Track and field | season preview

Overcoming his hurdles

 

An injury cost Artie Burns and Northwestern a state title last year, but this season Burns and the Bulls are contenders to win their first title in a decade.

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SEASON OUTLOOK

KEY MEETS

Feb. 22-23: Louie Bing Invitational (Traz Powell)

March 1-2: Sam Burley Invitational (Southridge).

March 9: Miramar Invitational (Ansin Sports Complex).

March 9: Hallandale Invitational.

March 9: Dade Christian Crusaders Invitational.

March 9: Ferguson Falcon Invitational.

March 15-16: Bob Hayes Invitational (Jacksonville).

March 15-16: Hurricane Invitational (Miami).

March 16: George Steinbrenner Invitational (Tampa).

March 16: Disney’s Showcase.

March 16: Varela Viper Invitational.

March 20-22: GMAC championships.

March 22-24: FSU Relays (Tallahassee).

March 22-23: Walt Disney World Invitational.

April 4-6: Florida Relays (Gainesville).

April 5: Dade Christian Last Chance Invitational.

April 8-13: Districts (1A-2A).

April 15-20: Districts (3A-4A).

April 17-20: Regionals (1A-2A).

April 24-27: Regionals (3A-4A).

April 26-27: State finals at University of North Florida in Jacksonville (Class 1A-2A).

May 3-4: State finals at University of North Florida in Jacksonville (Class 3A-4A).

DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS

GIRLS — Class 4A: Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson; 3A: Northwestern; 2A: Plantation American Heritage; 1A: Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian.

BOYS — Class 4A: Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; 3A: Jacksonville Bartram Trail; 2A: Plantation American Heritage; 1A: Melbourne Holy Trinity.

TOP RETURNING BOYS

Artie Burns, Northwestern (110 and hurdles, 400); Davon Clark, Coral Reef (triple jump); Steven Delgado, Coral Park (discus); Kevin Delgado, Coral Park (shot put); Pablo Espitia, Ferguson (pole vault); Daniel Fernandez, Columbus (3,200); Andrew Florvil, Dade Christian (shot put); Jeffrey Green, Northwestern (400, 300 hurdles); Terrell Godbolt, Central (pole vault); Deltron Hopkins, Booker T. (100 and 200); Frederick Jones, Pace (shot put); Krondis Larry, Booker T. (400); Avery Lopez, Belen (1,600 and 3,200); Nigel Patten, Booker T. (100 and 200); Chris Prophete, Southridge (110 and 300 hurdles); Gary Samson, Dade Christian (triple jump); Marcus Smith, Carol City (800, 1,600); Christian Williams, American (high jump, long jump).

TOP RETURNING GIRLS

Adriana Allen, Krop (400); Alina Anderson, Gulliver (pole vault); Lauren Archer, Ransom (800); Kimani Austin-Reese, Central (100 and 300 hurdles); Dominique Bullock, Killian (200, long jump); Lloydricia Cameron, Northwestern (shot put, discus); Courtney Filliben, Lourdes (800, 1,600, 3,200); Hope Julmiste, Northwestern (100); Ebony Morrison, Killian (100 and 300 hurdles); Nia Roberts, Norland (shot put); Winter Rodriguez, Dade Christian (100 and 300 hurdles); Shaquita Smith, Pace (400); Yolanda Springer, Northwestern (100 and 300 hurdles); Barbra Vilson, South Dade (high jump, triple jump); Altoniece Williams, Northwestern (100 and 300 hurdles); Jasmine Williams, Carol City (discus).

BOYS’ TEAM OUTLOOKS

CLASS 4A

1. SOUTH DADE (Coach Gary Littlejohn, 23rd year). Last year: 11-0. Top athletes: Anthony Cross, Sr. (400); Richard Curry, Sr. (discus); Tremaine Brock, Sr. (shot).

2. FERGUSON (Coach Ryan Raposo, 5th year, 43-3). Last year: 11-1. Top athletes: Pablo Espitia, Sr. (PV, TJ); Matthew Zaldivar, Sr. (PV); Peter Cabrera, Sr. (800, 1,600); Joannier Pinales, Sr. (discus).

