American Heritage senior sprinter Jerimy Strainge has plans to throw down the gauntlet in his first return to the Florida Relays on Saturday since a hamstring pull at the 2011 Florida Relays knocked him off the radar.
“Going back to Florida Relays and stepping on that track will be amazing,” Strainge said. “I know what it felt like to go against Marvin Bracy and then get hurt. That was the end of everything. I want to make a huge statement. I want our 400 relay team to run the fastest time in the nation.”
The Patriots’ quartet of Khari Herbert, Isaiah McKenzie, Torrance Gibson and Strainge clocked a nation-leading 41.01 on March 9 but have since been supplanted by the 40.84 turned in by Edna Carr Magnet (La.).
If the conditions at Percy Beard Track are ideal, Heritage coach Corey Hicks believes the Patriots have a chance at eclipsing the state record (40.54) and national record (39.76).
A freshman phenom at North Broward where he won Class 2A state titles in the 100 and 200 meters, Strainge became somewhat of a forgotten sprint star after pulling up in a star-studded Florida Relays sprint showdown and then missing his junior season to rehabilitate.
But Strainge reintroduced himself in dramatic fashion at the City of Miramar Invitational when his scintillating anchor leg propelled the Patriots to its school record of 41.01.
“The injury was a dark point in Jerimy’s life,” Hicks said. “When he was state champion everybody was calling him for workouts. All of a sudden you hear from no one. I am looking forward to Jerimy doing what he does best and shake things up. I feel he is in the best condition that he has been in.”
Heritage’s bid for a repeat state boys title got a huge boost this past Summer when Strainge transferred from North Broward Prep, a move which reunited him with Hicks, his coach at North Broward.
Since Strainge underwent hip surgery, Hicks has incorporated more stretching and less weights into Strainge’s workout program. The result has been a more sleek-looking and flexible Strainge who appears to have rid himself of the hamstring pulls that plagued his young career.
The plan to focus on the 200, 400 and 1,600 relay this season and not run the 100 until the state qualifiers is aimed at building Strainge’s strength and stamina. Strainge currently owns the state’s No. 16 time in the 200 (21.40), off his career-best 21.16 but promises to be ready to reclaim his spot among the state’s elite sprinters at the State Finals.
“I have something to prove to myself and my family,” Strainge said. “I’m going to be better than the old Jerimy Strainge. Way better.”
Both Sagemont boys and girls teams won the District 14-1A finals at Woodmont Country Club Thursday.
For the Lion boys it is nothing extraordinary as they have now won 10 consecutive district titles including a Class 1A state championship in 2011. For the Sagemont girls, it’s something entirely different.
Coach Steven Browne’s girls only had four players on the roster two seasons ago, not enough for Browne to play someone at each of the five singles positions and barely enough for him to formulate two doubles units.
That team fought hard just to finish third in district finals, a remarkable feat given how the numbers were stacked against it.
This year’s squad won the district title for the first time since 2007.
It helped that it got a key transfer from Russian Anastasia Koveshnikova, who plays the No. 1 singles position and is paired with No. 2 singles player Genesis Palmero for the team’s top doubles tandem.
The two won their No. 1 doubles final, coming back from 5-3 in the first set to force a tiebreaker, winning it 7-1, and then running through the second set with a 6-0 victory. With the win, the duo will go to states to compete individually.
“It was pretty close in the first set, but they saw the finish line near and just went for it,” said Browne, who is in his fourth year as Sagemont’s head tennis coach. “I told them, ‘this is what you have to do if you want to make it to states [individually].’”
Koveshnikova lost in the semifinal of her singles bracket, but Palmero won at No. 2, taking the final 6-3, 6-0.
The Sagemont boys swept through the district without dropping a single set.
Senior Jake Albo punched his ticket to Orlando with a 6-0, 6-0 win in the final of the No. 1 singles bracket. He will be joined by doubles partner Camilo Escobar since the teammates took home the No. 1 doubles district title over Sheridan Hills Christian.
Albo could conceivably finish his career with five individual state titles. He’s looking to defend last year’s singles crown as well as a state doubles championship he won alongside Escobar. In 2011, he was also part of the state’s top 1A doubles pair next to Zach McCourt.
Regional semifinals will be played Tuesday.
Boys’ Results — Sagemont 19, Calvary Christian 9, Westminster Academy 5, Chaminade-Madonna 5, Sheridan Hills Christian 2, Posnack 0 — Singles No. 1: Jake Albo (SAG) 6-0, 6-0; Singles No. 2: Camilo Escobar (SAG) 6-1,6-3; Singles No. 3: Andrew Quiros (SAG) 6-1, 6-3; Singles No. 4: Chris Tasker (SAG) 6-1, 6-0; Singles No. 5: Austin Debruyne (SAG) 6-0, 6-0; Doubles No. 1: Albo/Escobar (SAG); Doubles No. 2: Quiros/Debruyne (SAG) 6-1, 6-1.
Girls’ Results — Sagemont 16, Westminster Academy 10, Calvary Christian 8, Posnack 6, Chaminade 0, Hollywood Christian 0 — Singles No. 1: Meredith (WA); Singles No. 2: Genesis Palmero (SAG) 6-3, 6-0; Singles No. 3: Isabella Lowery (SAG) 6-1, 6-2; Singles No. 4: Conningsby (WA); Singles No. 5: Kelly Hewitt (SAG)6-0, 6-0; Doubles No. 1: Anastasia Koveshnikova/Palmero (SAG) 7-6 (7-1), 6-0; Doubles No. 2: Lowery/Hewitt (SAG) 6-1, 6-1.
