Hill lifts Cougars to first boys' track and field title
By Gary Curreri, Special Correspondent, Sun-Sentinel
Jabari Hill can cross another item off his to-do list.
The eighth-grader at Glades Middle School in Miramar was out to set records, and he did just that in lifting the Cougars to their first boys' title during the recent Broward County Middle School track and field championship meet.
Competing on the oval at Coral Springs High School, Hill won all four of his events and scored 40 of his team's 54 points as Glades Middle topped two-time defending champion William Dandy (40 points).
Indian Ridge took third place with 38 points, while Lauderdale Lakes finished fourth with 34 points.
"I wanted to break records," said Hill, who won three events at last year's county meet. He got off to a good start this year, as he won the first event, the 100-meter hurdles, in a personal-best time of 14.08 seconds.
"My favorite event is the 400 and the [100-meter] hurdles," said Hill, who also topped the charts in the high jump at 5 feet, 6 inches, and the 400-meter dash in just over 51 seconds. He also was a member of the winning 4x400 relay team.
Hill's time in the 400 was a county record.
It was the second county championship in the school's six-year history, as the Cougars also prevailed in the county boys' basketball tournament. Hill also played a part in that title-clinching effort with 15 points and 13 rebounds in a victory over William Dandy at Piper High School in Sunrise.
"I wanted to win everything," Hill said. "I wasn't surprised that my [400 and 100-meter hurdle] times were that fast."
Glades Middle coach Aaron Hennen said he thought the team had a good opportunity to win the title. The school's previous best finish was third last year.
"To beat William Dandy was unbelievable," Hennen said. "What [Hill] contributed to the team was unmatched by anybody on the team. We were undefeated this year. We were district and regional champions, and now we are county champions."
Keandre Mais placed fourth in the 800-meter run (2:16.5), while the 4-by-100m relay team (48.12) placed third and the 4-by-200m relay team (1:39.82) placed fourth.
Mikhail Grant, an eighth-grader at Silver Lakes Middle in North Lauderdale, finished in 11.33 seconds to top the field in the 100. He narrowly edged Lauderdale Lakes' Kency Geffard (11.34) and Attucks' Rooldolph Alterma (11.35).
"It is really cool to be the fastest in the county," Grant said. "I slipped coming out. I knew I had to catch up, so I ran faster. I caught them at the line."
There was little drama in the 1,600. Pembroke Pines Charter Middle eighth-grader Andy Iglesias dominated as he crossed the finish line in a little less than 4:53. He ran the 800 last year and finished sixth at the county meet.
Iglesias was trying for the state record of 4:38 in the 1,600, but he came up short. He wanted to keep alive the tradition of Pembroke Pines Charter Middle winners excelling in the 1,600. Tim Taylor won the race last year.
"[The county race] was the best I had ever run and was probably one of the most important races of the year for me," Iglesias said
Indian Ridge seventh-grader Jorge Serrano didn't reach the county final last year when he ran the 400-meter dash. This year, he doubled the distance and took the 800 championship with a 2:14.15 time.
"I think I am faster and more into it," said Serrano, who made up a 20-meter deficit in the closing 100 meters to edge William Dandy's Elgin Oates (2:14.61) and Lyons' Pedron Silva (2:15.04).
William Dandy won the 4x100 and 4x200 relay events and placed second in the 4x400 relay. Other winners were Alterma (200), Adrienne Talon of Indian Ridge (long jump), Armando Hernandez of Tequesta Trace (shot put) and Zac Mathurin of Coral Springs (discus).