Track: No offseason for Hunter Joyer

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Wed. February 23, 2011 | Bryan Burns

Track: No offseason for Hunter Joyer

WESLEY CHAPEL — When Hunter Joyer takes time to reflect on his prep career, he won’t lack for memories.

Joyer, a Florida football commit at the fullback position, was a key member of Tampa Catholic’s run to the Class 2B state finals in football in 2009.

Later that year as a junior on the Crusaders’ track squad, Joyer won a state title (Class 2A) in the shot put.

As a freshman at Wesley Chapel, Joyer was second at state weightlifting.

“I feel pretty lucky,” Joyer said. “A lot of people don’t even get a chance to make it to states in one sport.”

The multi-sport athlete, back at Wesley Chapel for the spring semester of his senior year and able to compete for the Wildcats after having his hardship request granted by the Florida High School Athletic Association, will try to capture a trio of state titles before departing for Gainesville.

On April 15, Joyer will again compete in the state weightlifting finals and enters as the front-runner.

“I’m pretty confident,” he said. “I wouldn’t say anything is guaranteed though.”

He’ll also be favored to grab a second straight shot put title. Joyer, who recently threw a personal-best 59 feet, thinks he has a chance to break the state record of 65 feet, 8.25 inches.

“I made a pretty big leap of about 10 feet from the beginning of last season to the end of last season,” Joyer said. “If I can make the same progress this year, I should be able to break it.”

In the discus, Joyer has to iron out a few kinks but will contend for the state title in that event, too.

“I still have a lot of work to do just with techniques and things,” he said. “Just little things that are holding me back.”

Joyer has packed plenty of extracurriculars into his four-year high school experience, and that won’t stop once he arrives at Florida, where he hopes to continue his track and field career with the Gators in addition to playing football.

“I plan on it,” he said. “I’m not too sure how spring football intervenes with track. I’m going to talk to the football coaches and as long as everything works out and I stay healthy, I’ll do it.”

Boys to watch

Tony Hays, Jr., Ridgewood: Placed fifth in the high jump at regionals a year ago with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches and teams with Thomas Rodriguez to give the Rams a pair of potent leapers.

Hakeeme Ishmar, Sr., Pasco: FAU football signee jumped 21 feet, 9½ inches to place ninth in the long jump at state a year ago.

Alex Kazanski, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Returning state title winner (Class 3A) in the pole vault who cleared 14 feet, 6 inches at regionals.

Shane Mendoza, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin: Earned the regional bronze medal in the shot put to qualify for states.

Clifford Phillips, Sr., Pasco: Made the region finals in the 100 meters a year ago and ran 11.20 to place seventh.

Ryan Pulsifer, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Enters the season as the man to beat on the North Suncoast in the 3200 meters.

Josh Reilly, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: The St. Petersburg Times’ 2010 cross country runner of the year will provide points in the distance and relay races.

Tyler Ross, Jr., Mitchell: Won a region title a year ago in the 400 by three-hundredths of a second (49.01).

Ja’Juan Story, Sr., Nature Coast: Florida football signee ran 10.89 to place seventh in the 100 at state.

Thomas Watson, Jr., Springstead: Came in sixth in the 400 at regionals and will look to qualify for states this season.

District assignments

Class 3A, District 7: Central, Gulf, Hudson, Land O’Lakes, Mitchell, Nature Coast, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Springstead, Sunlake, Wiregrass Ranch, Zephyrhills

Class 2A, District 9: Academy of the Holy Names, Anclote, Berkeley Prep, Fivay, Steinbrenner, Hernando, Jesuit, Middleton, Pasco, Robinson, Strawberry Crest, Tampa Catholic, Weeki Wachee, Wesley Chapel

Class A, District 9: Academy at the Lakes, Bayshore Christian, Bishop McLaughlin, Calvary Christian, Cambridge, Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian, Northside Christian, Seffner Christian, Seven Rivers Christian, Tampa Prep, Tampa Bay Christian

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