Cavs progressing under Rountree

Published 11:15 pm Friday, December 23, 2016

Indoor track and field season is under way and going into the new year, and Lakeland track and field coach Brian Rountree is happy with where his team is.

This is Rountree’s second year back with his home school after a long stint at Phoebus High School. In previous years, the program was under the direction of his brother and Lakeland Athletic Director Gregory Rountree. Last year, the team finished with nine All-State finishes at the 3A indoor state championships last week.

As a team, Lakeland is expected to be strong in the mid-distance and hurdling areas. So far Lakeland has participated in two Southeastern District meets and an invitational.

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Rountree brings a hard-nose work ethic to the program that he feels will make it successful in the long run.

“You work hard, you play hard,” Rountree said. “We want to be in peak shape, which will carry us a long way once the new year hits. I like to teach my team to believe in themselves. No matter what it is, life or in athletics. Be the best competitor you can be. Whether it be in the classroom or at home. The more you compete, the more you start believing in yourself.”

On the boys’ side, the Cavs will be returning Darren Daughtrey. He finished seventh last year in the state meet in the 55-meter hurdles. Junior Travis Copeland has competed well early for Lakeland and is expected to make a jump in his performance from last year. Copeland runs the 800-meter along with other events. Diamante Moore is a junior hurdler that is going to be “special,” in the words of Rountree. Nate Edgehill is also expected to bring a hard working presence to the team.

For the girls’ side of things for the indoor team, the strength is expected to be within the field events and sprinting. Loren Biggs will be returning for Lakeland as an above-average long jumper. In most meets, she is expected to finish within the top three or four. She is also one of the team’s best sprinters, as she finished fourth in the state in the 55-meter dash last year.

Junior Enicia Hopes will be returning as well. She runs anything from the 800 meters down. Hopes and Biggs were half of a 4×200 team last year that won states but was disqualified due to a violation. Lauryn Baker is the senior captain and is a hard worker that Rountree expects to improve significantly.

So far, the Cavs have competed well in their meets and invitationals. Next for Lakeland is the Suffolk Invitational on Jan. 6-7. After that, they will compete in the third Southeastern District meet on Jan. 13.