“Incredible,” is all Golden Gate track and field coach Jordan Erickson had to say about Mirline Cherisme’s performance at the Class 2A-Region 3 championships at Astronaut High in Titusville on Thursday.
The Titans senior showed incredible stamina by winning the 300-meter hurdles and triple jump, and placing second in the 100 hurdles. Cherisme also ran a leg on the Titans’ 4x100 relay team, which finished second.
She will compete in each of those events on April 27 at the 2A championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
That the 5-foot-8 Cherisme was able to qualify in four events is incredible. That she was able to do it after leaving the Golden Gate campus before 6 a.m. and driving five hours to Titusville is flat-out ridiculous.
“I’m very proud of myself,” Cherisme said in a weary voice as she drove back to Naples on Thursday night. “I felt really strong. I had no idea I’d be that good today.”
This is the second straight year Cherisme has qualified for states in four events. However, as good as she was last year, an exhausted Cherisme faltered at the state meet, failing to place in any event.
A year wiser, Cherisme said she peaked too early last season. The difference this year is her performances are peaking at the right time. On Thursday, she leapt 38 feet, 5 inches in the triple jump, more than a foot better than her winning mark at districts last week. The mark also set a new personal best.
“Now I’m peaking at the perfect time,” she said. “All my PRs are coming. I’m a senior. This is my last year. It’s do it now or never. There’s no more chances. It’s go, go, go.”
Go, go, go is exactly what Immokalee’s Leonal Delacruz did on Thursday in leading the Indians boys to a second-place finish.
Delacruz, a junior, repeated his performance at districts last week by winning the 1,600 and 3,200. He also ran the anchor leg on the Indians’ state-qualifying 4x800 team.
“He’s getting his confidence at the right time,” Immokalee distance coach Hugo Gijón said. “That’s key for any distance runner.”
Though she didn’t win the 1,600 and 3,200 like Delacruz, Immokalee’s Anita Munoz still qualified for the state meet in both events by placing fourth and third, respectively.
Also for Immokalee, Jummy Victorin won the high jump and J.C. Jackson placed fourth in the boys 200.
“Across the board, our athletes rose to the occasion,” Gijón said.
For Golden Gate, freshman Darlene Charles earned a trip to Jacksonville by anchoring the 4x100 relay team, along with Sabrina Lormeus and Jenny Herrard, and earning fourth place in the long jump. Junior Alejandro Pedraza finished second behind Delacruz in the 3,200.
“It was a wonderful day today for our athletes,” Erickson said.