Lakeland junior leaps to title

Published 10:10 pm Friday, May 27, 2011

Lakeland junior Anaquan Peterson won the Eastern Region long jump title on Friday with a jump of 23-feet-5.5. It is Peterson’s first regional championship and he’ll have a shot at a second on Saturday as he’s one of the best in the triple jump in the region. Field events start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Darling Stadium.

HAMPTON — Lakeland junior Anaquan Peterson won the long jump crown at the Eastern Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships, jumping 23-feet-5.5 for his first regional championship.

Peterson might not have to wait long to win his second as he’ll be one of the favorites in the triple jump Saturday morning as the regional meet continues at Darling Stadium.

Lakeland’s Ryan Turner, left, clears the final hurdle in his heat of the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries on Friday in day one of the Eastern Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hampton’s Darling Stadium.

Peterson came into the long jump competition as one of three athletes in the region to top 23-feet. His winning mark was a half-inch from his personal best, set during the indoor season, but the win was the most important thing. Peterson finished third in the region in the indoor season and fourth in the region a year ago.

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“I felt good. It’s nice and hot out here, so it was easy to get loose,” Peterson said.

“In indoor, it was the same thing. I wasn’t doing so good at the beginning of the season but as the season went on I got stronger and stronger,” he said.

Peterson suffered a hamstring pull during a practice early in the outdoor season.

“It’s been a lot of rehabilitation. Polymetric work, band work, a lot of things to build my hamstring back up. Then it’s just been running, jogging, icing and do it all over again,” Peterson said.

Now in week two of what the whole track season is geared toward, the district, region and state meets, Peterson’s gaining confidence, along with distance.

“We (Lakeland) like to be at our best for the championship season,” Peterson said.

Most of the events held during Friday’s action were preliminary heats to get down to the finals for Saturday. More field events start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and track finals start at noon.

Lakeland’s JaQuan Demiel qualified for the finals in the 110-meter hurdles along with teammate Quentin Gilchrist in the 100-meter dash.

King’s Fork’s Qualitra Brown and Deion Dickens qualified for their respective 400-meter dash finals.

Saturday’s schedule includes the sprinting relays. Lakeland’s the top seeded boys team in the region for the 4×100 relay. King’s Fork is second to Oscar Smith in the boys 4×400 relay.