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Column: 'That Deal' proving he's the real thing

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Thu. March 7, 2013 | John C. Cotey | Email

ST. PETERSBURG — If Trayvon Bromell needs a nickname, he might want to consider “That Deal.”

Wednesday at the West Coast Invitational at Lakewood, the Gibbs star sprinter was referred to as “that deal” a handful of times that I heard, and likely dozens of other times that I didn’t.

I heard it from a coach leaning on the fence after he won the 100 meters in 10.51 seconds.

I heard it in the stands, from a number of fans after he ran the most electrifying nine seconds — or was it eight? — of the night in running down Lakewood on the final leg to give Gibbs a stunning upset in the 4x100.

 

And I heard it again on the infield, after he toasted the field in the 200.

Trayvon “That Deal” Bromell. It has a nice ring to it. And every star needs a catchy nickname.

Take Paul McKenna’s, for example.

The Countryside star is called “Megadeth” by just about everyone, and that’s exactly what he was in the 1600 and 3200, blowing out the field both times.

This is a guy making the most of a nickname. He got it because he showed up for the first track practice of his senior year wearing a Megadeth T-shirt.

But there’s more.

He also was wearing an gigantic oversized zipped up hoodie, a pair of black jeans and black Chuck Taylors. He had long hair past his shoulders, with chains dangling from his neck, and looked like he just walked in from some thrash metal concert.

By the way — he ran seven 7 miles in those jeans, and in those Chuck Taylors, and in that shirt.

So while the nickname may not have been a compliment at the time, when Eileen Givens pointed to him running away from the field in the mile and said, “There goes Megadeth,” it all seems to make sense.

It also made sense that he was Wednesday’s boys MVP, tying with Lakewood’s Tim “T.J.” Holmes, who won both hurdle races and anchored the Spartans’ 4x400 relay, which won in 3:27.56, in leading his squad to the team championship with 137.5 points.

The next three teams were separated by two points: St. Petersburg (81), Countryside (80.5) and Gibbs (79).

If Bromell’s spectacular close in the 4x100 provided the night’s biggest upset, then That Deal not winning MVP honors had to be a close second.

Not saying it was a bad choice. It a tough choice. McKenna, Holmes and Bromell were all deserving.

The coaches simply chose steady over sexy, and hey, McKenna did run 5,600 meters compared with 400 for Bromell. But the Gladiator will remember that moment. You could see it in his face afterward.

Shaquill Griffin picked up the field event MVP, an easy call after he won the long and triple jumps — beating brother Shaquem — and also ran on the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

The girls competition saved its drama for on the track, with team champion Osceola (97) edging Largo (94.5) and Pinellas Park (89.5).

The Patriots had both MVPs.

Deterrica Simpkins picked up hard-fought victories in the 100, 200 and 400, winning all three by a combined 1.36 seconds.

And in the field events, Jasmine Laska won the shot put and discus, the latter by 22 feet, to earn the MVP nod.

That could have just as easily gone to Boca Ciega’s Chaise Cook-Martin, who was the only competitor to break a meet record, and she did it twice, her last triple jump of 38-5.5 winning that event.

Whose record did she break?

Her own, set last year with a jump of 38 feet.

Cook-Martin also decisively won the 100 hurdles in 16.22, but her second-place finish in the long jump by a mere inch may have given the nod to Laska.

Either way, more performances like the ones Cook-Martin and Simpkins turned in might also warrant nicknames.

Just so they know: That Deal is taken.

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