As a former Olympic sprinter Jason Rouser is somewhat of an authority in his sport, so when the Zephyrhills track and field coach calls Jamieshia Parker a "special" athlete, one can't help but take notice.
"She's an exceptional talent," Rouser said.
A Bulldogs junior, Parker already owns Zephyrhills individual records of 18 feet, 91/2 inches in the long jump, 12.01 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 25.42 seconds in the 200. Additionally, she was part of a record-breaking 4x100 relay.
Even more impressive?
National track and field powers LSU and Tennessee already offered Parker scholarships. When LSU offered, "I had to do a double take," Rouser admitted.
Talent is Parker's best trait, but Rouser has been impressed by her other attributes as well.
"She very coachable," he said. "And she listens. The work ethic is coming around. That's not to say it was bad last year, but now I see more of a sense of urgency. She's taking ownership."
Very soon, Parker may be taking home state titles.
Girls to watch
Lindsay Arnold, Sr., Zephyr-hills: Unchallenged in conference and district in 100 hurdles.
Karissa Bertling, Jr., Ridgewood: Reached state in the 200 and 400.
Mikayla Bogulski, Jr., Springstead: One of the state's best in the 800.
Dana Cannon, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Excellent in sprints and triple jump.
Danielle Doucet, Sr., Nature Coast: Placed fifth at state in the 400.
Jessica Furst, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Back after finishing 14th in the 1,600 at state.
Ariel Grey, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: SAC champ, state qualifier in the 1,600.
Tiki Relaford, Jr., Central: High jump star was third at 3A meet (5-6).
Kelsey Sturman, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: 400 standout is state meet veteran.
Jaclyn White, Sr., Springstead: First female state medalist in school history (800).
District: Classes A/2A — April 12-17; Classes 3A/4A — April 19-24
Region: Classes A/2A — April 21-23; Classes 3A/4A — April 28-30
State: Class A — April 30, Class 2A — May 1, Class 3A — May 7, Class 4A — May 8.