3A 2006 Track and Field Season Preview/Outlook

*Any corrections regarding transfers, injuries, runners not competing anymore, etc. can be emailed to me at the address above. Thanks!

Team Preview

(G)- This is about as good as it gets team wise. Perennial powerhouse Oak Ridge movesdown to 3A and looks to end St. Thomas Aquinas\'s ridiculous 8 year reign of consecutive state championships. These two programs are two of the best in all the land, and have combined for a total of 14 team championships and numerous individual state champions. They are both strong in the sprints, hurdles, relays, and field events but the real X-Factor here could be Oak Ridge's edge in the distance events via Jamia Hutto. She could score big points in the mile and 800. Also, Oak Ridge welcomes in sprint phenom Tatiana Fisher with open arms. Fisher, a freshman, is a two time national champion in her age group for the 100/200. The loss of Jenna Utecht is crucial for St Thomas, but they always find a way to fill their gaps. One gap filler will come by way of sophomore transfer Jessica Butler; a miler who placed third last year. St. Thomas deserves the edge so far based on tradition, but both programs' athletes will be going at it all night. An 8th place finish could be the difference between silver and gold. Other teams to look out for include Wolfson with their strong coaching staff and tradition, Ft. Lauderdale with Doyley, and Vanguard with their distance studs.

(B)- The Wolfson boys will have plenty of determination to keep their success going in defending their title, but will be hard pressed to make up to points lost by all-world-athlete Rod Owens. Just how much did Owens mean to his team? 90 out of the teams 103 points over the past two years combined can be accredited to Owens. I really think the Wharton Wildcats have what it takes this year after finishing as the runner ups last year by the smallest of margins (3 points!). Wharton looks poised to grab the title with their strength in the mid-distance events with Dixon, Kahin, and Courtoy. If they can put together around 45-50 points within the 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 4x400, and 4x800 then they may just walk away with it all. Ft. Lauderdale with most likely be in the mix as well with the core of their 3rd place team returning minus 800m champ Chris Thomas.

Event Preview

4x800m Relay (G)- Oak Ridge is the hands down favorite here. How can you argue with a team returning all four legs that ran 9:26 last year WITHOUT their number one 800m runner? Valuable points can be locked up here towards the team title. Defending champion Vanguard loses two of their legs, and unless Parrish can split 2:00 I don't think they'll be able to make up the ground on Oak Ridge. However, out steps Martha Toms insteps freshman stud Tori Lawson. Lawson may be able provide a spark with a solid 2:20 leg or faster. Wharton returns 3 of four from their runner-up team, and could make some noise as well

4x800m Relay (B)- Your guess may be just as good as mine on this one. Defending Champion Ft. Lauderdale looks like a safe pick with three of their four returning, but they lose a 1:53 leg in Chris Thomas. Washington High (Miami) traditionally has a very strong 4x800m team, and they return three very solid legs led by Brandon Harris. I also believe Middleton may be a big sleeper in this field coming into the year. All four legs return from their 8:09 team and 800m-title threat Jordan Peleaz can run down the best of them on that anchor leg. Watch out for those Tigers and Tampa Wharton as well.

100m H. Hurdles (G): Deandra Doyley of Ft. Lauderdale is easily the pre-season favorite in this event, and the rest of the field needs Doyle to hit a hurdle to even think about upsetting her. Rodgers from Wharton could give Doyle a race to the line though.

Top Contenders:

Deandra Doyle (Ft. Lauderdale) 14.34
Teonna Rodgers (Wharton) 14.63
Candice Williams (Wolfson) 15.29
Anjoure Teele (Oak Ridge) 15.33
05\' Winner=Jenna Utecht (St. Thomas Aquinas) 14.44

110m H. Hurdles (B): Fowler leaves a WIDE open void here, and left should be a strong group led by Feliciano of Leesburg. Leesburg? Yes, Leesburg could produce their first male state champion since 1987 with Feliciano. Ryan Ellis, one of the best wide receivers in the state and eighth last year in 2A, moves up to 3A and will also be someone to look out for.

