm Athletic Director Chris Lavoie for their support.
“My biggest inspiration has to be everyone involved in my life that pushed me, including my mother and my three sisters,” he said.