Modest heads to state meet

Uniondale High School’s junior Cleveland Modest qualified to compete in the annual New York State Track and Field Championships this weekend in upstate Albany.

Cleveland will try to score some points and keep Uniondale in the team standings. Modest ran a 23:2 in the 200-meter-dash for sixth place in the Section Eight qualifying meet and also ran an 11.44 for fourth place in the 100-meter-dash in the same meet. In addition, he ran the anchor leg in the 4 x 100-meter-relay to a fourth place standing.

Cleveland is capable of indulging in two or three sports, as well, He should still blossom out further for Uniondale next year starting with the indoor track season as he is headed to another activity come September.

Cleveland Jr. is the son of Cleveland Modest Sr. and is considering to play either soccer or football in his school come September., and then switch to running after the fall sports season is over. He played soccer in his native land of Jamaica, West Indies.

“I lived in Jamaica prior coming to Uniondale or until I was l0 years of age,” he added. “I can run the sprints and the 400 meters as well in high school.”

His favorite distance is the 200 meters. He is gradually getting back on the track and lowering his time during the track season. He is getting better as time goes on. He does not hold any records in high school at this point. As for soccer, he plays midfield and defense when the booter sport is in action.

For awhile, he gave up playing more than one sport at a time during the year, but decided to return in September to keep at ‘it’ during the off season from running. After conversations with his father and coaches, he will go back to being a two-sport athlete during the fall.

Modest also has a passion for track and loves the sport.

Uniondale track and field coach Dennis Kornfield, who is also a three-sport athlete, as an announcer for track meets and working during the season for the New York Football Jets, told his student athlete that he needs to play football.

Cleveland’s father also told him the same. So, he decided to make his choice the gridiron one come September and will train with his teammates during the off season and return to running after the grid season is over.

“I feel that I am ready for football again,” he said. “I used to play football when I was younger. I like corner back, my favorite football position. And I like the enthusiasm and strategies about football. My father tells me what I have to do in football. He tells me to get out there and do your best.

In the previous week to the state qualifier, he finished second in both the 100 and 200 meters.

Modest will keep on training during the off season and join a club running team at the same time until school re-opens for football. He wants to progress to the next level and not take time off.

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