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by Steve Batko | Correspondent
Dakari Carter showed why he is one of the more special freshman athletes this spring .
The Streetsboro track and field standout won a pair of district sprint championships and established district meet records in the process.
"Really, Dakari can absolutely motor," Rockets head coach Tom Fesemyer said.
Carter qualified for the Division II competition in four events as Streetsboro placed second with 104 points at the Cortland Division II district meet, which concluded May 24 at Lakeview High School.
Host Lakeview won the 13-team competition with 114.5 points, while Hanoverton United Local was third with 73 points.
Carter won the 100-meter dash with a Lakeview district meet record time of 11.04 seconds. He won the 100 over Youngstown Cardinal Mooney standout senior Donovan McWilson (11.32).
Carter's record broke the previous district meet course record of 11.14 by Niles McKinley's Darius Harris in 2012.
Just as exciting was his meet record with a winning time of 22.3 in the 200 as he edged Lakeview's Ben Biehl (22.46). Carter broke the previous 200 district mark of 22.3 set by Harris in 2012.
"Dakari is an oddity because this is all new to him as a freshman," Fesemyer said.
"It's all new to him and he ran very well. He runs to the level of his competition.
"He starts out well, but his finishes are extremely strong."
The top four individuals in each event and top four relay teams qualified for the regional competition May 29 (5 p.m.) and 31 (11:30 a.m.) at Austintown-Fitch High School.
Carter also joined freshman Myron Jones, junior Prince Franklin and senior Daniel Sapp on the first-place 800 relay team (1:30.46).
He also ran on the second-place 400 relay team with junior Victor Glass, Jones and Franklin. The 400 relay was timed at 43.65 seconds.
"Our sprint team has done a fantastic job," Fesemyer said. "It's not just Dakari. Our coaches prepare the kids to run and they ran very well.
"As a team, even in distance, we ran a lot of personal records and season bests.
"We did what we thought they could do in this district meet and in some cases, we did better."
While Carter ended with three district titles, Sapp made a stellar postseason debut.
Sapp easily won the 400 in 50.87 seconds.
"I thought Sapp did well and it didn't surprise me that he won the 400," Fesemyer said. "He ran extremely well."
Fesemyer also was thrilled with sophomore Jonte Florence, who placed second with a time of 16.45 seconds in the 110 hurdles. Florence shocked the field of hurdlers with a superb race as a slew of athletes were seeded higher.
Franklin also advanced to the regional competition in the 100 and 200.
He captured third (22.85) in the 200 and took fourth (11.34) in the 100. Glass also took third (42.3) in the 300 hurdles to move on.
The 1,600 relay team also made the cut. The crew of Jones, Glass, junior Malik Todd and Sapp placed third with a time of 3:34.
"Our relays did well and our sprinters had a horse race all day long with Lakeview," Fesemyer said.
Senior Nick Fazio advanced with a fourth-place toss of 47 feet, 7 inches in the shot put.
"Nick had a great meet and we scored all over," Fesemyer said.
A pair of seniors just missed qualifying for regionals: Paul Jenkins and Reggie Dublin.
Jenkins ran fifth and just missed the cut in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.66 seconds.
Dublin just came up shy in the high jump as he placed fifth (5-6)
In the high jump, Jenkins tied for sixth (5-4) and scored in the 300 hurdles, where he finished eighth in 45.92.
"We have to prove ourselves all over again in regionals and this is the toughest region in Ohio," Fesemyer said.
"Our kids have earned the right. Now, we just need to perform better in regionals than we did at districts. A lot of these kids want to accomplish a lot of things and reaching the state championships is one of them."
Streetsboro's 3,200 relay of junior Tyler Garman, freshmen Alec Bindus and Jake Suttell and Todd placed sixth (8:52.73).
Junior Thomas Benson finished sixth (42-10 in the shot put and Fazio took seventh in the discus (122-4) /
Glass placed eighth (18-2.75) in the long jump.
In the 1,600 race, Bindus reached a personal best of 5:00.75, good for 10th behind Garman (4:53.71). Junior Jake Gould ran ninth in the 3,200 (10:58.94).
"I always tell the kids, the last time you run, you need to make it your best run," Fesemyer said. "I think this happened in a lot of cases."