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Gray Bees Come Up Short At New Balance Track Easterns

Nathan Beauvis, Staff Writer

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The three athletes who represented the indoor track team at the New Balance Eastern State Championships on March 3rd in New York City did not perform as head coach Dave Alfano had hoped for.

“I am satisfied with the [team’s] progression,” he said. But, shrugging his shoulders, he added, “It came too late.”

UDII Khalil Fleming finished 24th (6.84 seconds) in the 55-meter dash in his first Easterns appearance.  This was Khalil’s first year competing and he admitted that it was “a bit of a new experience,”  but he is putting this year behind him. “I plan on running a 6.65 next year.” Khalil missed the semifinals by 0.02 of a second, Coach Alfano said. “Khalil has got to make a jump if he wants to be on the next level.”

UDII Magnum Phelps placed 9th in the long jump after jumping a season best, 20 feet, 9 inches. This was Magnum’s first year jumping indoors.

“Performing on a big stage now can help me [prepare] for college,” he said.

Neither Magnum nor Coach Alfano are satisfied. “Magnum could not sufficiently prepare due to the lack of long jump facilities,” the coach said.

But he has been impressed with Magnum.

“Magnum has excellent speed and is in incredible shape,” coach said.

Magnum attributes his success to his work ethic. “I always go hard and I’m never satisfied until I know I’ve worked my hardest.” Magnum said.

Senior Denzel Pettway also competed at the armory. He threw a 47 at the competition, but admitted that he’s “ used to throwing in the 50s.”

He was disappointed with his performance but mentioned that he is “ changing his technique from slide to spin,” explaining “ I’m a lot quicker with my rotation.” Denzel is not worried as his work ethic has been “ pure hard work and dedication from day one.”

Denzel Pettway and Edwin Rutto are focused on the current task at hand: Nationals.

Edit: At New Balance High School Indoor Nationals, Denzel Pettway threw a 4th place distance of 54 feet, 8 inches, the third best in SBP history. Edwin Rutto posted 15:52.46  in the 5,000 meter run, earning 18th place.

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Gray Bees Come Up Short At New Balance Track Easterns