Gainesville youth team makes strides at Carnes Invitational
Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.
For the Gainesville Striders, the Jimmy Carnes Youth Indoor Track & Field Invitational on Sunday presented the team with a chance to test the condition of some of their top competitors and create a baseline for the running season to come.
Bracy sets national record
Orlando Boone High School runner Marvin Bracy highlighted the Jimmy Carnes Youth Indoor Track and Field Invitational at the O'Connell Center on Sunday by clocking a national record time in the 19-and-under 55-meter run.
Bracy, 18, who committed to play football and run track for Florida State University, finished in 6.08 seconds. Kendal Williams of Jacksonville's First Coast Track Club, was second in 6.48.
For more results from the Carnes Invitational, visit halfmiletiming.com.
Hosting the invitational at the O'Connell Center was only the beginning.
“I like coaching kids and giving them focus through running,” said Kail'la Reddick, an assistant who has been with the Striders since 2003.
A look at some of top female performers from the Striders team who competed Sunday.
Tamari Davis launched her running career at the age of six when she joined the Striders. At 8 years old, she remains one of the youngest competitors on the team.
“I was bored and had nothing to do,” Davis said. “So I just started running.”
Davis is excited at the prospect of starting competitive running at such a young age, and said that as one of the youngest runners on the team, people look out for her.
Of all the events, she enjoys the 100-meter dash the most, and ran multiple events Sunday that included the 55, 200 and 400-meter dash.
Shadayzha Bullock, 15, brings a unique set of skills to the Striders with her proficiency at “shot put, discus and sometimes javelin at certain meets.” A member since the age of seven, Bullock, who attends Lofton High School, was influenced to participate in track and field by her brother. Once she discovered shot put, she stuck with the sport.
Shot put is Bullock's personal favorite. “It's my motivation,” she explained.
She's second in the nation based on AAU competitions, and, at her personal best, has accumulated a score of 51.
Bullock topped the Carnes Invitational scoreboard for her age group with a toss of 36-10.10.
Kadeidra Jackson, 17, says she got into running “by just playing around on playgrounds at Girls Club” as a young child, and joined the Striders in 10th grade.
“I like to run,” Jackson said. “It's a great stress reliever.”
With the Striders, Jackson has qualified for AAU Nationals two years in a row, participating in three individual events: the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash.
On Sunday, Jackson ran the 55-meter dash in 7.23 seconds, a personal best in that event.
A veteran runner from a young age, Nadiria Evans, now 12, started honing her competitive skills at the age of four, and became an active member of the Striders at the age of eight.
Her father, a professional sports trainer, used to bring her along to his training appointments. It was there that she developed a liking for the sport.
“This season I'm trying to finish in third place at (AAU) nationals,” Evans said. “I've finished in fourth and fifth before.”
Evans, who attends Fort Clarke Middle School, ran the 800-meter dash, the 4x400-meter relay and the one-mile run Sunday.
“This event is going to help me feel confident and learn how to run my own race,” Evans said.