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Winter Track Notepad: Cavaliers must fine-tune abundance of raw talent
The Caroline winter track and field team doesn’t have a district to compete in, and the Cavaliers have participated in just two meets this season.
But veteran coach Sansberry Harvey likes what he sees so far.
Caroline’s boys have been particularly pleasing to Harvey. Still, he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
“Right now we’re still raw,” Harvey said. “So we won’t find out about these guys until next Saturday when we go to the Grand Dragon Relays at the Arthur Ashe Center [in Richmond].”
Junior Aason Pankey has qualified for the Group AA state meet in the 55 meters. The boys 800 relay team of Chris Jackson, Pankey, Daquan Pollard and Mark Rollins also qualified for the state meet at the recent Lafayette Icebreaker.
On the girls side, senior standout Jessica Toliver has achieved state qualifying marks in the long jump and 55 hurdles.
Harvey is also expecting a boost from freshman middle distance runner Cassandra Cooper. Cooper is expected to play softball during the spring outdoor season, but she may help out the Cavaliers track team then, too.
“We try not to push the freshmen too hard,” Harvey said. “She’ll make her own decision where to go. But she’s a real competitive kid.”
Caroline’s boys have their core back from the team that won the Battlefield District outdoor title last May. Pollard, Pankey and Bevontae Morris are capable of helping out in a host of different running and field events.
Morris, who also plays basketball for the Cavaliers, is dealing with an ankle injury.
Harvey also anticipates an impact from transfer Deon Ware, who was a hurdler for Spotsylvania last season. Jackson has showed promise in the field events as a freshman, and two distance runners have also stepped up for the Cavaliers.
Junior Aaron Carter was an all-Region I cross country performer this past season, but he has already been defeated by teammate Michael Williams in the 1,600. The duo provides balance for the Cavaliers, along with junior Freddie Romero–Baker, who earned all-state honors in the pole vault last spring.
—Taft Coghill Jr.