Hillsborough Boys Track Preview
FEATURED ATHLETE AUSTON CHEN, JR., BERKELEY PREP Only a junior, Chen is arguably the best all-around prep track athlete in the county. The proof is in the state AAU decathlon title he won last summer as a 16-year-old. Since then, he's gotten leaner, bigger, faster and stronger - all the things a decathlete needs. Chen's personal bests in the 10 events are marks most prep track athletes would be proud of for one event: 147 feet, 10 inches (discus), 44-4 (shot put), 12-0 (pole vault), 21-3 (long jump), 53.35 seconds (400 meters), 18.06 (110 hurdles), 145-0 (javelin), 11.53 (100), 5-10 (high jump) and 5:12 (1,500 meters). He'll concentrate on the throws for Berkeley this season, but his coaches, who include ex-South Florida decathlete Jeremy Geisel and former world-class shot putter Doug Price, say Chen is already drawing plenty of interest from Division I colleges for his multi-event skills. ESTABLISHED STARSLindsey Lamar, Sr., Hillsborough - Sprints: Returning state medal-winner in the 100 and 200. Should be a Class 3A state contender in both events this year. LaVaughn King, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech - Jumps: Titans star came on big-time at 3A state meet to finish third in the triple jump. Dentarius Locke, Sr., Chamberlain - Sprints: Defending 4A state champ in the 100 and runner-up in the 200. If the Tennessee-bound Locke stays healthy, he should win both this time. Desmond McGill, Sr., Brandon - Hurdles: State medalist in the intermediate hurdles could be a contender for the top of the podium this season. John Mitchell, Sr., Durant - Middle distance: Defending 4A state champ in the 1,600 looking to show that win was no fluke. Terrence Mitchell, Jr., Hillsborough - Jumps/sprints: State medalist in the long jump looking for a 25-foot mark this season. Mark Parrish, Jr., Chamberlain - Distance: The area's top finisher in state cross country wants to carry it over to the track. Connor Revord, Sr., Jesuit - Middle distance: The 2A boys favorite to win the state 800 and 1,600. Derek Wehunt, Sr., Sickles - Distance: Looking to once again medal at state in the 1,600 and 3,200. Trent Wiseman, Sr., Freedom - Pole vault: Has gained 10 pounds of muscle, more speed and technical skills. The sky's the limit this year. WATCH OUT FOR ... Jeremy Deering, Jr., Leto - Hurdles Dan Wehunt, Sr., Sickles - Middle distance Trenor Wilkins, Jr., Plant - Distance Darrin Gibson, Sr., Robinson - Middle distance T.J. Glover, Jr., Plant - 400/sprints Chad Hansen, Sr., Plant City - Throws Jerod Brisbon, Sr., Hillsborough - Jumps Jordan Schilit, Sr., Jesuit - Distance Corlus Pope, Jr., Hillsborough - 400 Kyle Pruner, Sr., Newsome - Pole vault Keegan Bixler, Sr., Newsome - Distance John Grellner, Sr., Wharton - Distance TOP 5 TEAMS 1. Hillsborough: Two-time defending region champion and defending county champion Terriers are the ones to beat again. 2. Plant: Panthers were clawing at Hillsborough's door last year and will once again have the edge in distance events. 3. Wharton: The Wildcats have one of the most balanced and deep squads. Question is, do they have the talent to hang with Hillsborough? 4. Chamberlain: Led by Locke in the sprints and a distance squad that was state cross country runners-up, the Chiefs will score well in big meets. 5. Jesuit: The Tigers' distance and middle distance athletes alone can keep them close to most squads. THE BIG MEETS March 7 - Nash Higgins Relays, Leto, 8 a.m. March 14 - Disney Showcase, Lake Buena Vista, TBA March 14 - Charles Johnson Invitational, King, 8 a.m. March 18-21 - Disney Invitational, Lake Buena Vista, TBA March 20 - Jack Rice Invitational, East Bay, 4 p.m. March 21 - Elite Invitational, Gaither, 8 a.m. March 21 - Bob Hayes Invitational, Jacksonville Raines, TBA March 24 - Western Conference divisional meets, Jefferson, Spoto, Armwood, 1 p.m. March 27-28 - FSU Relays, Tallahassee, TBA March 28 - Manuel/Griffin/Fraundorfer Relays, Hillsborough, 8 a.m. March 31 - Vernon Korhn County Championships, Jefferson, 6 p.m. April 3-9 - Florida Relays, Gainesville, TBA April 11 - Distance Carnival, University of Tampa, TBA April 13-18 - 1A/2A district meets, TBA April 20-25 - 3A/4A district meets, TBA April 22-24 - 1A/2A regional meets, TBA April 29-May 1 - 3A/4A regional meets, TBA May 1-2 - 1A/2A state meets, Winter Park, 11 a.m. May 8-9 - 3A/4A state meets, Winter Park, 11 a.m.