Prep track and field | Manatee's Brandon Carnes sprints to three region titles

jlembo@bradenton.comApril 25, 2013 

TAMPA -- As fast as he is, Brandon Carnes has a hard time sneaking up on anyone.

News spreads fast when you're a sprinter fresh off back-to-back trips to the state track and field meet.

Yet the Manatee senior was unfazed by the pressure during Wednesday's Class 4A-Region 2 meet at Leto High, winning three events and clinching a third straight trip to the state finals.

"I try and stay relaxed. That's why I had good races (Wednesday)," Carnes said. "I didn't worry about nobody, I ran my race, and I came out on top."

Carnes took first in the 100-meter (10.49) and 200-meter (21.69) dashes and ran anchor for Manatee's championship 400 relay team (42.29).

The relay victory came against North Port's Ro'Derick Spears, the region champion in the 110 and 300 hurdles. North Port finished with a time of 42.69.

"I just wanted to finish strong and get that team," Carnes said. "They (were) talking."

Joining Carnes on the relay were Ja Juan Pollock, Daren Ardis and Dentrell Muller. The Manatee boys finished third in the overall team standings with 53 points. North Port won with 72 points.

The Class 4A state meet is scheduled for May 4 in Jacksonville, giving Carnes more than a week to prepare. Carnes placed in all three events at state last year, taking fourth in the 100 and seventh in the 200 and running anchor for the eighth-place relay team.

"I'll just try to get healthy because run six races isn't easy," said Carnes, whose left hand was in a wrap Wednesday after he tripped over a hurdle last week at practice. "I'll be real good. My hand will be better."

Derrick Calloway also left Wednesday's regional meet with a championship by cruising to a victory in the shot put with a distance of 57 feet, 9 ½ inches.

Headed to USF as a defensive linemen this summer, Calloway took a stab at the shot put last spring in order to have some fun.

He wound up winning a state championship and heads back to Jacksonville to defend his title.

"I just go out there and have fun. I really don't care if I win or lose," he said. "If a win, hey, let's keep going. If I lose, I've got football."

Calloway has no plans to put the shot in college.

"I liked it. It was cool, and I just kept doing it," he said. "I was beating people who had been out there for weeks. I was like, 'Hey, this is fun.'"

Calloway is expected to leave for USF on June 26.

Also qualifying for the Class 4A meet was Darryl Brookins, who took third in the 300 hurdles (39.95).

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