Piper’s Andre Ewers is poised to return the boys’ sprints back to being the marquee event at the BCAA Track and Field Championships at Dillard on Saturday.
The boys’ 100 has lacked a bonafide superstar capable of bringing a bleacher section to its feet since Dillard’s Harry Adams blazed to victories in the 100 and 200 at the 2006 BCAA Finals.
The Jamaican-born Ewers, Florida’s breakout sprinter this season, has all the makings to become the talk of the BCAA Finals with the rare turnover speed Adams was known for along with a compact, power running style that has drawn comparisons to U.S. Olympian and former Coral Springs great Walter Dix.
“Andre wants to be the best in the state of Florida; he wants to be the next Usain Bolt,” Piper coach Carlton McCall said. “He wants everybody to look at him. He is just motivated to do great things. He wants to get a track scholarship.”
The question was no longer if Ewers will get a full ride but rather which NCAA powerhouse will eventually win the Ewers sweepstakes once he set the nation’s No. 6 time in the 100 (10.49) and No. 7 non-wind-aided time in the 200 (21.40) at the Miramar Invitational on March 8.
Ewers’ rise to All-American follows a junior season in which he showed glimpses of his star potential but finished on a disappointing note, failing to qualifiy for regions in the 100 after placing fifth at districts and then finishing ninth in the 200 at the FHSAA Class 4A State Finals.
That bitter taste has driven Ewers through an intense offseason workout program, which netted five added pounds of muscle and an extra gear down the straightaway, known as turnover speed in track circles, that has him undefeated in both the 100 and 200 coming into the BCAA Finals.
“I’m a power runner,’’ Ewers said. “I run with aggression; I run with determination. If I am in fifth I won’t give up until I reach first. My turnover speed helps me in the last 50 meters in the 100. My top-end speed keeps increasing, and that helps me separate from the crowd. In the 200 it helps me execute the curve and then damage on the straightaway.”
The only area holding Ewers back from possibly becoming the nation's premier sprinter is his start out of the blocks. Ewers has a tendency to rise out of the blocks too fast, allowing opponents to get an early lead only to reel them in with his mezmerizing torque down the straightaway.
Ewers will try to keep his perfect record intact against a field that includes West Broward’s Isaiah Taylor, Plantation’s Khai Mclin, Fort Lauderdale’s Lamark Campbell, Miramar’s Jabari Hill and Monarch’s Calvin Ridley — perhaps the best candidate to pull an upset.
Ewers sticks to a strict pre-race routine that includes listening to the Rocky III theme song and 1982 No. 1 hit Eye of the Tiger by the American rock band Survivor, on repeat.
Despite the ridicule from teammates and opponents alike for a song that was popular before he was even born, Ewers said the second verse — “So many times it happens too fast. You change your passion for glory. Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive” keeps him grounded and hungry for the next challenge.
•West Broward 1, Douglas 0:
WP: Michael Schappell. LP: Jesus Luzeld. Top performers: Schappell complete-game shutout. Jordan Martinez 1-3, RBI single in 3rd. WB 11-2. DOU 9-4.
•South Plantation 5, Piper 4:
WP: Huegele. LP: Perry. Top perfomers: Huegele complete game. Josh Matos 2-4. Sigal game-winning RBI. PIP 5 hits, 3 errors. SP 5, 2 errors. SP 3-5-1.
•SLAM 6, Sagemont 4:
LP: Andres Vazquez (2-2). Top performers: SAG: Brynn Martinez 2-2, R, SB. Edison Rodriguez 2-3, R, RBI. Chris Iacono 3-3, R, BB, 2 SB.
•Santa Fe 10, Hollywood Hills 0:
WP: Spencer Haire 5 IP, 1 H, 8 Ks. LP: Stephen Richards 4 IP, 4 Ks. Top performers: SF: Tyler Buckner 2-4, 1R, double. Tim Deen 2-4, 1R, double. HH 5-8. SF 7-7.
•Florida Christian 3, Pines Charter 3:
Top performers: FC: Brianna Ernst 1-4, 3B, RBI. Addy Garcia 1-2, RBI. Faith Vazquez 1-3, Run. FCS 12-2-1.
•Calvary Christian 17, Westminster Academy 6:
WP: A. Chang 4-1. LP: Strandberg. Top performers: K. Nevils 4-4. A. Chang CG, 2 hitter. CC 5-7.
•West Broward 11, Flanagan 1:
WP: Demerieux (7-2). LP: Degen. Top performers: WB: Sakowitz 2-2, 2B, 2BB, RBI, 3 runs. FLA: Bush 2-3, run. WB 13-5.
•Cardinal Gibbons 10, Calvary Christian 8:
CC: Colton Coffin 3 goals. Josh Derr goal.
•South Plantation 11, Flanagan 9:
Ema Rose 5 goals, 4 assists. Dominique Santamaria 2 goals, 2 assists. Isabella Cianci 2 goals. Phobe Porterman 8 saves. SP 4-6.
•Cardinal Gibbons 8, University School 5:
Jada Preston 4 goals. Peri Shechtman goal. Emily Chancey 20 saves.
GIRLS’ WATER POLO
•Westminster Academy 15, Choate 6:
Victoria Bevill 4 goals, 2 assists. Emily Stevenson 13. CH: Maddy Stern 3 goals. WA 9-0.
•Cooper City 3, Flanagan 2:
Kirsten Bunting 15. CC 4-8.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
•Sagemont 27, Somerset Academy 7:
Bailey Jones 4 TD passes, 14-22 120 yards. Sinora Cole 3 TD. SAG 2-0; SA 1-1.