Palmetto coach David Zarco doesn’t hold back when he trains his badminton players.
“I run them hard especially early in the season,” Zarco said. “These are very smart and very bright kids and they take to the training really well.”
On Wednesday afternoon at the Braddock gym, the Panthers became Miami-Dade County’s best for the second consecutive season.
Palmetto secured back-to-back GMAC titles at the Braddock gym scoring 14 points to edge runner-up Southwest.
The Panthers were led by its strong doubles teams which won the boys’ and mixed divisions and also had a team finish second in the boys.
For the second season in a row, Wendy Lau and Marcos Muina won the mixed doubles title. On Wednesday, the duo beat Jacqueline Camacho and Cristian Gonzalez of Southwest, 21-15, 18-21, 21-16.
Jeffrey Li and Aaron Mares teamed up to win the boys’ doubles for Palmetto with a 21-18, 21-14 win over fellow Palmetto teammates Allen Liu and Orko Sarkar.
“I couldn’t be happier with the result,” Zarco said. “These kids played well and worked hard throughout the season.”
Southwest’s Claudia Morales and Laura Morales secured the girls’ doubles title with a 21-11, 21-16 victory over Coral Gables’ Francis Perez and Gaitana Jeramillo.
Killian’s Jack Harris cruised through the boys’ singles bracket to pick up the GMAC title beating Sunset’s Zhipeng Lin in the final, 21-16, 21-13.
Sunset’s Katherine Espinosa won the girls’ singles title edging Palmetto’s Tahlia Quartin, 24-22, 21-16.
Team scores: 1. Palmetto 14, 2. Southwest 10, 3. Sunset 7; 4. Ferguson 5; 5. Killian 4; 6. Braddock and Coral Gables 3; 8. South Miami 2; 9. Varela 1. Individual finals – Boys’ singles: Jack Harris (KIL) d. Zhipeng Lin (SUN), 21-16, 21-13; Girls’ singles: Katherine Espinosa (SUN) d. Tahlia Quartin (PAL), 24-22, 21-16; Boys’ doubles: Jeffrey Li/Aaron Mares (PAL) d. Allen Liu/Orko Sarkar (PAL), 21-18, 21-14; Girls’ doubles: Claudia Morales/Laura Morales (SW) d. Francis Perez/Gaitana Jeramillo (CG), 21-11, 21-16; Mixed doubles: Wendy Lau/Marcos Muina (PAL) d. Jacqueline Camacho/Cristian Gonzalez (SW) 21-15, 18-21, 21-16.