Top Contenders:

Sion Feliciano (Leesburg) 14.67
Joel Hughes (Pensecola Washington) 14.73
Ryan Ellis (Nease) 14.75
William Castro (Choctawatchee) 14.79
05\' Winner= Glen Fowler (Forest Ocala) 14.26

100m (G) Ashley Dukes of Nova is the reigning champ here, but the one to look out for will be freshman Tatiana Fisher of Oak Ridge. Dukes, however, has the fastest returning time. Fisher has more experience then most freshmen having already run on the national stage and run 11.91. Charllene Fuller of Ft. Lauderdale posted some quick times early on in the season (11.75/11.91), but could not continue her burst during the post season. Look for her to be up there as well. Hendricks of St. Thomas Aquinas can pick up some valuable team points here with another top three finish. Wait a sec, here comes Kristy White of Pembroke Pines. White placed third in 100, third in the 200, and fourth in 400 last year at the 2A state meet...wow. Keep an eye on her for another three medals.

Top Contenders:
Ashley Dukes (Nova) 11.81
Tatiana Fisher (Oak Ridge) 11.91
Charlenne Fuller (Ft. Lauderdale) 11.75
Kristy White (Pembroke Pines) 12.17
Shataya Hendricks (St. Thomas Aquinas) 12.20
05\' Winner=Ashley Dukes (Nova) 12.18

100m (B) Stud OJ Murdock has left for USC and 7 of the top 8 finishers have graduated. The 3A 100m-title race should prove to be very unpredictable with few veteran runners returning. Jeremy Hall of Wolfson is the top returnee and has the range and speed to pull it off. However, Bryan Rushmeyer of Navarre moves up to 3A and in comes his 10.46. Antwaun More, member of Lincoln\'s national champion 4x100m team, should also be in contention. Could Leon Terry drop down for the rare Triple Crown? That could be something to look out for with an unpredictable returning group and the very impressive range Terry possesses.

Top Contenders
Bryan Rushmeyer (Navarre) 10.46
Antwaun Moore (Lincoln) 10.63
Brandon Paul (Lincoln) 10.81
Alfonza Willis (Miami Jackson) 10.85
Jeremy Hall (Wolfson) 10.88
05\' Winner= O.J. Murdock (Middleton) 10.66

1600m (G)- Will be one of the best races of the night. Defending Champion Kelly Parrish will be up against and face strong competition from speedster Jamia Hutto (57 sec quarter speed), a much improved Bona Jones, and maybe even Parish's teammate Tori Lawson. You know, Hutto reminds me a lot of a former Oak Ridge runner who had some of the best range ever for a girl distance runner (55 sec 400m"²"³18:20 5k). What was her name again? Also, look out for Kaitlin Shiver of Satellite who was the runner up to Parrish a year ago. Jessica Butler came onto the 3A scene a year ago with a strong third place finish and a 5:09 performance. She will likely be much improved as well with a very well respected coaching staff behind her. Moreno from Plant had a very strong cc season and may also find the speed she needs to compete in this field.

Top Contenders:
Kelly Parrish (Vanguard) 4:49.43
Jamia Hutto (Oak Ridge) 4:59.32
Bona Jones (Estero) 5:12.24
Jessica Butler (St. Thomas Aquinas) 5:09.97
05\' Winner=Kelly Parrish (Vanguard) 5:01.34

1600m (B)- Last year, this was the best race of the night and this year\'s field may be able to rival last year\'s in competition and depth. Ryan Courtoy came out of almost nowhere to run 4:16 last year, place third, and becomes the fastest returnee. Was it a fluke? Courtoy will look to prove us all wrong with another strong performance. However, a lot more quality runners return this year in John Blocker, Carlos Franklin, and Steve Bell. All have run 4:20 or faster, and I predict a deep race that will likely be produced from a fast opening 800. 6 could possibly be under 4:20 if Sean Blaney decides to drop down and Steven Dassin of Ft. Lauderdale continues to make strides from last year (4:25). Keep an eye out for this race, and make sure you have some good seats!

Top Contenders:
Ryan Courtoy (Wharton) 4:16.32
John Blocker (Chiles) 4:19.90
Carlos Franklin (Lake Region) 4:03.16 1500m=4:21.03 1600m
Steven Bell (Land O\' Lakes) 4:20.11
05\' Winner= Scott Mackley (Kathleen) 4:15.00

4x100m Relay (G)- A dropped baton prevented St. Thomas Aquinas from competing for the title a year ago, but look for them to be back with a vengeance and try to finish a \"missed\" opportunity. Standing in their way will be of course Oak Ridge and their 47.13 team from a year ago. Also, keep an eye on Boca Ciega, Rockledge, and Wolfson and hey Miami Central won 4A in 2004 so they could be looking to bring back some history as well.

4x100m Relay (B)- Handoffs are always key here in 4x100m relays. Lincoln, Plant, and Wolfson were all victims of that fact last year, but Wolfson will put together another strong team to be in contention. Lincoln was the national championship last year, but did not even win their state championship. I expect the returning members to be very hungry to redeem themselves (i.e. Brandon Paul, Antwaun Moore, etc.) I'm not sure how many Gainesville is returning from their state champion team, but they certainly cannot be forgotten about. Watch out for Ft. Lauderdale, Armwood, and Eastside as always. Freedom HS has two stud legs by way of Davis and Smith, and could be enough to shake things up.

400m (G) Mikaela Green looks like a nice pick here being the defending champ, but will be competing in a top-heavy field. The 400m is a little unpredictable right now as many 3A girls posted fast 400m times after the state series, but few opted to run it during the state series. Odeika Bent of Oak Ridge has run 55.1, but did not run it last year at state. If she decides to run it, count her in to give Green all she can handle. Also, Avaniece King of Mainland moves down from 4A and will definitely have something to say. Keep Tina Reese of Oak Ridge as a contender as well. Green, like Deandra Doyle and Ashley Dukes will be a Miami Hurricane next season..how ironic. Regardless, this race will be very exciting with such quality competition.

Top Contenders:
Mikaela Green (St. Thomas Aquinas) 54.37
Odeika Bent (Oak Ridge) 55.12
Avaniece King (Mainland) 55.95
Tina Reese (Oak Ridge) 56.78
Kristy White (Pemrboke Pines) 57.11
Danielle Williams (Wolfson) 57.62
05\' Winner=Mikaela Green (St. Thomas Aquinas) 54.89

400m (B)- With that tall and lanky stride, Justin Terry of Leon has \"quietly\" become the best 400m runner in Florida. Yes, the same Terry that proclaimed he would be the fastest 400m runner in Florida and would beat Xavier Carter on the forum years ago. That confidence has helped to put him at the top. Terry is the fastest returnee in the 200m and 400m in the state and will likely add two more gold medals to his collection. The rest of this 400m field is not too shabby either with the likes of Sadat Kahin who placed 7th here as a sophomore. And upstart sophomore Davon Johnson of Miami Washington looks to be a force to be reckoned with as well after placing third as a freshman last year and running 48.59. Also, look out for Calvin Smith of Freedom, Kahin's teammate Ryan Dixon, and Wolfson standout Jeremy Hall who have all had consistent sub-50 time performances.

Top Contenders:
Justin Terry (Leon) 46.59
Warner Gordon (Miami Central) 47.58
Davon Johnson (Miami Washington) 48.59
Calvin Smith (Freedom (Tampa)) 48.71
Jeremy Hall (Wolfson) 49.16
05\' Winner= Justin Terry (Leon) 46.59

300m Low Hurdles (G): Deandra Doyley has her mark written all over this event being the defending champion. The future Lady Hurricane has a chance to be a double hurdle winner with the graduation of Utecht of St. Thomas Aquinas. Did I mention that Doyley is the 6th fastest girl of all-time in FL in this event? The Oak Ridge and St. Thomas Aquinas runner here will also be battling it out for desperation points.

