Spotsylvania senior Limiah Coleman’s stated goal with the Knights’ track and field team this spring is to become stronger mentally and physically and to be more of a “team player.”
Coleman has dominated the high jump the past two indoor seasons, winning Class 3 state championships 2018 and again last month.
His ability to control one single event led him to focus heavily on that last spring and during the most recent indoor season.
But with his final high school campaign looming, Coleman is set to return to his roots and showcase his versatility. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder is training vigorously in the long jump, the 100 meters and the 400 relay.
He qualified for the state meet in the 100 and 200 as a sophomore, but put them on the back burner the past two seasons to focus heavily on his signature event, while also putting less emphasis on the long jump.
“After he did so well in the indoor season with the high jump [in 2018] he kind of let that guide him,” Spotsylvania head coach Charles Sayers said. “But now we’re trying to get it all back.”
Coleman cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to capture his second straight indoor high jump state title in February. His 6-6 clearance earned him the state title as a junior.
Coleman believed he was poised to win the outdoor title last spring, but came up just short, finishing second (6-4) behind former Broadway standout Walter Hinkle (6-6).
Coleman is planning a more balanced approach this season. He was 10th in the state in the long jump in 2018 (19-10 ½), but his personal best is 21-5, which would’ve been good for fourth in the state last spring.
“We’re working on his long jump and getting his running back,” Sayers said. “He’s also got some good friends that he’s gotten on board, so they’re looking forward to doing a [400 relay].”
Coleman’s running and leaping ability isn’t limited to the track. He was a three-year varsity basketball player for the Knights. He led the team this past season with 12 points and eight rebounds per game.
He also had several rim-rattling dunks. He was named second-team all-Battlefield District and he’s been invited to participate in the Central Virginia all-star game March 23 at Orange High.
“A lot of people are salivating to be able to run and jump like that kid,” Spotsylvania first-year basketball coach Corey Edmonds said.
But Edmonds said Coleman is humble and doesn’t fully realize he’s a gifted athlete. Edmonds said Coleman has natural ability that shines through effortlessly. He’s had conversations with Coleman questioning if he was afraid to show off his vast array of talents.
There were times Edmonds had to ask Coleman to turn up the intensity and the player simply put his head down, said “OK,” and continued to smile.
Edmonds said those traits matched up with what he heard about Coleman initially. When Edmonds accepted the job, he was told Coleman was an explosive athlete and “a real personable kid.”
“It proved to be true,” Edmonds said. “He’s a real nice kid, respectful and willing to do anything you ask and put his best foot forward.”
Coleman’s plan is to enter the military after graduation, but he said he could be persuaded by a potential track scholarship offer.
He’ll have help on the track team this season from basketball teammate Isaiah Ramadane, who placed fifth in the state in the shot put in the winter. Ramadane will add the discus this spring.
“Those two are just dynamite,” Sayers said of Coleman and Ramadane. “We also have Tyler Moss, our distance runner who has been very good, and Grant Mananien, our middle distance runner. So we’re going to be pretty balanced. I’m looking forward to it.”