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Cavalier hurdler sweeps Eastern Region titles

NEWPORT NEWS – Lakeland junior JaQuan Demiel won regional titles in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles to lead a host of outstanding Cavalier results Friday and Saturday at the Eastern Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Todd Stadium.

Three months ago, Demiel was great in finishing second in the state in the 55-meter hurdles to cap his indoor season.

Just recently though, specifically last week at the Southeastern District Championships says Demiel , has the Cavalier hurdler and long jumper been at full strength. A simple-sounding injury, a pulled hamstring, had troubled Demiel since last outdoor season, spring of 2009.

“It still bothered me a little through indoors. Last week, at districts, I was 100 percent. Since then, I’ve felt really good,” Demiel said.

He completely showed it on the track. Demiel won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.71 seconds, besting second-place Nick Dew of First Colonial by 0.14 seconds.

Demiel was even stronger about an hour later in the 300 hurdles. Demiel had a huge lead as the field made the last turn. He was able to conservatively go over the last hurdle and still win by 1.37 seconds; in 37.92 seconds.

Demiel and a group of his Cavalier teammates celebrated the win and breaking the 38-second just after the time was found out a minute after the race.

“I’m very satisfied, very happy and very blessed,” Demiel said.

Along with having his health finally get back to 100 percent, Demiel said he’s improved technically during the last three months of the outdoor season.

“I’ve improved my foot speed between hurdles and my heart’s gotten bigger,” Demiel said.

Lakeland’s boys team finished fifth in the meet. Shaquille Wilson finished second in the high jump with a mark of 6-feet-6. Anaquan Peterson was fourth and Demiel placed sixth in the long jump.

Both Cavalier relay teams earned points as well. Lakeland’s 4×100 team finished fifth and its 4×400 team was sixth.

Johniqua Porter led the Lakeland girls team with two top finishes. Porter finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.29 seconds and finished ninth in the triple jump.

King’s Fork was the top Suffolk team on the girls side, finishing 14th out of the 33 schools to get points.

Megan Simpson and Qualitra Brown were the team leaders for the Lady Bulldogs. Simpson finished third in the discus (100-feet-5) and eighth in the high jump. Brown was fourth in the 200-meter dash (25.51 seconds) and seventh in the 100 (12.66). Simpson, Brown, Alana Glover and Renikqua Ricks teamed up to finish sixth in the 4×100 relay.

KF’s Ian Copeland finished sixth in the discus, just on the right side of the cutline to make the state championships.

Nansemond River’s top boys competitor was Ricky Blake, who finished seventh in the triple jump. NR’s top girls competitor was Mikeisha Davis finishing eighth in the triple jump.

The Virginia High School League Group AAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set for June 4-5 at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond.