Track athlete of the Year
Dentarius Locke, Chamberlain, Sr.
On a humid Saturday afternoon at the Class 4A state championships in Winter Park, Locke took to the track and ran away, rewriting the record books. He broke Walter Dix's record in the 200 with a jaw-dropping prelim of 20.58 and slashed Will Demps' record in the 100 with a 10.32. Locke left with two golds and was the talk of the event, finishing his high school career with seven state medals. He also placed first in the 100 and 200 in regionals, districts, the Hillsborough County championships and won the 100 in the Florida Relays.
Most impressive accomplishment: Not a tough one here. Locke cherishes both his state records, but breaking Walter Dix's mark in the 200 was slightly more special because Dix — a former FSU star — won two bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, "especially since the Olympics is my main goal."
Did you know? Before every race, Locke listens to T.I.'s hip-hop, head-bobbing go-get-yours anthem Live Your Life. "I listen to it before I go to bed and when I wake up. Sometimes I'll listen to it 20 or 30 times a day."
College plans: Locke intends to head to college in July; it's just a question of where. He had signed with Tennessee, but when Vols track coach Bill Webb suddenly retired, Locke requested a letter of release in case sprint coach Elliott Norbert isn't retained. "I'm hoping I can stay at Tennessee," Locke said. "(Norbert) told me he thinks he's staying, but I also have to be prepared." Locke hasn't received the release yet so he can't talk to other schools, but he said the only other school he'd attend is Florida State. In the meantime, he will compete in two national events, the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., (June 18-20) and the U.S. Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Ore. (June 25-28). He hopes to have his college situation worked out by nationals.
Coach of the Year
Ray Rodriguez, Jesuit
Led the Tigers to a second-place showing in the Class 2A state meet for the second time in four years. This season's showing included two first-place individual finishes and three second-place finishes.
High jump, Juan Washington, Sr., Hillsborough: Had county's best state finish, placing fourth in the 3A meet.
Long jump, Terrence Mitchell, Jr., Hillsborough: State runnerup in 3A state meet. Won regionals with a personal record of 24 feet, 2½ inches.
Triple jump, Mitchell: Placed second in 3A state meet after winning regionals with a PR of 47-8¾.
Pole vault, Trent Wiseman, Sr., Freedom: Placed fourth in 3A state meet as the only county athlete to reach 14 feet in states.
Shot put, Demonte McAllister, Sr., Alonso: Won district and regional titles, the latter with a PR of 52-½, then placed ninth at 4A state meet.
Discus, Auston Chen, Jr., Berkeley Prep: His PR of 171 feet in the 2A state meet was good enough for a third-place finish.
110 hurdles, Antwoun Howard, Sr., Leto: Has county's top state finish, placing 11th in the 3A meet.
300 hurdles, Desmond McGill, Sr., Brandon: His PR of 37.88 in the state 3A meet placed third. Also won regionals, district and county championships.
100, Locke: Set a PR in the region meet with a 10.31, then set a state record at the 4A meet.
200, Locke: Dusted the field and set a state record in the 3A semis (20.58), then sealed gold in the final (21.42).
400, Markais Neal, Sr., Armwood: County's top state finisher placed sixth at the 3A meet.
800, John Mitchell, Sr., Durant: UF recruit was one of three county state champs in the event, but the only to break the 1:53 mark.
1,600, Connor Revord, Sr., Jesuit: Won a 2A state title — his first individual title — with a 4:21.51.
3,200, Jordan Schilit, Sr., Jesuit: Second in the 2A state meet.
4x800 relay, Sickles (Marc DeJute, Daniel Wehunt, Derek Wehunt, Julian Gines): Won the Class 4A state title.
4x400 relay, Wharton (Chris Watson, Nick Swain, Sean Obinwa, Kevin Williams): Placed third in the Class 3A state meet after losing to Armwood in regionals.
4x100 relay, Wharton (Kyle Wilcox, Shane McEwen, Chris Watson, Kevin Williams): District champions were also state qualifiers, placing 10th in 3A state prelims after placing third in regionals.
High jump: Andre Davis, So., Jefferson
Long jump: Carlton Walton, Jr., Hillsborough
Triple jump: Walton
Pole vault: Steven Shifke, Sr., Plant
Shot put: Nick Bergin, Sr., Plant
110 hurdles: Desmond McGill, Sr., Brandon
300 hurdles: Howard
100: Lindsey Lamar, Sr., Hillsborough
800: Darrin Gibson, Sr., Robinson; Sean Obinwa, Sr., Wharton
3,200: John Wilkins, Jr., Plant
4x800 relay: Jesuit (Revord, Mike McEnany, Logan Trimble, Schilit)
4x400 relay: Armwood (Khiri McQuay, Richard Jules, Treyon Hankerson, Neal)
4x100 relay: Plant (Javonte Martin, TJ Glover, Nathan Marvel, Allen Sampson)
Armwood: Gilbert Vazquez; Blake: Jermaine Chin; Chamberlain: Mark Parrish; Freedom: Jake Kehlenbeck; Jefferson: Anthony Dean, Joey Dupont; Jesuit: Pat Beane, Garrett Singletary, Evan Rubinson; Newsome: Keegan Bixler; Plant: Rouslan Kamolov; Sickles: James Carl, Tampa Prep: Stephen Warner; Wharton: John Grellner
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer