Roosevelt High School senior Erin Parker sprints to victory in...

Roosevelt High School senior Erin Parker sprints to victory in the boys 200 meter dash. (March 31, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Of all the accolades Erin Parker has won during his high school career, this one was the most special -- not just because it was a big day for the Roosevelt senior, but because of its personal significance.

Parker was a double winner Saturday in the Paul Limmer Invitational at Mepham, taking both the 100 and 200 meters and earning the boys most outstanding track performer award.

Parker said he was dedicating the afternoon to his cousin, James McClenic, who died in December, 2010. McClenic won the meet's most outstanding track performer award as a junior in 2009 after winning the 100 and 200 and leading the Roosevelt 4 x 100 relay team to a victory.

"It's not the last track meet I saw him run," said Parker, who was a last-second addition to that 4 x 100 after a teammate was removed with an injury. "But it was the biggest meet that I actually ran with him."

Parker, a two-sport star in football and track, said that he came into the meet with the award weighing heavily in his thoughts.

"Just thinking about this earlier today, all I could get through my mind was that I had to run for him and win this honor for him," he said.

Parker did not disappoint, starting things off with a narrow victory in the 100. He took the lead with about 15 meters to go and won in 11.0 seconds, just two-tenths of a second ahead of Jeyson Lee Jones (Valley Stream South).

"[Jones] had a really good start," he said. "I had to rush into my drive phase a little earlier than I wanted to."

Not long afterward, Parker pulled off another come-from-behind win, this time in the 200. The senior blew past the leaders with about 50 meters left to win in 23.8 seconds.

"We've been working on my finish of the race," he said. "I tried to save some energy to at least be able to pull ahead."

Parker took time to reflect on McClenic after the 200.

"I really looked up to him," he said. "It means a lot to bring home the same honor that he did."

Calhoun (106 points) won the boys team championship, thanks to a 1-2 finish in the 3,200 by Jack Curran and Zach Toner. Mepham took the girls team title with 81 points.

Olicia Williams (St. Anthony's) won the 400 in 58.0 seconds to earn the girls most outstanding track performer award. Noah White (Jericho) won the boys most outstanding field performer award after winning the discus (152 feet, 9 inches), and Mepham's Nadine Simpson won the triple jump in 30-2 3/4 to take the girls most outstanding field performer award.

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