Top Contenders:
Deandra Doyle (Ft. Lauderdale) 43.20
Anjoure Teele (Oak Ridge) 45.02
Latoya Parkinson (St. Thomas Aquinas) 45.77
Candace Williams (Wolfson) 47.72
05\' Winner=Deandra Doyle (Ft. Lauderdale) 43.20

300m Intermediate Hurdles (B) The graduation of the top three finishers from last year plus the departure of David Barnhill to 4A makes Sion Feliciano the heads on favorite to win the 300m Intermediate Hurdles. However, Alphonso Ferguson out of Ft. Lauderdale certainly can have a case made for him with the fastest returning time in 3A. We all know that it\'s when you run your times, not where you run them.

Top Contenders:
Alphonso Ferguson (Ft. Lauderdale) 38.73
Sion Feliciano (Leesburg) 39.11
Phillip Ashley (Leon) 39.23
Chimdi Chekwa (East Ridge HS) 39.46
05\' Winner= Glen Fowler (Forest (Ocala) 37.21

800m (G) Defending Champion Jackie Areson has moved up to 4A so all systems seem go for runner up Kyra Mobley of St. Thomas Aquinas to win, right? Wrong. In comes 2:14 runner Jamia Hutto of Oak Ridge. Hutto will have already run the 1600m so that may play into the hands of Mobley, but both will have their adrenalines running high with a tight two-team battle going on. Mobley has another advantage in that she can set a hot pace early (61 flat), handle it, and try to break away from a tired Hutto. Oak Ridge will likely have another scorer here in the form of Patrecia Dailey who ran 2:19 last year. Let\'s keep Shiver of Satellite in the conversation as well. Shiver came back after the 1600m to run 2:17 last year and place third.

Top Contenders:
Kyra Mobley (St. Thomas Aquinas) 2:12.57
Jamia Hutto (Oak Ridge) 2:14
Kaitlin Shiver (Satellite) 2:17.27
Patrecia Daniley (Oak Ridge) 2:19
05\' Winner=Jackie Areson (Atlantic-Delray) 2:12.25

800m (B) By now, most of us have heard of and from Carlos Franklin via the forum. Franklin would look like a safe pick here if he were not also running the 1600m unless he decides to drop it. Franklin finished with the fastest time in FL last year (1:52), but it came in the \"off-season" during summer track. Solomon Taylor, third here as a sophomore, has a strong coaching staff behind him and will definitely be in the mix. Also, Jordan Peleaz of Middleton ran 1:55 as a sophomore but got stuck in the slow heat last year, but still managed to place 5th and run 1:56.71. All three should make for a VERY fast opening pace and overall race as each has sub-50 400m speed. Sadat Kahin of Wharton may decide he prefers the half-mile instead of the quarter-mile again. If so, his 1:56 from last year will also come into play. Brandon Harris, younger brother of state record holder Tim Harris, has the talent and the genes to also make some noise. Look for some dark horses to emerge as the season progresses as well.

Top Contenders:
Carlos Franklin (Lake Region) 1:52
Soloman Taylor (Vanguard) 1:56.35
Jordan Peleaz (Middleton) 1:55.71
Brandon Harris (Miami Washington) 1:59.11
05\' Winner=Chris Thomas (Ft. Lauderdale) 1:55.52

200m (G)- Ashley Dukes, again. This should be a quick one as six of the top eight finishers from a year ago return again. Add in newcomer Tatianna Fisher, her teammate Odeika Bent, Hendricks from St. Thomas, and you have a really could race. Oak Ridge will likely have two scorers here, and St. Thomas Aquinas may only have one. I see valuable points slipping away..

