The Gray Bees Capture the 4×800-meter relay Millrose Title


John Nepolitan

UDI Alfred Chawonza out kicking the runner from Hopewell Valley to secure the 4×800-meter relay’s victory at Millrose Games.

Othman Muhammad, Online Editor-In-Chief

After the Gray Bees victory at Millrose Games in New York, Feb. 11, the 4×800-meter relay team reclaimed its status as U.S. number one.

The team, composed of senior Adrian Ceballo, UDI Ronald Kigen, senior Byron Simmons, and UDI Alfred Chawonza, managed to inch past the anchor from Hopewell Valley to secure the victory.

Adrian ran the leadoff leg, and exchanged the baton to Ronald in seventh. Ronald ran 1 minute and 59 seconds to maintain the team’s position. As the third leg, Byron split a 1:56 to put the team in fourth place. When Alfred received the baton from Byron, he managed to close the gap created by the race’s leaders. With 50m left in his leg, Alfred outkicked the runner from Hopewell Valley and anchored the Gray Bees to a winning time of 7:52.71.

The Gray Bees secured the Millrose title by .05 seconds, and with the victory, the team finds itself first among the national leaders in the 4x800m relay.

In an interview with Milesplit, Alfred reflected on anchoring the team to its victory.

“When I received the baton we were trailing by 3-2 seconds, so the last two rounds I decided to make a move,” Alfred said. “The last 50 meters, it was a battle, and the end was a photo finish.”

Along with the Gray Bees’ gold performance in the 4x800m, the team composed of UDI Justin Eastman, UDI Demere Kearny, UDI Elijah Allen-Smith, and UDII Kaylan Depas, ran a time of 3:29 to place fourth in the Suburban Boys’ 4x400m relay.

Sprint and Jump coach Sharon Allen was proud with the 4x400m relay team’s performance because each UDI runner dropped a second off his indoor personal best.

“The young team of mostly sophomores ran a strong race,” coach Allen said. “If given the opportunity, they will be in contention for a plaque at Penn Relays in the 4×400.”