Boys’ Results — Sagemont 19, Calvary Christian 9, Westminster Academy 5, Chaminade-Madonna 5, Sheridan Hills Christian 2, Posnack 0 — Singles No. 1: Jake Albo (SAG) 6-0, 6-0; Singles No. 2: Camilo Escobar (SAG) 6-1,6-3; Singles No. 3: Andrew Quiros (SAG) 6-1, 6-3; Singles No. 4: Chris Tasker (SAG) 6-1, 6-0; Singles No. 5: Austin Debruyne (SAG) 6-0, 6-0; Doubles No. 1: Albo/Escobar (SAG);Doubles No. 2: Quiros/Debruyne (SAG) 6-1, 6-1.
Girls’ Results — Sagemont 16, Westminster Academy 10, Calvary Christian 8, Posnack 6, Chaminade 0, Hollywood Christian 0 — Singles No. 1: Meredith (WA); Singles No. 2: Genesis Palmero (SAG) 6-3, 6-0; Singles No. 3: Isabella Lowery (SAG) 6-1, 6-2; Singles No. 4: Conningsby (WA);Singles No. 5: Kelly Hewitt (SAG) 6-0, 6-0; Doubles No. 1: Anastasia Koveshnikova/Palmero (SAG) 7-6 (7-1), 6-0; Doubles No. 2: Lowery/Hewitt (SAG) 6-1, 6-1.
With an ESPN National High School Invitational quarterfinal upset there for the taking, Blanche Ely (27-2, No. 9 in the ESPN 25) handed a 66-65 overtime victory to No. 4 Prime Prep (Tx) (37-1)Thursday at Georgetown Prep.
Ely blew a 64-60 lead with 54.4 seconds left in overtime and then, evoking memories of Chris Webber’s infamous timeout call with none left that possibly cost Michigan the 1993 NCAA title, committed the same gaffe with the score tied 64-64 and 12.3 seconds left.
Ely was hit with a technical foul and LSU signee Jordan Mickey, who finished with a game-high 28 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks, converted the winning free throws for Prime Prep.
The game-ending miscue overshadowed a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds from Tigers' 6-8 forward Kahlil Thomas and the defensive effort from Dallas Cameron that held Emmanuel Mudiay, No. 3 in the
ESPN 60 2014 class, to 11 points. Lance Tejada III had 12 points and Therrell Gosier added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the back-to-back Class 7A state champion Tigers.
Ely trailed 44-35 with 3.8 second left in the third quarter when Darrion Allen sparked a 8-0 run to get the Tigers back in the game. After hitting a pair of free throws Allen stole the ensuing inbounds pass and converted two more free throws before Gossier added a layup and Cameron converted a putback to draw the Tigers within 44-43 with 6:54 left in the game.
• District 14-2A finals — American Heritage 12, University School 12, Archbishop McCarthy 7, Pine Crest 4, Cardinal Gibbons 4, Coral Springs Charter 4, North Broward 3, Pompano Beach 0, Dillard 0
• District 14-2A finals — Pine Crest 18, American Heritage 15, University School 10, Cardinal Gibbons 7, North Broward 6, Archbishop McCarthy 3, Coral Springs Charter 1, Pompano Beach 1, Dillard 0
• South Broward d. McArthur 25-21, 25-17, 25-15: Andrew Brockman 17 kills, 11 service points, 3 aces, 9 digs, 2 blocks. SB 11-5
• Pine Creat d. South Plantation 25-20, 25-15, 25-20: Joao Nunes 7 kills, block. Steven Graf 32 assists, 4 kills, 4 digs. PC 6-6
Pompano Beach vs. Coral Springs (Home), 6:30
Everglades vs. Flanagan (Home), 6:30
Pembroke Pines Charter vs. Fort Lauderdale (Home), 6:30
Cooper City vs. McArthur (MCA), 6:30
Cypress Bay vs. Miramar (MIR), 6:30
Orangewood Christian School vs. Northeast (Home), 7
South Plantation vs. South Broward (SB), 6:30
Boyd Anderson vs. Stranahan (STR), 3:45
Douglas vs. Taravella (TAR), 6:30
Western vs. West Broward (WB), 3:45
Monarch vs. Santaluces (Home), 0:01 am
Archbishop McCarthy vs. Florida Christian (FCS), 7
Plantation vs. Cooper City (CC), 6:30
Everglades vs. Cypress Bay (Home), 6:30
South Plantation vs. Deerfield Beach (DB), 4
West Broward vs. Flanagan (FLA), 6:30
Western vs. Miramar (MIR), 4
Northeast vs. Nova (Home), 6:30
Jupiter vs. American Heritage (AHP), 7
TRACK AND FIELD
University of Florida Relays in Gainesville
American Heritage vs. Archbishop McCarthy ( AMC), 4:30
Monarch vs. Douglas (Home), 4:30
Pembroke Pines Charter vs. Piper (Home), 4:30
Everglades vs. South Broward (SB), 4:30
Northeast vs. South Plantation (SP), 4:30
Coral Springs vs. Taravella (TAR), 4:30
Zion Lutheran vs. Coconut Creek (Creek), 6
Somerset Academy vs. Cooper City (Home), 4:30
BOYS’ WATER POLO
South Broward vs. Nova (Home), 7:30
Douglas vs. Hollywood Hills (Nova), 5:30
GIRLS’ WATER POLO
South Broward vs. Nova (Nova), 6:30
Douglas vs. Hollywood Hills (Nova), 4:30
Deerfield Beach vs. Douglas (Home), 4:30
Stranahan vs. Hollywood Hills (Home), 4:30
Coral Springs Charter vs. Monarch (MON), 4:30
Western vs. Taravella (TAR), 4:30
Ransom Everglades vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (STA), 5
Cardinal Newman vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (STA), 5
University of Florida Relays in Gainesville