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    Q&A: Tammy King and the WMAC

    PTS Falconer Staff

    After a number of years off from competition, Palmer Trinity’s own Tammy King was invited to compete at the 2015 Masters World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France this past summer. As head coach of the Palmer Trinity Girls Cross-Country and Track and Field teams, King was greatly supported by her athletes as well as our wonderful faculty.

    Coach Tammy has been renowned in the past for her success in the 800 meter and 400 meter dash on the track in her high school, collegiate, and even professional career. She has run quite fast in the past, running PR’s (Personal Records) of 53.74 in the 400m dash and 2:05.77 in the 800m run. Her background in the sport of track and field has brought her many places; she’s been to a Junior Olympic Trial in 1994 and come back as a professional in 2004. King has made huge impacts on the running community in south Florida as coaches, active members of USATF, and as active members of the FSHAA.

    The “Road to Lyon” lasted for the final 15 days of summer vacation. Among Coach Tammy were some athletes of the Palmer Trinity Track and Field team, Autumn-Jade Stoner ‘19, Reilly May ‘19, and Duncan Stoner ‘18. Also accompanying them were Coach Tammy’s son, Austin King-Foster and Coach Tammy’s mother, Jorene. Coach Odermatt, the boy’s program head, also attended and ran in the 1500m. Each day in France had something new to offer. The group experienced many of Lyon’s tourist areas including its shopping district, food district, and stadiums.

    PTS Falconer Staff member Duncan Stoner ’18 spent some time talking to Coach King about her challenges and success at the 2015 Masters World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France.

    What was your favorite part of travelling to Lyon to compete in the WMAC?

    “My favorite part of competing in Lyon was wearing my USA t-shirt and walking in the opening ceremony, it was one of the happiest moments of my life.” 

    What was your favorite place that you visited in France and why?

    “My favorite experience in France was competing and visiting three different Track and Field Stadiums; additionally eating the ethic French foods and walking most places, a different way of life which was enjoyable.”

    How did it feel to represent your country among others in a world-class competition?

    “It was a dream come true to not only represent the USA but to be among the few women my age and older in amazing physical shape, and running faster than even many high school aged. So even at an open professional level, it was truly an honor and a gift to be considered.”

    How did the international crowd affect you during your race?

    “The cheering and support gave me the energy to get out very strong in the 400m. In the 800m race the crowd was less but the support was a great help before and after the races. All the personal support that we had was simply rewarding in its own nature. Most importantly, the other athletes from the USA and other countries were extremely encouraging and showed extraordinary sportsmanship towards each other.”

    How do you feel about the turnout of your race(s)?

    “I do believe that in both races, I could have done a little better if I did not have that small injury set back just a month prior to. It was still a good performance and I am looking forward to my competition in December for the indoor season.” 

    Have you ever experienced any other event that mirrored your experience in France?

    “There was never an event that mirrored my experience in France, but I did make it to the USA trials in 1994 as a junior athlete and then again in 2004 as a professional long sprinter. These experiences required a very high level of concentration much like France; however, it was nationals not international.”

    Do you have anything to say to other aspiring athletes?

    “Your goals give you purpose, your thoughts and actions are the expression of your true self; and I believe one should never give up on their goals, even if you have to alter them because it was not as you first imagined it.”


    2015 Men and Womens Track Preview


    When it comes to the sport of Track and Field, numbers are everything.

    Head Coach Tammy King believes that this statement has dual meanings. Everyone is aware that the faster you run, the shorter your time and thus the more competitive you are. But for a small high school like Palmer Trinity, the actual number of athletes on the team can be a critical factor in the team’s success.

    Meets are scored by the total number of points accumulated through all the events. A first place in an event usually warrants 8 points, whereas an eighth place (the maximum numbers of runners in an event) gives the team one point. This single point can be critical if a team has enough athletes to put into every single event.

    For the first time in years, Palmer Trinity’s Track Team will be able to capitalize on many possible points from events that it did not previously have the resources to enter into. With 93 students on the total track roster, many students carry enormous potential entering into their first ever season as a track athlete, but there are a few who have and will continue to turn the heads of coaches and athletes throughout Florida.

    Coach King, who has raced professionally, says that 12th grader Janelle Gonzalez is looking to have a very successful year and even has the potential to win the state championship for her event, the 800 Meter. With an opening race time of 2 minutes 27 seconds, King says that Janelle could break the 2:15 mark by the end of the year, a very fast time for a high school girl. Others runners like Ivan Robledo (’15), Henry Fernandez (’17), Duncan Stoner (’18), and Gaby Cepeda (‘17) are poised to have very successful seasons.

