Coach David Halliday hopes his eighth year of coaching will be a return to greatness for the boys and girls teams.
The Flagler Palm Coast track-and-field team was decimated by injuries and bad luck last season, but seventh-year coach David Halliday is hoping 2011 will bring better luck for his Bulldogs.
The boys team finished 16th at last season’s state meet — one of the lower finishes in Halliday’s tenure. However, despite injuries, the girls team had its first state qualifiers in several years.
But this year, Halliday said he has a great mix of younger runners and experienced runners.
Hagins, Moore lead young girls team
The girls team brings back experienced runners Danielle Haggins and Jasmine Moore, but also features junior Toni Brown, who should compete in the 800-meter run at states. Halliday said the team also has several freshmen and sophomores.
Hagins won the mile in the 5-Star Conference last season with a time of 5:30.14. She placed 14th at state in the 800 meters.
Crop of seniors pave way for boys
The boys team had a disappointing showing because of injuries and mishaps, Halliday said, but he is confident he has the weapons for his boys team to make a run at a state title this year. The boys team won the state championship in 2007 and 2009, and have won the district and the conference six years in a row.
Sprinters such as Tyler Cue, Yeovanti Williams, Gilbert Absolu, Mike Hymon, Josh Walker and Chris Stubbs will be competitive in their respective events, Halliday said. Also, pole-vaulter Cory Soard is the defending No. 2 vaulter in the state, but is recovering from an injury during football season.
Halliday said the 4x400 team comprising Williams, Stubbs, Hymon and Walker won the district and region last season and should place in the top five in the state.
Cue took third place in the 200-meter dash last season and set the school record with a 21.38-second run. In the preseason, Cue ran the 200 meters in 21.01 seconds, which currently is the fastest time in the nation, according to Halliday. Though it’s only Cue’s second year in track, he’s posting incredible times.
“Everyone will see this kid is out of site,” Halliday said of Cue.
In the end, Halliday said he hopes 2011 brings better fortunes for his teams.
“Last year was a down year,” he said. “We had a couple of weird things happen. In 17 years, I have never had that much run of bad like and health issues.
Contact Andrew O’Brien at [email protected].
RUNNERS TO WATCH
Tyler Cue: Cue will be a state champion contender in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Het took third place at states last season and owns the school record in the 200-meter dash at 21.38 seconds.
Gilbert Absolu: Absolu will accompany Tyler Cue in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. It’s a one-two punch, coach David Halliday said. Absolu recently ran a 10.78-second 100-meter dash.
Danielle Hagins: Hagins was a state qualifier in the 800-meter run and on the 4x800-meter relay team.
Jasmine Moore: Moore was one of the top sprinters two years ago but was ineligible last season. She competes in the long jump and also runs the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. She won the 5-Star Conference in the 100-meter dash as a sophomore.