Ka'Tia Seymour served notice to her fellow sprinters for today come get me.
The defending FHSAA 2A champion in both the 100-and 200-meter dashes recorded the best times in both events on Friday in the preliminaries at this year's state 2A meet at the IMG Academy, Bradenton.
Seymour won her preliminary 100-meter dash in 11.51 seconds, .32 seconds better than Hollywood Chaminada-Madonna's Briana Williams, while in the 200, Seymour turned on the afterburners to record a personal-best 22.89, almost a full second over the next-best qualifier in the event, Cocoa's Destiny Charles, who did 23.83. Seymour's previous best time in the 200 was 23.26.
"In the 100, I actually held up," Seymour said of that prelminary. "I didn't want to run all out, but I wanted a good lane (for today's final). In the 200, I didn't know who my competition was, so I went all out there."
She said she has confidence in her own abilities to repeat as a state champion, as well as helping her 4x100 teammates Tazarryia Poole, Kari Rasher and Mikeria Colson to a repeat gold medal performance like last year. The quartet ran 47.40 seconds, qualifying second-best to American Heritage of Plantation's 47.17.
"I'm very confident in my team," she said. "We had a few problems, because we were just nervous, but (today), we'll be fine."
On the boys' side, Steven Simmons, in his swan song as a prep track athlete, qualified in the 100-meter dash with a sixth-place overall finish in 11.02 seconds as he continues to battle issues with his hamstring. The 4x100 relay team qualified for today's final in 42.03 seconds as Fort Myers Dunbar turned in the fastest time at 41.63 seconds. Also moving to today's final was Treyvon Williams in the 200-meter dash, where he qualified fourth in 21.55, the top qualifier being Tyson Campbell of American Heritage in 20.80.
Williams missed out on the 100 final, placing 12th in 11.26 seconds. Robert Passmore, who won the Region 2-2A 400-meter championship on April 27 at Lake Highland Prep, missed out on qualifying for the state 400 final by .15 seconds, finishing ninth overall in 49.72. On the girls' side, Rasher finished last out of the 16 contenders in the 100, crossing the line in 12.93.
Two PHS boys, both seniors, were involved in finals on Friday, but neither gained any points for the team. In the long jump, DeMareyae Givens, who was the 16th and last qualifier, finished 11th with a jump of 19-foot-11 3/8, and in the 800, Peyton Snyder, who was last in last year's 800, moved up to 13th this time, again missing out on going under two minutes with a time of 2:00.56.
All races today involving Palatka High boys and girls start at 1:30 p.m. at IMG Academy.
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