Track Meet Rain and Shine

Warren Weir Signing Autograph
Photo by Lem Peterkin

All eyes were centered around some of the top male and female track and field athletes in the world , including past and present Olympians, plus a number of high school elite athletes who are trying to move up to the next level during the recent Adidas Grand Prix Meet.

Last Saturday marked the ninth annual such meet combining professional and elite school boy athletes on the same grounds. competing in their own categories.

The weather for the most part was just miserable as it was slightly raining on and off but it didn’t interfere with competition on the all weather track. Most of the track and field performances were exciting. In addition, the kids got a thrill of their life competing in the same venue like past and professional athletes.

The fastest boy in the 100 meter dash turned out to be Xavier Donaldson, who in a close battle with Wesley Noble nosed him out in a time of 15:42 to 15:62. Thus Donaldson, won the event. Meanwhile Adaria Reaves’ 15:32 earned her first place for the girls in their category.

In the high school boys 100 meter dash, Cameron Burrell, son of Leroy Burrell, emerged victorious in a time of 10:40. One might recall one day years ago when Leroy set a world record in the 100 dash on the same Downing Stadium, Randalls Island, track.

Last week’s meet was contested on the same and renamed Icahn Stadium.

As for the distance events, there seems to be a future college all-American miler on the rise and he is from the New York-New Jersey area.

Ed Cheserek of Newark and a senior at St. Benedict’s High School is among the top milers in the country, and is ranked among the top five. He holds the national indoor high school two mile record of 8:39.15 and indoor schoolboy 5000 meter mark in a time of 13:57.04.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, representing Jamaica, wins the Women's 200m during the IAAF Diamond League Grand Prix competition on Randall's Island, Saturday, May 25, 2013, in New York.
Photo by John Minchillo

In a field of 15 top athletes, Cheserek finished third in 4:05.36, behind Ben Saarel (4:02.72) and Henry Wynee (4:05.04), and one place ahead of last year’s winner Bernie Montoya (4:05.65).

Cheserek graduates after an outstanding high school career and expects to take his talent to the University of Oregon.

Originally from Kenya, Cheserek also holds numerous other records, made progress during his high school career, steadily improved, and came a long way in his three years. Accustomed to the Icahn Stadium track, Cheserek ran for three years at this venue. He certainly enjoyed competing on this Randalls Island track.

He thanks his teammates, coaches and the community for his success in attending this New Jersey based school and make a name for himself in the nation.

Turning to another event, the 400 meter hurdles, Michael Tinsley, ran a 48.43 got first place, and for the females Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica just edged Anneksha Mclaughlin also of Jamaica, 22.53 to 22.63 and Warren Weir, also of the same Jamaica, took the men’s 200 meters in 20:11, and Tyson Gay easily captured the 100 meter dash in 10:02. Jamaica’s Nickel Ashemeade wound up sixth in the same event in 10:31. It marked a disappointing race for him.

“I always wanted to be a champion (and I couldn’t do it today and couldn’t be part of history today),” Ashemeade said.,

Jamaica’ s Mario Forsythe led a l-2-3-4 sweep for his native land in the 400 meter run in a time of 46. 65.

The athletes agreed that since the track was resurfaced , it was a great feeling to run well on it. For the athletes not from the New York-New Jersey area, it felt awedome for them to just compete in compete at Icahn Stadium. For the athletes from this area it was nothing new for them to perform at Icahn Stadium.

Despite the weather, the meet turned out to be a success. However, the inclement weather prevented the athletes from turning fast performances and long distances. They tried their best under the inclement circumstances.

Women's 3000m Steeplechase
Photo by Lem Peterkin

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