    Thrower Sophia Iglesias is looking to beat her personal (and school) bests in the discus and shot put.  11th graders Marcus Kyle and Guillermo Bonet , each of whom have performed impressively at the team’s first meet, believe that the team will be “looking good” for the upcoming season. Kyle himself hopes to make it past the regional meet and continue on to the state championship for discus. Although Bonet has only just begun track, he is already a standout football player and athlete, and hopes to use his speed to win a few races of his own. The team will compete in its next meet on March 14th, in the Dade Christian Crusader Invitational. Expect to see breakout performances, broken records, and more from this year’s new and improved Track and Field Team.


    A Bright Future for PTS Softball


    Remarkably, a positive energy radiates from the Palmer Trinity Softball Team despite the team’s recent difficulties. Three head coaches in three years is a lot of change to be sure, but the Falcons are taking it in stride and getting to work making this season count.

    The disappointing records, which have haunted Palmer Softball in recent years, don’t seem to rattle new Head Coach Jennifer Cerda who brings years of experience coaching softball to the Palmer Trinity School team. Without the opportunity to play pre-season the team has struggled in its first games, but Coach Cerda expresses firm confidence that she will get this team “back on track” and she “expects to see progress” in upcoming games. 

    As for team dynamic, Coach Cerda says she and her team get along great. “We love Coach Cerda,” said Senior Kelly Malloy, Co- Captain of the Softball team. “She is very involved with the team.” Among the girls, Malloy says the social environment is “super chill” and the team really “loves each other” and works well together.

    Malloy, who has been playing Palmer Trinity Varsity Softball for the past six years, is prepared for an emotional last season with the girls but is glad that the team is in good hands. This year, due to a lack of players in the Middle and Upper School Softball programs, Varsity Softball and Middle School Softball have been combined. “The younger players are sure to set up the future of the team,” said Malloy. The transition may prove beneficial according to Coach Cerda. “The older and younger members of the team will keep each other balanced.” 


    AD Accepts Offer at Turlock Christian 

    By Philip McMichael '16   

    Jake von Scherrer, Athletic Director at Palmer Trinity since 2008 has accepted a position as the Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach at Turlock Christian School in California. He will begin work July 1.  

    "I love being AD here but getting back on the sidelines as a head football coach (career record of 91-54) was something I've been thinking about for a while," said von Scherrer. "Turlock Christian is a great school and everyone there is very excited about the coming year. I can't wait to get started."

    Looking back on his six years at Palmer Trinity, von Scherrer said he was “most proud of the number of kids who had a great athletic experience under the watch of a great group of coaches." 

    He also said, "We were able to add a number of programs at both the middle school and varsity level, which allowed more kids to experience the benefits of a great athletic program. Along the way we also had some outstanding championship success with 20 District Titles, 5 Regional Championships, and 2 State Runner-Ups."

    Under von Scherrer's leadership, Palmer Trinity also became recognized for its competitive spirit, earning the 2013 FHSAA State Championship for Sportsmanship, along with a reputation at the national level as an athletic program that does things the right way.  

    During his tenure here, von Scherrer was very active at the state and national levels, serving on the FHSAA's Athletic Directory Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors for the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and the National Certification Committee for the National Athletic Director Association. He was also recognized by the NIAAA, receiving the 2013 Award of Merit for "meritorious achievement in athletic administration," and was selected as the President Elect for 2015 by the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

    "Palmer Trinity is a great school with a bright future" he said.  "Whoever comes on as the new AD will be in a great position to help take the School to even greater success. I wish them nothing but the best."


    Defeat sparks motivation for V. Boys' Lax

    By Vitor Pagano '16

    The lacrosse team lost their senior game against Belen Jesuit yesterday, 17-5, and some players want more intensity from themselves and each other.

    Attacker Nick Paz ‘14 said: “I think it was a wake-up call that we should work harder”.

    Middie Pablo Pedroso ’16 said, “We need to have more commitment and more dedication as a team, we have to pick up ground balls, get shots on target, and we need to see every single person at practice everyday.”

    With a disappointing loss, the team will have to rally to be competitive against Gulliver today at 5 p.m.

    “Guliver is known for their aggressiveness and speed, and to win we will need to match that. We must keep intensity up during the game and we cannot loose moral,” said Pedroso.