<div style="background: url(http://cache.milesplit.com/user_files/1/40346/warrior-bg.png); width: 100%; height: 100px"> <h1 style="color: #fff; line-height: 100px; text-align: center; font-size: 42px; text-shadow: 2px 2px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);"> Florida Athletes of the Week</h1> </div>
BOYS WINNER: Reggie Glover - Senior @ Dr. Phillips
Sheila Taylor had coaching stops at Wekiva and Apopka before landing at Dr. Phillips. Over that time she coached several state champions including Jovan Davis (Wekiva), and Synjohn Lilly and Kimlon Dillon of Apopka. She is hoping Reggie Glover is the next in that line. She says Reggie has the work ethic of a champion parallel to the guys listed above.
"Reggie and I spoke shortly after I got the job at Dr. Phillips and talked about his goals for the season and he was on board to do whatever we asked of him to reach his goals. He is not the kind of leader that says a whole lot to his teammates. He just leads by example and he does it beautifully."
At the beginning of 2013, Glover wasn't sure about Coach Taylor's training philosophy. It was a little different than he was used to in the past. The training plan was based on volume and not on speed. He was running on the 4x8 team, but through it all he didn't complain, he stuck with it. Taylor explained the purpose behind the workouts and promised him if that he kept with it he would see results when it counts.
"While it's great for individuals and teams to look good early, we try to give our kids a mind set of patience. The team of April and May, should be far better than the team of February and March. That’s our philosophy. Once the kids start to see the results in time, then they believe."
Last year, Glover didn't make it out of the "Region of Death". His times hovered around 11 seconds in the 100, 22 seconds in the 200, and 48 seconds for the quarter mile. This year he has dropped his times in all three categories. He dipped under 48 seconds in the 400 at the Lake Brantley Invitational going 47.59. A week later he went low 21 for 200 meters at the USF Steinbrenner Invitational. The following week it was a 10.70 to tie the school record at the Florida Relays. At the Brian Jaeger Elite Classic, he took his game to the next level, setting personal bests in all three events.
"Our goals for him Saturday was to break the school record of 10.70 in the 100, which he tied last week at the Florida relays. We just wanted him to break 47 in the 400, but his personal goal was to go for Quincy’s (McDuffie) record. In the 200, we just wanted consistency. "
Glover started off the afternoon at Showalter Field by posting a 10.60 in the 100. Shortly after, he ran the fastest time in the country a blazing 46.46 in the 400, and finished his day off with a 21.17 showing in the 200. Coach Taylor calls his 400 meter run absolutely phenomenal.
"His 400 was absolutely phenomenal. I knew he would be ready to go for it because we discussed his 4X4 leg (46.2) at the Florida relays and the things he did differently in that race. He was very receptive and proceeded to watch that race over and over until he had it in his mind how to implement it in his open 400. He obviously executed the plan very well and literally did everything we discussed until even I was surprised at the final time."
His tri-fecta catapulted him to the top of the Panther record books, as he set new school records in each event. Taylor says this is the best meet she has seen out of the senior, but believes the best is yet to come.
"He’s a great runner first of all because he has talent, but in the words of John C. Maxwell, “talent is never enough.” Reggie is not afraid to hurt and he’s willing to trust his coaches and training. Obviously the ultimate goal for the season is what has eluded him for three years, an individual state title, or two, or three. We’ll just have to wait and see."
GIRLS WINNER: Nicole Greene - Sophomore @ Ponte Vedra
Nicole Greene stepped onto the campus of Ponte Vedra High School as a freshman and immediately hit it off with jumps coach Natasha Venner. Venner knew Greene was something special. She says the youngster was easy to talk and could immediately tell she was focused and driven, characteristics most freshman don't possess.
"When Nicole came to me she told me her goals. She wanted to jump 5’6. She had a mental block at 5’4. We worked on technique and approach. I told that she had to understand that 5’4 was a transitional height for her and she would have to patient. Also, I told her that is she cleared I would be absolutely certain that she would clear 5’6. It turned out that I was right. "
At the Florida Relays in 2012. She cleared 5'4, then 5'6 and ultimately 5'8. She won the 3A state meet with a mark of 5'8 after finishing second in 2A the year before as an 8th grader at Episcopal. Disappointed by her performance at state, she unleashed a new personal best of 5'10 to win the Golden South Classic in Orlando.
In the nine months between her freshman and sophomore season, Green grew, both literally and figuratively. She grew an inch and a half to her already tall frame as well as gained hips. Coach Venner says the two spend the beginning of the season adjusting to the new changes.
At first she was frustrated because we had to go back to the basics to get her solid on her approach and technique. As you can see, the work we have put into it has paid off and she is jumping even better than last year. In terms of literal maturity, she is making decisions about her athletic career. We have open dialogue about what she is capable of or not capable."
The 2013 schedule added elite level meets to Greene's calendar. Coach Venner wanted her standout jumper to compete against top flight competition and entered her in the Bob Hayes Invitational, Taco Bell Classic, and New Balance Outdoor Nationals which will take place in June. Greene won Bob Hayes with a mark of 5'9 and tying a meet record. Four weeks later, she won the Florida Relays on a jump off. Her jump of 5'8 taught her how to handle a sudden death situation and gave her confidence heading into the Taco Bell Classic in South Carolina. Venner, a South Carolina native herself, competed in the meet as a high school athlete and new the competition would be something new and diverse for Greene.
"It is one best run high school meets I have ever been to as an athlete and coach. Additionally, the timing of it was perfect since it feel right before districts. She came in at 5’4. She cleared it on her first jump. She cleared 5’6 on her second easily. I told her to go straight to 5’10 since she was by herself and I was confident that she would clear it. She cleared 5’10 on the second try.
The mark tied a personal best for the sophomore. She tried at 6'0, but some small technical errors prevented her from clearing the height. Venner suspects 6'0 will be a new transition height for Greene. Only two girls ever in Florida have gone over the six foot barrier, Viktoria Andanova of Coral Springs in 2005 (6'1.5) and Holly Kelly of Miami Palmetto in 1987 (6'1.25). Greene competes in the 200 and 400 as well for Nease, but her primary focus this postseason will be defending her district, regional, and state title in the high jump. Venner says she is blown away by Nicole's progress this season and thinks that six feet is definitely reachable by the end of the year.
"It has been so rapid. I am seeing more consistency in her. It looks like we might get there with her having three more high school meets to go and then Golden South and New Balance Outdoor Nationals. Her personal goal is leave high school jumping 6’2. I would love to see her hit 6’0 this season 6’2 next season and 6’4 senior, 2016 Olympics, but that is me. She rolls her eyes when I say this and says baby steps Coach Venner. I definitely see her consistently jumping 6’2 by her senior year."
Greene Getting The Job Done In The Classroom As Well
"She is STUDENT-athlete. She was a weighted GPA of 4.25 out 5.0 scale. She is an enrolled in PVHS Biotechnology and Medical Research program at PVHS. She has held A’s in the program for the last two years. Upon successful completion of it, she will earn an industrial certification to be Bio-technician Assistant. This is a stepping stone to her aspirations to be Pediatric doctor who specializes in oncology. She plans to volunteer at Nemours Children’s Hospital this summer. She participates in Teen Leadership development programs outside of school. She will always put school first and then athletics. She will always pursue a dream of being a doctor before anything else."