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.
BASEBALLWest Broward 1, Douglas 0: South Plantation 5, Piper 4:
SOFTBALLFlorida Christian 3, Pines Charter 3: Calvary Christian 17, Westminster Academy 6: West Broward 11, Flanagan 1:
BOYS’ LACROSSECardinal Gibbons 10, Calvary Christian 8:
GIRLS’ LACROSSESouth Plantation 11, Flanagan 9: Cardinal Gibbons 8, University School 5:
GIRLS’ WATER POLOWestminster Academy 15, Choate 6: Cooper City 3, Flanagan 2:
BOYS’ WATER POLO
FLAG FOOTBALLSagemont 27, Somerset Academy 7: