Football on back burner as track glory looms

Published May 4, 2007

The Sun Belt Conference meetings were taking place on a flight of concrete steps at Central High on Thursday as future Troy University running back DuJuan Harris and current Florida International tackle Andy Leavine joked about their upcoming matchup on Oct. 6.

Leavine, back home for a week after wrapping up his spring semester, told his former teammate he had a lot to learn about life as a Division I athlete. Harris, meanwhile, guaranteed a Trojans victory over the Panthers He was joking ...we think.

Even as the former Bears stars yukked it up about the upcoming season, football seemed a million miles away.

See, Harris still has a high school track meet left.

And it happens to be a big one.

"It has dawned on me, " said Harris, who will compete in four individual events at today's Class 3A championships.

"It's hit me plenty of times."

Harris enters today's meet with a good chance at achieving the rare feat of medaling in four individual events, which would merit his inclusion as one of the top all-around high school athletes ever to pass through Hernando County.

But the Central senior said his aim is bigger.

"Four gold medals, " he said. "That's my goal."

Truth be told, that goal may be a little unrealistic. The highest Harris is seeded in any of his events is third. While he looks to be within striking distance in the long jump (his 22-9.75 at regionals is less than 6 inches behind No. 1 seed Terrence Mitchell of Hillsborough), he is nearly a full second behind the top seed in the 200.

But Harris seemed confident.

"The times (of some of the other competitors) seem unreal, but I'm ready for it, " he said. "I'm going to use them as a rabbit, somebody to catch up to."

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1407.

Fast Facts:


Sizing up the competition

Central senior DuJuan Harris hopes to turn in a rare four-medal performance at today's Class 3A track and field championships at Showalter Field in Winter Park. Here's a look at the events he will be competing in (Springstead senior Jeff Haynes is the only other county athlete participating. Haynes is seeded 14th in the 110 hurdles):

Long jump

Top 10

1 Terrence Mitchell Fr. Hillsborough 23-03.25

2 Johnareus Young Sr. Dunedin 23-1.00

3 DuJuan Harris Sr. Central 22-9.75

4 Kevin Hardy Sr. Vanguard 22-9.50

5 Jasper Howard Sr. Miami Edison 22-9.00

6 Sean Wallace Sr. Dwyer 22-7.00

7 Keyon Jones Jr. Wharton 22-5

8 Dontarrius Thomas Sr. Land O'Lakes 22-4.5

9 Jeffrey Ardis Sr. Lakewood 22-4.5

10 Charles MacLeod Sr. South Fork 22-4

Boys triple jump

Top 10

1 Dallas Young Sr. Nova 46-10.75

2 Rudolph Burney Sr. Eastside 46-05.00

3 Jonathan Herrington Sr. Oak Ridge 46-3.5

4 Jamaal Samuels Sr. Pembroke Pines 46-00

5 Anthony Jenkins Sr. Lakewood 45-6

6 DuJuan Harris Sr. Central 44-11.00

7 Andre Palmer Sr. Hallandale 44-9.25

8 Tevin James Jr. Middleton 44-5.5

9 Orhian Johnson Jr. Boca Ciega 44-1.25

10 Jeroyal Lewis Sr. Oak Ridge 44-1

100-meter dash

Top 10

1 Leonardo Seymore Jr. Dwyer 10.46

2 Philip Pierre-Louis Jr. St. Thomas 10.56

3 Kenneth Spigner Sr. Miami Jackson 10.58

4 Antwain Harvey Jr. Naples 10.65

5 Donnell Jones Sr. Lakewood 10.75

6 DuJuan Harris Sr. Central 10.75

7 Trevor Rainey Sr. Booker 10.76

8 Patrick Nixon Sr. Ed White 10.79

9 Bilal Powell Sr. Lake Gibson 10.81

10 John Little So. East side 10.84

200 meters

Top 10

1 Leonardo Seymore Jr. Dwyer 20.96

2 Philip Pierre-Louis Jr. St. Thomas 21.45

3 Davon Johnson Jr. Miami Wash. 21.45

4 Kenneth Spigner Sr. Miami Jackson 21.65

5 Collin Swanagan Sr. Ed White 21.82

6 Patrick Nixon Sr. Ed White 21.88

7 DuJuan Harris Sr. Central 21.97

8 Hudson Presume Sr. Southeast 22.09

9 Kevin Williams So. Wharton 22.15

10 Corey McElveen Sr. Armwood 22.28