The grind of a long and successful football season had taken its toll on Freeport’s Jordan Jackson. Jackson, who played a pivotal role on the Red Devils’ Long Island Championship team, came close to taking the winter off to heal his body and get his mind ready for lacrosse in the spring.
But, he chose to go to the Millrose Games instead. Not a bad decision by any stretch.
“I spoke to [coach Charles Gilreath] about it and he said that it would make no sense to just sit around, doing nothing,” Jackson said. “I’ll be playing football at Stony Brook, so I wanted to stay in shape and keep my speed up.”
But, there was another big reason that Jackson wanted to run track for Freeport one last time.
“It was mostly my teammates,” Jackson said. “These guys would tell me ‘we need you.’ I felt like it would be wrong if I didn’t finish what we started back in ninth grade.”
And, they are certainly on that path. Jackson, along with Jahmel Manor-Mendez, Trevon Campbell and Kevon Smith won the Long Island 4x400 meter relay in three minutes, 22.11 seconds at the Millrose Games Trials Wednesday at the Armory in Manhattan. The victory qualified the quartet for the Millrose Games, scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Armory.
Brentwood’s 4x400 team – composed of Frank Grey, Dylan Louis-Elias, Julio Rodriguez, and Saad Quadri – ran a 3:22.80 in a separate heat, the fastest time in Suffolk. They also qualified for Millrose.
Elsewhere, Northport won the invitational 4x800 relay: Julian Corbeaux, Thomas Fodor, Aidar Matthews and Sean Ryan ran 8:04.67.
Ryan received the baton in third place and ran a 1:57.13 anchor leg to seal the win.
“I’m in really great shape right now after running 4:17 last weekend [in the mile at the Hispanic Games],” Ryan said. “I was probably in the best shape of anyone in the race . . . It really came down to pacing myself correctly and catching them on the third lap. Once I did, I didn’t slow up. I kept using my momentum to finish the race.”
On the girls side, West Babylon’s 4x400 team, composed of Jenna D’Onofrio, Jessie Boos, Jalen DeFilippis, and Hannah Heller, won the Long Island race in 4:00.49. Freeport’s team – composed of Eneryo and Efe Omokeni, Nyah Porter, and Alexandria Yarbrough – ran 4:01.06, the fastest time in Nassau.
In the field, Hewlett’s Kayley Ragazzini placed second in the weight throw, tossing 48 feet, one inch to qualify. Rhode Island Classical’s Cheyenne Figueroa won, throwing 58 feet, four inches.