Athlete of the Year | Cornell Jones | Senior | Smithfield The improvement over a two-week span was absolutely amazing.
At the Bay Rivers District outdoor track and field meet, the Smithfield High senior won the triple jump by leaping of 42 feet, 71/2 inches.
A week later, at the Region I meet, he finished second, but went nearly two feet farther at 44-41/2.
But he really outdid himself at the Group AA state meet in Harrisonburg.
Jones jumped 46 feet to win the state championship, beating Lafayette's D'Angelo Scales by nine inches.
Afterward, he told reporters he had visualized that jump.
"I've been dreaming of something over 46," he said. "I was texting my friend. I was like, 'On the long jump, I'm going to try to go 23 and over, and on the triple jump I'm gonna try to go 46 and over.' I was visualizing it, and I just went ahead and did it."
Jones didn't quite get 23 feet in the long jump, but he did go 22-8, finishing second to Harrisonburg's Alex Owah by an inch.
In indoor track, he finished second in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump.
First Team 100-meter dash | Earl House | Senior | Bethel | House ran the state's eighth-best time, 10.72, in the preliminaries of the Group AAA meet.
200 | Earl House | Senior | Bethel | House, who ran 21.88 in the Peninsula Relays, was the only area runner to break 22 seconds this spring.
400 | Austin Cuffee | Senior | Bethel | Cuffee returned from an indoor track injury to win the Peninsula District championship in 48.71.
800 | David Gunnerson | Junior | Grafton | Gunnerson's 1:55.67 in the Southern Track Classic was the area's best time during the outdoor season.
1,600 | Colin Mearns | Junior | Jamestown | Mearns followed up success in cross country and indoor track by running a 4:21.12 at the AA state meet.
3,200 | Colin Mearns | Junior | Jamestown | His 9:13.74 time in the Dogwood Classic was the best in the area by 25 seconds.
110-meter hurdles | D'Angelo Scales | Senior | Lafayette | Scales ran 14.51 in the prelims of the Group AA state meet.
300 hurdles | Jarius Reed | Senior | Menchville | Reed's 38.95 time in the AAA state meet preliminaries ranks as the 10th-best in the state this spring.
400 relay | Bethel (Austin Cuffee, Raymond Bradley, Isiah Gibson, Earl House) | The Bruins ran 42.42 to finish second in the Group AAA state meet.
1,600 relay | Woodside (Christopher Willis, Kenny Smith, Damion Marsh, Brandon Burton) | The Wolverines' 3:19.27 time in the Penn Relays was the area's best this spring.
3,200 relay | Grafton (David Gunnerson, Eric Graves, Brian Gorwitz, Mark Yancey) | The Clippers finished fourth in the Group AA state meet, running 8:04.76.
Discus | Terrance Hollis | Junior | Denbigh | Hollis won the Peninsula District championship with a throw of 153 feet, 10 inches.
High jump | Antonio Wood | senior | Hampton | Wood had the area's best jump this spring, clearing 6-5 in the Peninsula Relays.
Long jump | Cedric Gipson | Senior | Hampton | Only Smithfield's Cornell Jones bettered Gipson's best jump of 22-1 this spring.
Pole vault | Zak Sisak | Senior | Gloucester | Sisak's best vault of 14-6 tied for sixth-best in the state this spring.
Shot put | Dajhi Hollis | Senior | Denbigh | Hollis' heave of 48-10 in the Eastern Region meet was the best in the area.
Triple jump | Cedric Gipson | Senior | Hampton | Again, Gipson's 45-6 jump was bettered only by Jones.
Second team 100: Desmond Worelds, junior, New Kent. 200: Kevin Chavis, senior, New Kent. 400: Kenny Smith, senior, Woodside. 800: Brandon Burton, junior, Woodside. 1,600: David Gunnerson, junior, Grafton. 3,200: John Holt, senior, Jamestown. 110 hurdles: Antonio Wood, senior, Hampton. 300 hurdles: Dythaniel Lewis, junior, Warwick. 400 relay: Woodside (Najee Curry, Chris Willis, Damion Marsh, Kenny Smith). 1,600 relay: Bethel (Austin Cuffee, Ray Bradley, Daniel Rapoza, Earl House). 3,200 relay: Lafayette (Sam Schultz, Tyler Erickson, Macklin Webb, Nathaniel Darling). Discus: Ryan Coles, sophomore, New Kent. High jump: Christopher Burton, sophomore, Gloucester. Long jump: L'Marc Turner, senior, Warwick. Pole vault: Nick Durante, senior, Jamestown. Shot put: John Cerminara, senior, Jamestown. Triple jump: D'Angelo Scales, senior, Lafayette.
— Lynn Burke
Athlete of the Year | Cornell Jones | Senior | Smithfield First Team Second teamCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun