Even though this was the hardest year of coaching for Rogers’s Junie Joseph, he still was all smiles when he saw his girls’ track team holding the first-place trophy at the Middle School Track City Championships at White Stadium Tuesday.
“Most of my girls here have been with me for three years,” Joseph said. “I’m so proud of them. I really love them.”
Even though the coach was forced to go without an assistant, Rogers was still able to win its conference. Much of the credit has to go to runners like Jamesa Jenkins (or “other J.J.,” as her coach calls her).
Jenkins won the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.10 seconds.
However, Rogers was edged out in the 4x100 relay by Mildred, which took second place in the meet with a score of 52 compared with Rogers’s 74.
Mildred was trailing for a majority of the race until Britana Lewis passed her competition just before the finish line and sent the crowd into frenzy.
Asked if she could hear the cheers, Lewis said, “No. I was focused on the finish line."
In the boys' competition, Orchard Gardens won first place with 66 points while Hernendez settled for second with 60.
Javelin champion Abubal Sulieman and shot put champion Jason Correia led the champions.
“They just developed some great dedication over the season,” coach Jose Colon said. “Being very responsible with their academics, coming to practice every day, wanting to get better, working hard. They’re very unselfish and they work as a team.”
Even though it came in second, Hernendez still has a lot to be proud of. The squad won the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:45.90, Jovan Talavera won the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:10.80, and John Lara won the long jump with a distance of 17-5.5.
Lara also won the 400 meters -- again -- with a time of 55.7 seconds. In all the meets the future Catholic Memorial runner has competed in this year, he has yet to lose in the 400.
“It’s been a pretty good year for me,” Lara said. “[The race] is pretty difficult but it’s the training that helps me.”
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