Top Contenders:
Ashley Dukes (Nova) 24.09
Odeika Bent (Oak Ridge) 24.11
Charlenne Fuller (Ft. Lauderdale) 24.21
Tatianna Fisher (Oak Ridge) 24.55
05\' Winner=Ashley Dukes (Nova) 24.22

200m (B) Justin Terry\'s 21.32 effort from last year makes him the top returnee along with the graduation and departure of the top five finishers from the 3A state meet. He did not have a strong showing at least year\'s state meet in this event \"only" running 22.1, but he should be much improved on that with another year of experience and maturity under his belt. However, Reginald Jones of Miami Jackson may be the big sleeper here and a solid pick as he is "Mr. Consistency". Jones has eight sub 22 performances, three of which came in the state series last year.

Top Contenders:
Justin Terry (Leon) 21.32
Reginald Jones (Miami Jackon) 21.52
Brandon Paul (Lincoln) 21.62
Antonio Wiggins (Mainland) 21.71
Calvin Smith (Tampa Freedom) 21.80
05\' Winner=O.J. Murdock (Middleton) 21.32

3200m (G)- Kelly Parrish set the state record here a year ago (10:31.03) and won by almost 30 seconds, but she will not have it nearly as easy this year. Parrish was able to cruise through the mile, but faces tougher competition this year. Bona Jones emerged out of the shadows this fall beating Parrish at Footlocker South and Footlocker Nationals. The two should be at it again in the 1600 and 3200m in two very evenly matched races. Also, don't count out Brigithe Moreno of Plant who could be completely fresh coming in. Tori Lawson of Vanguard could have another impressive freshman debut here after running 18:08 during cross-country and placing second to teammate Parrish.

Top Contenders:
Kelly Parrish (Vanguard) 10:19.13
Bona Jones (Estero) 10:51.11
Brigithe Moreno (HB Plant) 11:08.42
Jillian Gill (Lady of Lourdes)/Tori Lawson (Vanguard)
05\' Winner=Kelly Parrish (Vanguard) 10:31.03

3200m (B)- Sean Blaney has arrived. After a breakout cross country season which saw Blaney run 15:26 and a 9:32 3200m on the track Blaney looks poised to win his first track state title and second overall. Challenges will come from all around from Courtoy of Wharton, Trevor Popravak, and Evander Jones who also had a strong cross-country season. Courtoy will have the 1600m in his legs, but Jones will be looking to make amends for his disappointing finish here a year ago. Steven Bell could also double, and Orsie Bumpus could be a surprise as well.

Top Contenders:
Sean Blaney (Celebration) 9:32.3
Ryan Courtoy (Wharton) 9:36.84
Trevor Popravak (Ft Meyers HS) 9:39.56
Steven Bell (Land O Lakes) 9:39.60
05\' Winner= Chris Mullaney (Bishop Kenny) 9:26.59

4x400m (G)- Oak Ridge has a scary good shot at breaking the state meet record of 3:43.84 here, and could approach the all-time record of 3:40.36 they ran in 2004 at Golden West. They ran 3:46.50 last year, and return EVERYBODY. That includes a 57.83 leg, a 57.34 leg, a 56.78 leg, and a 55.12 leg. I think we all know that special things happen on 4x400m relays so expect those open times to dip a little bit. What more motivation does one team need then clinching the state team title with a win over St. Thomas Aquinas and setting a state record in the process? None. St. Thomas Aquinas will not go down without a fight. They return an all star cast led by Mikeal Green. Let\'s hope everything goes to plan, and this makes out to be one of the best 4x400m relay races of all time.

