All-Area boys track: Emarkis Gunn and Malik Lewis, Palm Beach Lakes
Saturday, June 04, 2011
by Matt Porter
While many other state powerhouses bring 10 or more athletes to the Class 3A championships each year, Palm Beach Lakes does things its own way: It brings four outstanding competitors and tries to win the whole thing.
The Rams placed third in 2010, proving the formula works. When the torch was placed in their hands this season, seniors Emarkis Gunn and Malik Lewis started working in January to prepare for the May meet.
Six days a week, they pushed themselves harder and harder.
"Every Saturday morning, they were out there," coach Jerome Groover said. "They wanted to have their year. They maintained their focus."
"When you get people who don't mind the grind, these things will happen."
Gunn and Lewis had no problem putting in the necessary work. With a half-dozen medals between them, they led Palm Beach Lakes to a runner-up finish at state.
Gunn, a part of last year's core four, won state gold in the 300 hurdles with a personal-best 36.83 and placed fifth in the 110 hurdles. Lewis, who transferred from Royal Palm Beach before the season, took silver in both events, including a personal-best 37.41 in the 300 hurdles and 14.28 in the 110 hurdles.
Both were part of the Rams' 1,600 relay - along with senior Damion Rose and sophomore Darius Hodges - that finished sixth in 3:19.31.
"Everyone expected Lakes to have some hurdlers that are going to be on top," said Gunn, who focused exclusively on hurdles and sprints this year after battling injuries last year as a combination hurdler, sprinter and triple jumper. As a sophomore, he was a state runner-up in the 300 hurdles. "Coach just said 'You've got to fill the shoes. By any means necessary, you've got to come to work every day,' " Gunn said.
That's how he and Lewis ensured Lakes' formula was a winning one.
Won gold in discus and silver in shot put at 3A state meet.
John I. Leonard, Sr.
Won state silver in 3200, placed fifth in 1600, part of second-place 3200 relay.
Battling a leg injury, finished third in state 100, fourth in 200.
Won state gold in the 110 hurdles, part of fourth-place 400 relay.
John I. Leonard, Jr.
Fourth in 800 at 4A states, part of second-place 3200 relay, strong in 1600.
Won bronze in state discus and narrowly missed silver.
Park Vista, Jr.
Fifth in state 400, part of 1600 relay (seventh), 3200 relay (eighth).
Injured at state, but came into 3A meet as 110 hurdles favorite.
Berean Christian, Sr.
Placed sixth in 400 at Class 1A state meet.
John I. Leonard, Sr.
Fourth-place finish (14-6) in pole vault at states, helping Lancers take sixth.
Booker T. Thurmond, Dwyer, Sr.
Heath Appleman, Jupiter, Soph.
Michael Miller, King's Academy, Sr.
Christopher Grinley, Park Vista, Soph.
Matthew Wadford, Park Vista, Soph.
Marc Clerveaux, Park Vista, Soph.
Gabriel Aird, Suncoast, Jr.
Troy Campana, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
James Paine, Dreyfoos, Sr.
Wayne Brown, Dwyer, Jr.
Atlantic Patrick Palmer, Walter Smith; Dwyer Delio Allen, Shubert Bastien, Tommylee Lewis, Jethro St. Hubert, Patrick Nickler; Glades Day Shomori Butler, Eaton Spence, Steven Williams; Glades Central Davonte Allen, William Likely, Cordero Phillips, Robert Way; John I. Leonard Alex Hepburn, Josh Visi-Clark; Jupiter Christian Isaiah Nelson; King's Academy Andrew Albert, William Corley, Marcus Houston, Chris Machiela, Gregory Roy, Scott Simpson; Palm Beach Gardens Tyrico McGriff; Palm Beach Lakes Darius Hodges, Damian Rose; Park Vista Yephnick Adelphonse, Anthony Sidden, Neil Upadhyay; St. Andrew's Brian Diener; Seminole Ridge Gary Holmes, Ed'Treon Wilcox; Suncoast Abiade Granger, Alan Hightower, James Huggings, Chevaune McKain.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Palm Beach Lakes
Brought four athletes to Class 3A state meet and finished second overall. Consistently produces fine sprinters and hurdlers.
BEST OF THE TREASURE COAST
Centennial Karus Hunter; Community Christian Alex Roberts; Jensen Beach Kelsey Donaho; Fort Pierce Central Damarius Gray; Lincoln Park Michael Ware; Martin County Jake Burton, Zach Burrows, Reshawd Fyne, Brandon Battle, Taylor Dicicco; South Fork Tyler Brennalt, James Martin, John Pereira, Mason Rosado. Most valuable athlete: Justin Osking, John Carroll, Sr.