Conspicuously absent from the major invitational headlines since transferring to Calvary Christian, former South Plantation freshman sensation Joel Lacy is ready to hit his All-Broward first-team gear at the Cardinal Gibbons Invitational at Mills Pond Park on Friday.
“If there is going to be a meet Joel can run low on a slow course it will be the Gibbons meet,” Calvary Christian coach Scott Sherrod said. “He is a fighter and very competitive. The training we will do before districts will dictate what he will do at states. If Joel doesn’t go under 16 [minutes] at states, I would be surprised.”
In most cases a modest 16:35 season best would take Lacy out of contention against a loaded field, led by St. Thomas Aquinas’ Manuel Velasquez (15:42, Florida No. 12), Pines Charter’s Andrew Iglesias (16:02) and Coral Glades’ Anthony Deleva.
But considering Sherrod has held Lacy back from overextending himself until this point, a vintage Lacy in full throttle mode Friday could net a top-five finish.
“Joel is just a free-wheeling kid,” Sherrod said. “He is maniacal about winning. When I say we are going to run this in 5:20 he wants to run it in 5:05. The hardest thing is trying to keep Joel from overtraining. I would much rather have that than motivating people all day. I’m trying to keep him nice and fresh for the state finals in November.”
Lacy and a résumé highlighted by a ninth-place finish in Region 3-4A and setting a personal-best 16:23 in a fifth-place finish at the Foot Locker South Regional last season, has given Calvary a cornerstone runner the Eagles can build their Class 2A state title chase around. Besides forming a formidable one-two punch with senior Pasha Guilbert, Lacy has taken a vocal leadership role with a youth-laden Eagles squad.
Plantation American Heritage infielder Gianna Arrizurieta committed to Penn State this week. Arrizurieta hit .532 with 25 RBI last season and earned All-Broward first-team honors.
Westminster Christian defeated Westwoon Christian 25-8, 25-10, 25-18.
The Warriors (14-3) were led by Kelsey Taylor, who recorded 21 assists, six aces and five digs.
Jenny Ceballos added 12 aces, 10 assists and seven kills.
• Westminster d. Westwood Christian 25-8, 25-10, 25-18: Jenny Ceballos 12 aces, 7 kills, 10 assists. Sylvia Hernandez 14 kills, 4 aces, 15 digs. Kelsey Taylor 21 assists, 6 aces, 5 digs. Susie Forbes 6 aces, 12 points, 8 digs. WCS 14-3.
• West Broward d. Douglas 25-16, 26-24, 25-21: Bonito 22 assists, 15 points, 5 digs, 2 blocks. Aremas 13 points, 7 kills, 9 digs. WB 10-0.
• Sagemont d. Archbishop Curley 25-11, 25-9, 24-26, 25-9: Megan Bodden 16 kills, 20 points, 7 digs. Brooklynne Villano 19 points, 4 kills. SAG 8-4.
• Cypress Bay d. Western 25-22, 25-23, 25-22: Amanda Medlock 15 kills, 3 aces, 5 digs. Mellissa Taylor 21 assists, kill, 4 digs. WES 10-2.
• American Heritage d. Hallandale 25-8, 25-17, 25-16: Laura Perez 7 kills, 5 aces, 11 points, 9 digs. Isabel Acosta 9 digs, 3 kills, 7 aces, 9 points. AH 7-6.
• Coral Springs Christian d. Highlands Christian 25-20, 25-19, 26-28, 25-10: Sullivan 10 points, 40 digs. Chapman 8 points, 21 digs, 11 kills. HC 4-10.