Gray Bees Hit Speed Bump At 14th Ed Poreda Invitational




Senior Khalil Flemming (left) returns this season after missing the entire track preseason.

Othman Muhammad, Assistant sports Editor

After missing two weeks of racing due to harsh weather conditions, the Gray Bee track team competed at the 14th Ed Poreda Invitational in Lawrenceville, Jan.13. Overall, this was not one of the team’s best performances, but there were notable finishes.

The Sprint Medley Relay, consisting of senior Magnum Phelps, senior Jared Lampley, UDII Adrian Ceballo, and freshman Isaiah Sanchez, ran a time of 3:46 to place second.

Coming back from an injury from earlier on in the season, Magnum finally made his debut. Even though he’s not at his best, the coaches believed it was a good opening race. However, Magnum reflected on his performance saying, “I felt like I could have done a lot better.”

Although the Sprint Medley Relay started with three competitors, only one made it past the finish line. After the first 200 meters one team dropped the baton in the exchange and was disqualified. When Jared was 75 meters into his 400m, the remaining runner pulled a hamstring and pulled out of the race. Adrian had to finish the 800m run with no competition.

“After the runner pulled up I knew I was going to have to finish the race by myself; It was difficult to push myself without having competition,” Adrian said. “I gave it my all and pulled through till the end.”

The 4x800m made up of senior Scott Bamberg, senior Stephen Valvano, freshman Ronald Kigen, and UDII Byron Simmons placed 5th running a time of 8:17.

On his last lap Scott got clipped in the leg by another runner but still pushed through. This race was not one of the 4×800’s best performances. “We had an off race, but we won’t dwell on it,” he said. “We’ll move and be back at the next race.”

Distance coach David Alfano reflected on the team’s performance and said Poreda was a tuneup before Essex County Championship which is potentially a national qualifier. “We did not leave with the exact desired results,” he said. “We are confident going into this Sunday’s meet.”

Head track coach DaQuan Bashir believes this performance will not stop the team from achieving its goals. Next up for the Gray Bees is Essex County Championships at the Jersey City Armory, and they intend on leaving the meet with the county title. “Even though we are slated to win the meet, it is by very close margins,” Coach Bashir said. “If everyone steps up and does his part we are bringing this county title home to the hive.”