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High school boasts three track athletes with full ride to college

Kimani Davis will take her talents to Morgan State University next season.

High school boasts three track athletes with full ride to college
May 11
05:30 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY 

THE CHRONICLE

For a high school team to have one athlete obtain a full scholarship per year is a good number. Parkland High not only had one, but three senior runners to gain full scholarships to institutions of higher learning.

On April 27,  Zjinaiya Francis, Kimani Davis and Trequan Barnes all signed their letter of intent to run track next season.  Francis and Davis will attend Morgan State University, while Barnes will attend Norfolk State University.

Antwan Hughes, Parkland head track coach, says he was very proud of his athletes for the opportunity they have been afforded.  His goal each year is to have multiple athletes get full scholarships.

“A lot of people around the county already know that Parkland is going to try their best to make sure kids get track and field scholarships,” he said.  “This is something we try and do each and every year.”

Francis, who runs the 200 and 400 meter dashes along with the corresponding relays, says she enjoys running track because it is a great stress reliever for her.  She said she finally decided upon Morgan State because it is close to her family up north.  She also said the coach really sold her on the school.

She wants to major in sociology and minor in criminal justice.  She said she doesn’t know exactly what her job field will be but said she definitely wants to help people in their lives and maybe become a behavioral analyst for the police.  She said she is nervous to leave her moth-er but knows this is the normal progression for her.  She thinks having Davis come to Morgan State as well will make the transition a little easier.

For Davis, early in her career at Parkland she didn’t think she would have the opportunity to get a full scholarship.  Davis is a hurdler for the Mustangs and says she enjoys seeing herself get better year after year.

When asked about her expectations when she gets to college, she said, “I just need to stay focused and not get caught up in the other stuff in college like parties.” I just have to make sure I stay on top of my work and take care of business on the track.”

She says she wants to major in business administration but has not decided on a career upon graduation.  She said she will miss her teammates and the attention that her coaches show her on a daily basis.

Barnes runs the 200 and 400 meter dashes for Parkland.  He said he was speechless when he was offered the full scholarship to run for Norfolk State.

“I was excited when I found out because this is something I have been waiting on my whole life,” Barnes said.

He said he was attracted to the school because of the culture at the school and the track tradition.  He has not made up his mind on a major but is interested in sports medicine.  He says he will miss his coaches and teammates.

Hughes says he expects big things from all three athletes once they get to college.  He says they are all born leaders but says they will have to adjust to the fact they will have less one-on-one attention once they get to college.  He doesn’t think they will have a tough time adjusting.

He said all three kids are captains on the team and are also high quality individuals in the classroom.  Hughes thinks that all three are going to great programs and have a chance to run beyond the college level.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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