JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Parker High School is home to two of the top track athletes in the state.
Aaron Bell and Desmyn McCall are fast. Very, very fast.
Bell who runs sprints and McCall who runs hurdles both set new personal bests last weekend in the Coach Miami Presents: The Florida International meet at IMG Academy.
Bell’s new personal record in the 100 is 10.36, a time that puts him second in the state behind IMG’s wind-aided 10.23, and among the top runners nationally. Bell said that being a good runner starts off the track.
“As long as I have my life together off it and my circle is one of my most important things, I make sure I have a good circle around me and keep my head on straight,” Bell said.
What makes Bell one of the nation’s top sprinters, and the area’s best since Stanton’s Kendal Williams?
It’s his mentality.
“It is kill or be killed,” he said. “It is just that dog in me. I know how hard I work I can’t just come out here and do horrible or do bad. I know how much I put into it.”
Bell, who has signed with the University of Houston, will run for track icon Carl Lewis in college. Bell said that knew that Houston was the place for him when he stepped on the campus.
But the Braves aren’t a one-man show.
McCall is ranked among the top hurdlers in the state and swept the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Bob Hayes meet earlier this month.
In the meet at IMG, McCall ran a 55.03 in the 400-meter hurdles. That time ranked him among the top in the nation. He won by more than a second with the state-leading time.
McCall also ran a 14.03 in the 110-meter hurdles setting a new PR for himself and breaking a time he set in 2014. His margin of victory in that event was .64 and his time ranks fourth in the state.
“I was shocked at first because I was expecting to run a 14 but I didn’t think I was going to be able to PR,” McCall said. “It was a great feeling great to be back. It does make me want to go further it is just going to take a lot of work and determination.”
McCall plans to run next on Saturday at the Chandra Cheeseborough track and field event at Ribault High school.