Barrera, Eason, Brown top picks for state

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 5/4/22

OAKLEAF - With the top five region qualifiers within just two seconds of each other, Oakleaf High junior distance runner Sierra Barrera, with solid finishes in the 800 and 1600 at the district …

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Barrera, Eason, Brown top picks for state

Posted

OAKLEAF - With the top five region qualifiers within just two seconds of each other, Oakleaf High junior distance runner Sierra Barrera, with solid finishes in the 800 and 1600 at the district championships, is a solid choice to get a top four finish, if not a gold medal, at the upcoming region 1-4A track and field championships to be held Sat., May 7 at Flagler Palm Coast High School.

Oakleaf’s second contender for not just a state qualifying top four finish, but also a gold, is senior jumper Arianna Eason who dominated the district 2-4A meet with wins in the long jump and triple jump.

Eason’s jumps; 17’-4.75” and 39’-5.75” got her in as fourth qualifier for the region with an 18’-7.25” leap from top qualifier and defending region long jump champion Sidney Allen of Seminole and a region leading 39’-5.75” triple jump district title that stands as the top jump in the region with Allen at number four nearly three feet away. Top contender is at 37’-8.75 from Taylor Sapp of Lake Mary, a senior. Eason was second at region last year at 37’-6.5” and fourth in 4A at 37’-8”.

Eason also is anchor for the girls 4 x 100 relay that qualified fourth with just .48 seconds separating first through fourth to create a stressful race dependent on perfect execution with the baton.

Also in the jumps, high jumper Sydney Brown is second ranked with her 5’-1.75” finish with Ocoee’s Amarianna Lofton, in district 4-4A, top seed at 5’-3.75”. Lofton got to her 5’-3.75 after making a third attempt at 5’01.81” to continue then hitting her first try at 5’-3.75”. Brown, who tied with Nease’s Sasha Gregory for second at the district meet, followed Lofton’s heights, but missed three times at 5’-3.75”. Brown was 11th in 4A last year at 4’-11.75”.

For Barrera, a junior, who has exploded on to the state scene after experimenting with some mid-race tactics to add to her ferocious finishes, took second in the both the 800 and 1600 at districts with times of 2:22.01 and 5:18.06.

Barrera’s 800 and 1600 splits are both fifth ranked for the region with the 800 time closer to the top tier and the 1600 nearly nine seconds off the top time of 5:09.80.

Barrera was fourth at region last year with a 2:20.44 split with a 2:14.76 the winning time then 15th in Class 4A at 2:21.12.

In the hurdles, Oakleaf duo of sophomore Keira Smalls in the 100 hurdles (7th ranked) and Kayla Havens in the 300 hurdles (13th ranked) will have their work cut out to get to the top four spot. Smalls’ 15.56 is half a second from the fourth place finisher. Havens is three seconds away but 10 hurdles in the way offers a lot of opportunity for mistakes and Havens is a hurdle technician that can benefit from a hiccup ahead of her.

In discus, Adrionna Coleman is fifth ranked, but 30 feet from the top throw, but two inches from the fourth ranked throw.

For the Oakleaf boys, shotputter Jordan Mitchell is less than two inches from the top put in the region with a 52’-3.75” toss second to Niceville’s Noah Harman, fifth in the region last year with a 50’-2.75” put.

High jumpers Korey Huff and Josber Stimphil are in the hunt with Huff sixth ranked and Stimphil 20th.

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