EAGLES PREPARE TO SOAR INTO 2019 SEASON
Coming off another amazing season in 2018 in which they won their third consecutive Polk County Championship, second consecutive District Championship, second consecutive Regional runner-up, and qualifying 13 athletes for the State Meet, the George Jenkins Eagles are looking to make the 2019 track and field season even more special. Under the guidance of Head Coach Brian Robichaud, who is entering his fifth season, the Eagles have dominated track and field in Polk County the past three years, winning the last three County Championships by an average score of over ninety points.
Read below for an in-depth breakdown of the 2019 Eagles Track and Field team.
In the 100 and 200, the Eagles will be led by juniors Jaden Rudolph and Austin Cowans. Rudolph is currently fifth all-time in school history in the 100 with a time of 11.10, while also placing sixth all-time in school history in the 200 with a time of 22.51. Not to be outdone, fellow junior Austin Cowans currently ranks eighth all-all time in the 100 with a time of 11.18, while ranking fourth all-time in the 200 with a time of 22.32. Cowans is also coming off a District championship performance in the 200 last season, while also qualifying for the State Meet in the event. Newcomer Michael Flores will provide needed depth to the short sprints, with JQ Jones also being an important piece for the Eagles
In the 400, the Eagles are once again led by a duo of juniors as Terrance Denson and Riley Ott look to improve on their monster 2018 season. Denson is the current school record holder in the 400 with a time of 49.93, while Ott is right on his heels, having split sub-50 seconds in the 4×400 on multiple occasions last season. Senior Breilyn Sullivan will be looking to improve on his 2018 season and is currently ranked eighth all-time in school history with a time of 52.16. Freshman Marquis Jean will be looking to make his mark in the event as well as he has had a great offseason.
With three of the top hurdlers in the entire state of Florida, the Eagles’ hurdle squad will be a strength of the program this season. Coming of a season-ending injury in March of last year, junior Tyson Williams looks to rebound and have a strong season in both the 110 and 300 hurdles. Williams currently ranks second all-time in school history in the 110H with a time of 14.54, just .01 seconds shy of the school record, while also ranking third all-time in the 300H with a time of 39.18. Steele Alleva is coming off a monster season where he ran to a ninth place finish at State in the 300H, while also lowering his personal record in the 110H considerably. Alleva ranks second all-time in school history in the 300H with a time of 39.05, while also ranking fourth all-time in school history in the 110H with a time of 14.90. Damarcus Sneed also had a great 2018 season, especially in the 110H as he qualified for the state meet in the event. Sneed boasts a personal record of 14.71 in the 110H, ranking him third all-time in school history, while also ranking seventh all-time in school history in the 300H with a time of 40.89. Senior Nate Ashley, sophomore Da’Marea Johnson, and sophomore Ar’Marion Hargrove are three more Eagles to watch in the hurdles.
In the 800, the Eagles will be led by junior Thomas Townley, seniors Johnnie Salter and Cody Carr, and freshman Gavin Bendross. Townley is coming off a great 2018 season where he helped run the Eagles’ 4×800 team into the State Championship. Salter, Carr, and Bendross are newcomers to the event but look to impress this season
There is no doubt the Eagles’ distance crew will be anchored by senior Brady Zimmerman, who is coming off an eighth place finish at the State Cross Country Championships this past November. Already the school record holder in the 3200 with a time of 9:35.06, Zimmerman is poised to have a breakout season this year. With a current personal record of 4:26.01 in the 1600 meters, ranking him third all-time in school history, Zimmerman will be aiming to grab a state medal in both the distance events, while also anchoring what should be a dominate 4×800 relay team as well. Behind Zimmerman in the distance events will be Seth Brickhouse, Brendan Moore, Andrew Guerrero, and Andrew Chambers who are all coming off great cross-country seasons.
In the Long Jump, the Eagles will be led by Terrance Denson, the current school record holder in the event with a mark of 23-0.5”. Damarcus Sneed adds great depth to the event, ranking second all-time in school history with a personal best of 22-2.5”. Nate Ashley will look to add even more depth to the Long Jump as he looks to break into the top-10 all-time list.
Nate Ashley will lead a trio of talented Triple Jumpers for the Eagles this season. Ashley, who only began jumping last season, currently ranks third-all time in school history with a personal best of 43-1.75” and just missed out on qualifying for the state meet in his first season. Damarcus Sneed and Manny Gibson will add depth as they are both tied for sixth all-time in school history with personal bests of 41-11.75”
Like the hurdles, the Pole Vault will be a major strength for the Eagles this season as they are returning three athletes who placed in the top-11 last year at the State Meet. Riley Ott is coming off a 6th place finish at the State Meet and currently ranks fourth all-time in school history with a jump of 13-11.25”. Steele Alleva, who has two previous state medals in the event, looks to have a big year as he comes off a 10th place finish in last year’s State Meet. Alleva currently ranks sixth all-time in school history with a jump of 13-7”, but has recorded multiple jumps at 14-6” during AAU season this past summer. Rounding out the group of elite vaulters for the Eagles is Kyle Murawski, who is coming off a tenth place finish at the state meet and boasts a personal record of 13-6.5”, ranking him seventh all-time in school history. Newcomers Jacob Memmoli and Jack Capron will look to earn the fourth spot for the Eagles in the event, competing with returner Ethan Suman.
In the High Jump, Nate Ashley and Manny Gibson look to improve on their marks from last season and earn some valuable points for the Eagles. JJ Poe and Jacob Memmoli also will look to make their marks in the event as well.
Newcomer Steven Mansker will lead the Eagles’ throwers into the 2019 season and will look to add valuable points in both the discus and shot put. Maleik Alterno, Nicholas Moonab, Cameron Jones, Darshan Patel, Logan Birket, and Aaron Curtis will round out the throwers for the Eagles this season
The Eagles will roll into the 2019 season with the strongest and deepest team in school history. The Eagles will be the favorites to win the County and District Championships, while also being a top contender for the Regional Championship and a possible top-5 finish at the State Championships in May.