Hernando County‘s Athlete of the Year
heads to Dodge City Community College
By TONY CASTRO
Springstead High’s silky smooth 6-foot-3, 165-pound sprinter, Jacorey Richard Hartman, made it look easy this past track and field season.
For his efforts. Hartman, 18, was voted Hernando County’s Boys Track Athlete of the Year.
It makes the balloting a lot easier when the fourth-year Hartman reached the FHSAA State Finals in three grueling events: 100 and 200 meters and long jump.
Besides posting the fastest time in 100 and 200 meters, and going the furthest in the long jump, Hartman was a member of two of the county’s top relays squads: 4×100 and 4×400.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-born Hartman will depart Tuesday for new digs at Dodge City Community College in Kansas.
Area coaches praised his selection as the county’s top trackster.
“Jacorey grew up this year,” emphasized Springstead skipper and ex-Olympian John Capel. “He even bought into going to class … Had over 3.2 grade point average his last semester … Watched him grow up as an athlete and a young man … His leadership abilities will come … He learned not to miss any practice …
“…His new approach trickled down to everything else he did,” added Capel, who repeated as Coach of the Year. “His times went down … He went from a 12.2 to 10.92 in the 100 … If nothing else, if was a great guy to have around in the weight room and at practice.”
“He made it to states in three events … To me, that’s proof right there of how good this kid could be,” explained Hernando High’s John Malandrucco. “I think he grew up this year … He was more mature …I think he realized this was his way out of here.”
“He’s been around for four years …He’s performed in one event after another,” noted Weeki Wachee‘s Shane Tarbox. “This year, it all came together … You don’t reach states in three different events unless you’ve got some talent.”
Jacorey was born the younger of two children to Albert Patrick and Julie Hartman.
His dad was jack of all trades and enjoyed basketball and track and field and mixed martial arts.
By comparison, his mother, played no sports.
The Hartman have called Spring Hill home for the past 13 years, or since relocating from Chicago.
Jacorey was a late bloomer.
His first organized sport was HYL Football at 11 years old in Brooksville.
He played defensive end for three seasons.
Next, he attended Parrott Middle School but didn’t play any sports until his eighth-grade season.
That year, he joined varsity basketball team and performed in the high jump, long jump and 4×100 relay for the Leopards.
As a freshman, he matriculated to Hernando High and played junior varsity football and jayvee basketball.
In the spring, he joined the track team.
The following season, he transferred to Nature Coast Technical.
He played jayvee basketball and performed on the track squad before relocating to Spring Hill.
As a junior and senior, he settled in under HHS Hall of Famer Capel at SHS.
He says was not a member of any clubs or organizations while he attended three high schools.
At Springstead, Hartman actually began attending class regularly.
In his last semester in Spring Hill, he registered a 3.2 GPA.
He graduated with a 2.3 grade point average.
Favorite sports is hoops
Hartman’s favorite sport is round ball.
“Honestly, basketball is my favorite team sport,” noted Hartman. “When I was at Nature Coast, Coach Pisarcik tried to turn me into a team player.
“It’s a game where I can be me. Where I can shoot and drive to bucket and move side-to-side. I think it’s the game that closest in getting the most of my potential.”
On why he enjoys track and field.
“Track challenges me,” responded Hartman. “I like running hard.”
Hartman says he walked into every meet this season with two goals: trying to go 10.9 in the 100 meters and travel 23 feet in the long jump.
“When I looked at myself, I thought I was having a “B” season. In the big meets, those two races per event wear you down, especially in that Florida heat.”
“I thought I did well in the 100 and 200 meters,” he noted. “We spent a lot of time getting our handoffs down in the relays. Jerome (Langley) and I had great chemistry together; which helped bring our time down.“
The South Sumter Invite and Class 3A, Region II Meet at George Jenkins stood out.
According to Hartman, in both meets he won three events both days.
“The regional meant so much more,” said Hartman. “There’s a lot of pressure going in. It’s either go hard, or go home.
“My goal all season was to reach states in three events and thanks to what at did in Lakeland, I reached my goal.
“Before that meet, I knew the first 40 meters of every race was going to be huge. I knew I had to get out strong and had to remain calm the rest of the way.”
Hartman had to make an adjustment from being one of the fellas to being a leader.
“I wasn‘t a real vocal guy in practice,” he said. “I remember I got beat one day in practice by Anthony Alexis. Nobody ever beat me in practice.
“That moment, I took to heart and no one else beat me again. The was example I tried to give to the younger guys.”
Hartman says Coach Capel served as a second father figure.
“Coach Capel knew about me and my sister way before I got to Springstead. To me, he acted like a second father figure. I always wanted to be like him.
“We came from different situations, but I was in aye of the legend of Coach Capel,” smiled Hartman.
“Coach Capel always stressed getting out of the blocks was huge for me. He was right. He’s really hard to get that precise jump.“
In reacting to being named Athlete of the Year, “I was surprised in all honesty. There are a lot of good athletes in the county. By the end of the year, people knew who I was.”
On why Hartman chose Dodge City CC?
“There are a lot of great athletes have come through there, including my sister,” noted Hartman. “I wanted to go there to face the constantly great competition. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to see the best day in and day out.”
“When I visited, it felt like home,“ shared Hartman, who mulled over an offer with Bucknell University and feelers from UF.
“I feel like I have to grow up a lot. My sister had nothing but good things to say about the school.” noted Hartman.
“Right now, I’m ready. I fell like God has given me a lot of adversity early so I could become something. There’s a lot of places I could’ve gone to, but I wanted to get challenged.
“I’m looking at this simply as an opportunity to put the work in,” shared Hartman. “I know what I’m capable of. I feel like I’m ready for the next step and I’m ready to explore the world.”