3. COLUMBUS (Coach Jorge Fleitas, 10th year, 110-0). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Amir Rasul, Fr. (100, 200); Jordan Guest, Sr. (TJ); Daniel Fernandez, Sr. (3,200); J.P. Will, Sr. (HJ).

4. CORAL REEF Top athletes: Davon Clark (TJ).

5. SOUTHRDIGE (Coach Rodney Wright, 9th year, 215-0). Last year: 9-0. Top athletes: Chris Prophete, Sr. (hurdles); Omar Williams, Jr. (800); Jamal Dorvilier, Sr. (110h, LJ).

6. SUNSET (Coach Alex Shaw, 1st year). Last year: 4-2. Top athletes: Nick Diaz, So. (1,600, 3,200); Kenny Castro, Jr. (1,600, 3,200); Joey Laureano, Sr. (100, 200); Alan Gomez, Sr. (800).

7. AMERICAN Top athletes: Christian Williams (HJ, LJ).

8. KROP (Coach Danac Lebrun, 3rd year). Last year: District runner-up. Top athletes: Thomas Gaskins, Sr. (400, 800); Nicholus Grant, Sr. (200, 400); Victor Montreuil, Sr. (400, 800); Obinna Anayamale, Sr. (100, 200, 400).

9. CORAL PARK Top athletes: Kevin Delgado, Sr. (shot); Steven Delgado, Sr. (discus).

10. PALMETTO (Coach Bryant, 1st year). Last year: 0-7. Top athletes: Eric Dusseau, Sr. (3,200); Matthew Healy, Sr. (1,600); Andrew Lewis, So. (100); Aaron Maxwell, So. (800).

CLASS 3A

1. NORTHWESTERN (Coach Darryl Elmore, 1st year). Last year: 10-2 (State runner-up). Top athletes: Artie Burns, Jr. (hurdles); Jeffrey Green, So. (400, 300h); James Grant, Jr. (400, 300h); Myquan Melton, So. (400, 800).

2. BELEN JESUIT (Coach Victor Arrieta, 5th year, 69-0). Last year: 22-0. Top athletes: Avery Lopez, Sr. (1,600); Fabian Tomas, Jr. (1,600); Michael Magoulas, Jr. (1,600); Daniel Neptune, Jr. (hurdles).

3. CAROL CITY Top athletes: Marcus Smith (800, 1600).

4. CENTRAL (Coach John Rolle). Top athletes: Terrell Godbolt (PV).

5. HOMESTEAD (Coach Amy McCormick, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Gerald Williams, Sr. (100, 200); Michael Hugue, Sr. (800); Demetre Hillman, Sr. (800); Charles Johnson, Sr. (discus).

6. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach Patrick Colon, 1st year at MS, 6th overall). Top athletes: Ryan Bermudez, Sr. (100, 200, LJ); John Beltre, Jr. (1,600, 3,200); Sedric Glover, Jr. (200, 400); Bobby Stinson, Jr. (hurdles, TJ).

CLASS 2A

1. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (Coach Tim Harris, Jr., 3rd year). Last year: Third at state. Top athletes: Deltron Hopkins, Jr. (100, 200); Krondis Larry, Jr. (400, 100); Nigel Patten, Jr. (200, 400); Vaquan Small, So. (800, 1,600).

2. JACKSON (Coach James Hardwick, 9th year at JAC, 38th overall, 200-10). Last year: 18-0. Top athletes: James Alexander, Jr. (shot, discus); Christopher Williams-Hall, Sr. (TJ, LJ); Devondre Powell, Sr. (100); Desmond Phillips, Fr. (200, 110h).

CLASS 1A

1. DADE CHRISTIAN (Coach Shavar Jackson). Last year: State runner-up. Top athletes: Andrew Florvil (shot); Gary Samson (TJ); Sterling Mack (shot); Jonathan Saintil (TJ).

2. FLORIDA CHRISTIAN (Coach Paul Howell, 9th year at FC, 22nd overall, 202-53). Last year: 11-3. Top athletes: Michael Erwin, Sr. (hurdles); Carlos Nieto, Sr. (hurdles); Moises Brador, Jr. (hurdles, TJ); Anthony Suarez, Sr. (PV).

3. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN (Coach Jose Garcia, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Hunter Ager, So. (1,600); George Williams, Fr. (100, 200); Khairi Reaser, So. (200); Anthony Vernon, So. (3,200).

4. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Jan Murphy, 6th year at PT, 19th overall). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Drake Peterson, Sr. (HJ, 400).

GIRLS’ TEAM OUTLOOKS

CLASS 4A

1. SOUTH DADE (Coach Antoinette Major, 2nd year at SD, 11th overall, 11-2). Last year: 11-2. Top athletes: Barbra Vilson, Sr. (HJ, TJ); Tiesha Collier, Jr. (400, LJ); Stephany Velasco, Sr. (800); Dashanay Hardy, Jr. (400).

2. FERGUSON (Coach Ryan Raposo, 6th year, 58-4). Last year: 15-0. Top athletes: Sydney Molina, Jr. (shot, discus); Katrina Santiago, Jr. (1,600, 3,200); Aylwyn Hernandez, So. (800, 1,600); Stephanie De La Guarda, Jr. (800, 1,600).

3. LOURDES (Coach Rebecca Michalak). Top athletes: Courtney Filliben (1,600, 3,200).

4. KILLIAN (Coach Crystal Jenkins, 5th year, 25-20). Last year: 12-12. Top athletes: Ebony Morrison, Sr. (100h, LJ, 200); Dominique Bullock, Jr. (200, 400, LJ); Reanna Payne, Jr. (100h, 100, 200); Brianna Payne, So. (300h, TJ).

5. KROP (Coach Cynthia Reynalds, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Adrian Allen, Sr. (400); Nkiru Anyagaligbo, Sr. (HJ, TJ); Darlene Desmangles, Sr. (TJ, hurdles); Mya Carr, Sr. (LJ).

6. SOUTHRIDGE (Coach Dja Dugue, 5th year at SR, 7th overall, 40-5). Last year: 10-0. Top athletes: DiShandria McCoo, Sr. (TJ, LJ); J’Nea Bellamy, Sr. (100, 200); Epiphany Thompson, Jr. (shot, discus); Shatorri Faison, Jr. (TJ).

7. PALMETTO (Coach Reynolds, 2nd year, 0-7). Last year: 0-7. Top athletes: Katherine Heldt, Jr. (3,200); Samantha Haus, Sr. (1,600); Kelsey Siegel, Sr. (100, 200); Kheisha Thomas, Sr. (hurdles).

CLASS 3A

1. NORTHWESTERN (Coach Carmen Jackson). Last year: State champions. Top athletes: Lloydricia Cameron, Jr. (shot, discus); Yolanda Springer (hurdles); Altoniece Williams (hurdles); Hope Julmiste, Sr. (sprints).

2. CENTRAL Top athletes: Kimani Austin-Reese (hurdles).

3. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach Patrick Colon, 1st year at MS, 6th overall). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Priscilla Lopez, Sr. (100, 200); Lakeisha Davis, Sr. (100, 200, LJ); Sonya Brown, Fr. (hurdles, LJ); Celeste George, So. (1,600, 3,200).

CLASS 2A

1. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Mike Becker, 9th year at RE, 33rd overall, 108-3). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Lauren Archer, Fr. (800); Brandy Smith, Sr. (discus); Nati Sheppard, So. (PV); Beatriz Ruan, 8th (3,200).

2. GULLIVER (Coach Melissa Sullivan, 11th year). Last year: 4-0. Top athletes: Alina Anderson, Sr. (PV); Kaylee Fontis, Jr. (800); Melanie Mueller, Jr. (sprints); Sam Earle, 8th (sprints).

CLASS 1A

1. DADE CHRISTIAN (Coach Doreen Mercer, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Winter Rodriguez, Sr. (hurdles); Celeste Romero, Sr.; Julie Ramos, Fr.

2. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN (Coach Jose Garcia, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Victoria Hoppe, So. (1,600); Kelsey Parker, Sr. (PV); Tina Armstrong, Sr. (400); Nicole Romanach, Jr. (3,200).

3. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Jan Murphy, 5th year at PT, 19th overall). Last year: N/A. Top athletes: Stephanie Grenada, Sr. (HJ, 800, LJ); Janelle Gonzalez, So. (800).


a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Artie Burns has had a great senior year already.

After helping the Northwestern football team get back to the postseason, he recently signed a letter of intent to play football for his favorite college, the University of Miami.

But Burns, the nation’s best track hurdler the past two years, has one more hurdle he wants to overcome before he graduates.

Burns, hobbled by a hamstring injury at the time, collapsed before the final hurdle at last year’s Class 3A meet and failed to win the 300-meter hurdles race he had dominated throughout the season.

The precious points cost the Bulls what would have been their first state title since 2003.

This season, Burns is determined to finish.

“My main goal is to finish with a state championship,” Burns said. “I feel like I’m much faster, and I’ve worked on my technique a lot. I feel like it’s much more crisp than in recent years.”

Burns will try to help break the Bulls’ decade-long championship drought by trying to sweep both the 300-meter and 110-meter hurdles events this season at state. Burns is also Miami-Dade County’s top returner in the 400 meters.

Northwestern has plenty of talent capable of challenging for the title in a loaded Class 3A.

Burns, along with sophomore sprinter/hurdler Jeffrey Green, are the preseason favorites in Class 3A. Junior James Grant should give the Bulls more depth in those events along with sprint and middle distance runners Myquan Melton, Cordell Lamb and Leon Brown.

Challengers

Challenging Northwestern will be familiar rivals Belen Jesuit, Carol City and Central.

Belen will be led by its cross-country stars who should do well in the distance events. Senior Avery Lopez leads along with juniors Fabian Tomas and Michael Magoulas, and senior Diego Rojo. The difference-makers could be junior hurdler Daniel Neptune and senior pole vaulter Jose Roca. Each should each have strong seasons.

Girls’ contenders

On the girls’ side, Northwestern enters as the likely favorite to continue its championship dynasty this season. The Bulls have won a Miami-Dade County-record four consecutive titles and seven in the past eight seasons.

Northwestern will try to win its ninth state title overall, which would put the Bulls one shy of the state record held by Belle Glade Glades Central.

Although the Bulls don’t appear to have multievent superstars as in years past, they still have enough depth on a squad led by talented throwers Lloydricia Cameron and Akassja White, hurdlers Altoniece Williams and Yolanda Springer and sprinter Hope Julmiste.

Individual stars

Several individual Dade stars will contend for individual state titles this season as well.

Among the most courageous figures is South Dade’s Barbra Vilson, who battled exhaustion at last year’s state meet to help her team secure a third-place finish. Vilson is coming off a strong cross-country season and should be among the most versatile athletes in the county.

Central junior hurdler Kimani Austin-Reese hopes to earn gold again this season as she did in the 300 hurdles as a freshman. She is expected to be the county’s top overall hurdler this coming in season in both the 300- and 100-meter events.

Although South Dade, Ferguson and Lourdes are still among the strongest Dade teams in Class 4A, Killian could be among the most improved with the addition of senior hurdler Ebony Morrison and junior sprinter/jumper Dominique Bullock, who transferred from Southridge and South Dade, respectively.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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    The Dade Christian boys’ track 4x100 relay team will head to the State Championship for its second year in a row. Abigael Neus, Sam Mompremier, Jeanmaxon Adrien, and Cameron Floyd. Darwin Abreu qualified fourth overall in the mile. The 4x400 relay team, Torrian Wallace, Jovyn Pierre, Andrew Dodds, and Jonathan Gill needed to finish fourth out of 16 teams and run under a 3:42 to qualify for states. Freshman Jonathan Gill lead the team to a time of 3:36, awarding them fourth place to also qualify them for states.

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    Everything seemed in place for Allegra Hanlon to end her high-school career with one more tennis championship. Then the rains came.

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Kristi Isabelle, a home schooled senior representing the South Florida HEAT Team, won the 300m hurdle during the Region 4-1A track meet on Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014, at Killian.

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    Westminster’s James achieves rare sprint triple at regionals

    Westminster Academy’s Andrew James showed the Region 4-1A field at Dade Christian why he’s become one of the biggest box office draws in Florida.

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