Pasco sports: Long-jumper Grant eyes district meet
It has never been done within Pasco County. A state title three-peat in the long jump. That’s what Pasco High's
Janarion Grant is on pace to potentially do this season, after two years ago claiming his first Class 2A crown at 24 feet, 3 inches and last spring repeating as state champion in 23-2.
So far, the Rutgers football commit placed first in the long jump at the Mitchell Invitational earlier this month, but a couple weeks later finished second at the Anclote Sharks Invite. Last week, Grant stepped back into the winner's circle at the Sunshine Athletic Conference championships and jumped a season-best 22 feet, 1.5 inches.
Grant and the Pirates will next compete in the Class 2A-District 6 meet, which will be held at Tavares High on April 11.
Wiregrass Ranch’s Shah keeps busy Wiregrass Ranch girls distance runner Nikita Shah is on a mission to win gold at this season's state finals, which will be held in Jacksonville at University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium. The Harvard commit stayed on pace with the top runners in the state at last Saturday's Florida State Relays in Tallahassee. Shah finished fifth (10:48.82), a day after competing in the Sunshine Athletic Conference championships at Fivay High.
“(Nikita) approached me about running in the FSU Relays earlier in the year,” Bulls coach Don Howard said. “We knew from the start that she wasn't going to be as fresh as she likes to be. I honestly don't think her competing in the SAC and then FSU Relays really impacted her too much. She had good splits and did pretty well.”
Shah, the only Pasco County competitor at the meet, finished behind Fort Myers’ Emily Edwards, Chiles’ Rachel Givens, Orlando Dr. Phillips’ Bridget Blake and McGill-Toole’s Carmen Carlos, who won the 3,200 meters.
The Bulls host a full relay meet April 9 with competing teams Brooksville Central, Spring Hill Springstead, Land O' Lakes, Sunlake and Mitchell.
Academy at the Lakes’ Gittens a bright spot Academy at the Lakes doesn’t field a large track and field team, with only 10 girls on its roster. But one distance runner has been a bright spot for AATL this season: basketball standout Alex Gittens, who placed in the top 11 in the 400 meters in three meets this spring.
Gittens, a backup for the state runner-up Wildcats girls basketball team, competes in four events, and last week at the Mustang Invitational, the senior competed in the 400 (1:07.76), long jump (13-3, shot put (24-3) and 200 meters (30.25). AATL has another meet at Calvary Christian before the Class 1A-District 8 meet, which will also be hosted by Calvary Christian in Clearwater on April 12.
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo covers Pasco County prep track and field and can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.