4x400m (B)- The top three teams from a year ago all return at LEAST three legs from their teams. What does that mean? It means they will all be in the thick of it again with Miami Washington leading the pack. Washington's 3:17.60 team loses Dievon Tate but returns very explosive legs in Brandon Harris, Davon Johnson, and Rudell Lewin. Wharton is in a similar situation, but with the aid of sub 50 returnees Dixon and Kahin plus the motivation of clinching the team title they have a strong edge. Bay High moves up from 2A, and they return all four legs from their 3:20 team, all of which are underclassmen. Wolfson traditionally has a very strong 4x400m teams as well so they could keep things interesting.

High Jump
(G) Top Contenders:
Elise Trexler (Mosley) 5-02
Danielle Williams (Pensacola) 5-02
Nickita Carter (Winter Haven) 5-04
Candice Williams (Wolfson) 5-04
05\' Winner=Jenna Utecht (St. Thomas Aquinas) 5-08

(B) Bryan Turner (Eastside) 6-08
Marquis Evans (Booker T. Washington) 6-04
Mark Davis (Cypress Lake) 6-04
Dalton Atkins (Middleburg) 6-04
05\' Winner= Machel Hunter (Wharton) 6-08

Pole Vault (G)
Top Contenders:
Megan Miller (Boca Raton) 12-00
Megan Peterson (Pace) 10-03
Vannesa Ziccardi (St. Thomas Aquinas) 10-00
Hannah Baier (Winter Haven) 10-00
05\' Winner=Megan Miller (Boca Raton) 12-00

(B)Top Contenders:
Eric Foran (St. Thomas Aquinas) 14-00
Warren Harper (Chiles) 14-00
Riley Egan (St. Thomas Aquinas) 13-06
Mike Bucholz (Nease) 13-06
Jed Andrews (George Jenkins) 13-06
05\' Winner=Grant Scelzi (Largo) 15-00

Long Jump (G)
Top Contenders:
Neidra Covington (Boca Ciega) 19-07
Deandra Doyley (Ft. Lauderdale) 18-11
Avaneice King (Mainland) 18-10
05\' Winner=Neidra Covington (Boca Ciega) 19-00

(B) Denarius Morrow (Seabreeze) 23-01
Donnie Gilbert (Lakewood Ranch) 23-02
Darryl Wingate (Mainland) 22-09
Mark Davis (Cypress Lake) 22-05
05\' Winner=Steven Wilson (Dwyer) 23-04.25

Triple Jump
(G) Top Contenders:
Neidra Covington (Boca Ciega) 41-06
Tomika Story (Ridgeview) 37-11
Mashonda Raynor (Ft. Pierce Central) 36-05
05\' Winner= Tiara Swannagan (Ed White) 42-08

(B) Joseph Everett (Ridgeview) 47-00.50
Denarius Morrow (Seabreeze) 44-08
Kyle Gesualdi (New Smyrna Beach) 44-07
Donnie Gilbert (Lakewood Rance) 44-06
05\' Winner=Rod Owens (Wolfson) 47-10

Shot Put
(G) Top Contenders:
Tatyana McDaniel (Gainesville) 39-01
Fidela James (Wolfson) 39-00
Eriqah Butler (HB Plant) 38-01
Kiara Thompson (Lake Region) 37-10
05\' Winner=Rondaniel Williams (Astronaut) 42-04

(B) Gene Atkins (St. Thomas Aquinas) 58-06
Jamael Autry (Fernandina Beach) 52-02
James Hargreaves (Chiles) 50-11
Christian Stokes (Brandon) 50-07
05\' Winner= Neefy Moffett (Palm Bay) 59-01.50

Discus (G)
Top Contenders:
Whytnea Matthews (Oak Ridge) 140-09
Willonda Windham (Armwood) 128-08
Eriqah Butler (HB Plant) 118-00
Fidela James (Wolfson) 115-00
05\' Winner=Allyson Stockbarger (Charlotte) 135-07

(B) Christian Stokes (Brandon) 159-00
William Trudo (Astronaut) 156-10
Drew Oliver (Chiles) 153-09
05\' Winner= Walter Broaders (Haines City) 169-08

4A Preview Coming soon....