While Ryan Clifford of MacArthur High School in Long Island captured the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Akeem Aaron, a junior at Thomas Jefferson of Brooklyn, finished second in the same event, to start the day’s action off in the Knight-Time Invitational Track and Field meet conducted by Uniondale High School also of Long Island.
Jefferson dominated some of the running events as junior Hakeem Alexander captured the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 58.27 thus giving Jefferson 18 of its total of 28 points to wind up in 16th place out of 30 schools from the met area in the 12th annual meet.
A native of Guyana, Aaron, played cricket and soccer in the Caribbean and started running but not seriously. When he came to Brooklyn, he started his running career at Jefferson High School, especially in his freshman and junior years.
He is used to running on his home track at Jefferson High School, where he and his teammates practice. For his meets they travel to various venues including one recently in Long Island. It was on the latter track, Uniondale High School, where the boys competed and, in fact, did very well.
In the steeplechase, he uses a different strategy from the one that he does in other events.
His goaI is to be the best that he could be in any of his events that he is entered into by his coach.
In the middle distance, his teammate Gary Springer, picked up ten points for capturing the varsity 800-meter run in a time of 2:02.06 far off the meet record of 1:58.14. He could have run faster, but he came to the meet late.
“Ths is my first 800 meter run this season,” he said.
Gary’s father, Gary, Sr. hails from Guyana, like his teammate. The Springers keep in touch with each other. In fact the elder Springer gives his son words of encouragement and gives him pointers in running via telephone, before the races.
Gary Jr. is not trying to follow in anybody’s footsteps for the student athlete is trying to bring Guyana back to the top and help his native land to a new era in track and field.
Springer has to make a decision about college. He has three choices-North Carolina A&T, Indiana Tech and Troy of Alabama.. He wants to prove to the college coaches/recruiters that he deserves a track scholarship
His style of running is just about starting-that is, to go out fast. “In the other years I stayed in the back, but now I learned to go out fast,” he said.