HOLLYWOOD — Julius Aquino concluded his Fort Gibson Middle School track career in the same place – first place – where he started.
Aquino stamped an exclamation point to his eighth-grade track season by winning the Verdigris Valley Junior High Conference’s boys ninth-grade 100-meter dash on April 25 in Catoosa, Oklahoma. He also anchored the relay squad to victories in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400.
In the 100 sprint, he overwhelmed a field of 25 runners, which included high school freshmen.
A year ago at the conference meet, Aquino, son of Alexandra Sanchez, sped his way to victory in the seventh grade 100-meter dash in 12.32 seconds. This year Aquino shifted into a higher gear as he generated an even more impressive sprint with a sizzling time of 11.37 seconds. Thirteen of the boys in the race finished in the 12-second frame, but Aquino was the only one to cross the finish line under 12 seconds.
Aquino, who is headed into his freshman year at Fort Gibson High School, never lost a 100-meter dash as a 7th or 8th grader.
“He’s been timed at 11.3, which for an eighth-grader is extremely fast,” said Fort Gibson track coach Greg Whiteley, who is now Aquino’s football coach FGHS.
Aquino is expected to join a deep offensive backfield on the high school football team, which includes his uncle and fellow Seminole Sammy Micco Sanchez.
“We’ll gradually bring Julius along,” Whiteley said. “He’ll definitely get some playing time on Friday nights.”
Aquino has prepped for his first high school season by attending college camps, including one at Oklahoma State.
“As a running back, we learned which cuts to make and what directions, left and right,” said Aquino, who also attended Florida State’s camp.
In addition to attending camps, the 5-foot-9, 150-pound Aquino has been working out with the high school team in early morning sessions. The season kicks off in early September.
Whether it’s carrying a football or sprinting across a finish line, Aquino enjoys competition.
“I like running,” he said.