Teahna Daniels and Terry Jerningan ran blistering 100-meter dash times on a scorching hot track to win expenses-paid tickets to New York City on Saturday.
Both beat stellar fields at the Golden South Classic, where temperatures reached 94 at the First Academy, to earn automatic "Golden Ticket" invites to June's prestigious adidas Dream 100 races in NYC.
Jernigan, a Clermont East Ridge senior, clocked the nation's fastest 2014 wind-legal boys time, 10.27 seconds. That sent the Class 4A state champion across the line ahead of a 10.39 by Sunrise Piper senior Andre Ewers.
- pictures Golden South Classic track meet
- Teahna Daniels, right, of First Academy finishes ahead of Kaylin Whitney of Clermont East Ridge and wins the girls 100-meter dash at the Golden South Classic at First Academy. (Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel)
- Pictures: Class 3A, 4A State Track Meet
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- Pictures: Golden South Classic high-school track meet
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"I've been waiting for my ticket for a while," Jernigan said. "Now I finally got it. It's an honor."
Daniels, a First Academy junior running on her home track, broke the area girls wind-legal record with an 11.38 to beat 4A champion Kaylin Whitney (11.57) of East Ridge and 2A champ Deanna Hill (11.70) of Lake Highland Prep. Daniels eclipsed a record of 11.41 set three years ago by Kissimmee Osceola's Tynia Gaither.
Whitney, the Sentinel's 2014 girls track Athlete of the Year, never had lost to a Florida high-schooler until Daniels beat her at the Florida Relays in Gainesville. Daniels, the 1A state champ, is now 2-2 against a friendly rival, but with consecutive victories.
"I knew if I cooled down [slowed], she would be right there," Daniels said. "What I was really focusing on was the Golden Ticket. I wanted that."
Daniels' time ranks No. 2 in the U.S. behind Fort Lauderdale Aquinas junior Krystal Sparling (11.34), who also has a Golden Ticket invite. Whitney, who placed fifth in the Dream 100 last year and is fifth on the national honor roll with a wind-legal best of 11.48, is left still wanting one.
"It's hard [to lose], especially twice in a row," Whitney said. "I don't have any excuses. [Daniels] got out, and she finished well."
Whitney, Daniels and Hill teamed together on a winning girls 4 x 100 relay team that missed the meet record by one-hundredth of a second with a 44.40.
Jernigan also clocked his fastest 200 time (20.93) but placed third. Kendal Williams of Jacksonville Stanton Prep took the U.S. lead with a 20.55 to win.
Other area girls winners were Lake Brantley state champion Sinclaire Johnson in the 800, Oak Ridge junior Sharrika Barnett in the 400, and Orlando University's Autumn Bartlett in the 3,200. Johnson ran 2:10.08 to break her own sophomore area record.
Winter Park senior Reagan Benjamin scored an upset victory in the boys triple jump with a 48-7¼ that is tops in Florida for 2014. Seminole's Raymond Nellom won the high jump on a tiebreaker.
Jones senior state champion Stefani Kerrison was second in the girls 100 hurdles. Daeshon Gordon of Oakland Park Northeast won in 13.61 to smash the meet record of 13.77 she set a year ago. Lake Mary's Domonique Turner was third, lowering her sophomore area record to 13.95.
Lake Mary senior Erica Sergeant was one of three girls to clear 13 feet in a historic pole-vault competition. The three-time Florida 4A champion and area record-holder finished third on a tiebreaker behind Alabama 5A champion Margaret Ollinger of McGill-Toolen Catholic and Georgia 1A champ Carson Dingler of Macon First Presbyterian Day School.
All three surpassed the previous meet record of 12-11.
First Academy shot putter Chris Miller hit a career best to place high, as did West Orange senior Destiny Washington in the girls 200.
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