- April 16, 2019
The Mainland High School boys and Seabreeze girls track and field teams ran away with first place trophies in a display of dominance at the District 6-3A meet held at East River High School in Orlando on April 19.
The Buccaneers tallied 207 points — 61 points ahead of runner-up Orlando Edgewater and 101 points over Seabreeze, which brought home third place. The Sandcrab girls racked up 139 points with Mainland girls trailing in sixth place with 68.
Terrence Anthony, Mainland’s track coach and athletic director, said he is a point watcher and before big meets checks FLRunners.com or DirectAthletics.com to find out where hist teams are seeded. According to the virtual meet, Mainland's boys should have finished first by just 15 to 20 points.
“Our guys came out today and dominated in every facet of the meet,” he said. “I’m so proud of the way they worked and my coaching staff, because everybody exceeded expectations. I brought 25 boys to the track meet and I think I qualified 21 out of the 25 to go to regionals.”
Jonathan Williams, Emmanuel Yisrael and Damarcus Creecy swept the 110-meter hurdles with Williams running a blistering meet and venue record time of 14.29 seconds. Creecy also set both records in the 400 hurdles with a 56.37 while Seabreeze's Grant Scrabis sprinted in behind him in second place with a 57.53.
Scrabis ran in the 300 hurdles last year until they increased the distance to 400 meters and added two hurdles this season. He normally placed in the top five or 10 in the event at the shorter distance. He feels his coach, Jenna Meyers-Sinett, who was a hurdler, has been instrumental in improving his form. He smiled when he crossed the finish line and someone in the crowd yelled “I love you Grant Scrabis.”
“I had to learn from the best,” he said of his coach. “Same preparation going into regionals as leading up to districts. Who knows if this is going to be my last race or not. I’m just going to give it my all and see what happens. I love everybody on my team. Coming out every day to practice is always fun. I hope I can do more of that in the future.”
I let them know how I came about and how coach Kane raised me up on the track. I let them do what they do best and tell them never to give up. It’s more than us coaches believing in them. They have to believe in themselves. - Ebony Harris, Mainland assistant track coach
Meyers-Sinett is an anatomy and physical education teacher at Seabreeze who has been coaching track and field for three years. She was an assistant coach at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville earlier in her career. Her specialties as a track athlete were the 300-meter hurdles and pole vault. She was instrumental in bringing both events to the school.
She graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology. She brings the science aspect to the team workouts and trains her coaches to be versatile which has created a more well-rounded team.
“It’s going pretty well,” she said. “This is by far our best year overall in pretty much every event. Not including alternates, it’s like 28 of my team are going to regionals — with alternates it was 35. I’m really excited for them. Pretty much every event except for the 100 and 200 (and shot put), you’ll see kids qualifying (for states).”
Javelin throwers Chandler Mitzo and Levi Hayworth took one-two with Mitzo throwing 57.18 meters over Hayworth’s 53.78. Mainland’s Demond Noelien took third with a 41.82 and also placed second in discus. Seabreeze’s Jamie Bandell took first in girls discus with a 26.50-meter toss and Mainland’s Janiyah Giddens placed third with a 25.64-meter throw.
“I haven’t placed first at a district level meet before but I have during season meets,” Bandell said. “It’s pretty great that I get to continue my season even longer.”
Anthony gives his girls credit for working hard even though they are young and small in stature.
“The one young lady that I am going to spotlight because she’s just a hard-worker is Kiera Williams,” he said. “But today, Amyah Watlington showed me that she is ready to take that next step. She qualified in the 4x100 and 4x400 and she PR’d in the 100 and 200.”
Mainland assistant coach Ebony Harris attended Atlantic High School where she specialized in sprinting and relays. She ran under the direction of Tim Kane who is now Matanzas’ coach.
“I let them know how I came about and how coach Kane raised me up on the track,” she said. “I let them do what they do best and tell them never to give up. It’s more than us coaches believing in them. They have to believe in themselves.”
Seabreeze distance runner sisters Mackenzie and Arianna Roy placed first and third in the 1,600 meter run. Mackenzie went on to place first in the 3,200 while Arianna took third in the 800 with teammate Nicole Dane coming in fourth. The three also ran the 4x800 relay with fellow soccer player Kirsten Glaenzer and placed second.
“I feel good about my performance at districts as I PR’d in the 1,600 and I’m moving on to regionals in all the events I competed in,” Arianna Roy said. “As for the 4x800 all being soccer girls, I love it. I feel this because we play soccer together, run together and we have already formed that sense of trust you need to have a good relay.”
Seabreeze's Klellan Lubbe won the 800 in 2:00.91.
“Coach Meyers made the difference this year,” Lubbe said. “She's a really good coach. That's the only reason I made it this far — in only two years. I've been working my behind off the past two years. I want to say I've earned my spot here.”
Mainland girls and boys both placed third in the 4x800 meter relay. The boys followed it up with a blistering venue record in the 4x400 relay of 3:25.86 run by Seth Sawyer, Logan Camara, Chase Irvin and Cameron Boatright.
Sawyer ran the first leg, then gave the baton to Logan Camara in first place. Camara passed off to Chase Irven — a first year track athlete. Irven did not get discouraged when he was passed and kept the pressure on until he handed off to the anchor leg, Cameron Boatright who finished first.
“I’m just a dog — a go getter,” Boatright said regarding running the anchor leg. “We are dogs. We are just going to get it at regionals.”