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Roosevelt’s Dashawn Jackson, Corey Bull qualify for state championship meet

Dashawn Jackson of Roosevelt wins the 55 meter

Dashawn Jackson of Roosevelt wins the 55 meter high hurdles in 7.62 at the Nassau Track State Qualifiers on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

So, just how badly did Roosevelt’s Dashawn Jackson and Corey Bull want to run at the state championships? Look no further than Monday afternoon’s practice. Jackson and Bull stood in the cold, shoveling snow off the Roosevelt High School track, just so they could practice their starts.

When it comes to sprinting, every last detail matters and last week’s snow storm wasn’t going to stop the two from achieving their ultimate goal. The heavy lifting paid off. Jackson won the 55 hurdles in 7.62 seconds and Bull won the 55 meter dash in 6.49 seconds at the Nassau state qualifier Wednesday night at St. Anthony’s High School.

When it comes to 55 meters, Roosevelt dominates the distance. The victories qualified Jackson and Bull for the state championships, scheduled for March 4 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.

“It feels great,” Jackson said. “I felt like last year, I could have gone to states, so I’m just trying to get to where I’m supposed to be — at states, holding a banner.”

Jackson, who plays safety on the Roosevelt football team, could barely contain his jubilation after winning the hurdles by 0.11 seconds.

“Ever since football season ended, I’ve been practicing and waiting for this moment, so I could finally get to states,” Jackson said.

While Jackson wasn’t particularly happy with his performance in the prelims, running a 7.69, his winning performance in the finals felt much better.

“I got out of my blocks and kept my trail leg up,” Jackson said. “As soon as I got over the hurdle, I snapped my lead leg down. I picked up speed as I got over each hurdle.”

The victory was extra special for Bull, who missed both indoor and outdoor track last season after tearing the ACL in the left knee during the football season.

“It feels great to finally dominate again,” Bull said.

Bull took control of his race in the final 20 meters, outpacing Uniondale’s Christopher Borzor, who finished second in 6.56 seconds. Borzor also qualified for the state championships. Bull said that his dip in the final moments of the race put him over the top.

“He’s a great runner,” Bull said of Borzor. “I had to pull out my best for him.”

After being off the track for over a year, Bull said he’s only recently feeling like his old self again.

“It took a while to get my motion back,” Bull said. “It’s been a [little bit] since I ran like that. It took me a while to find myself, but now I’m back.”

At this time of year, it hardly matters what happened before the state championships, just as long as you get there. “I want to win this year,” Bull said. “My [sophomore] year, I came up short. I was [disqualified] in the semifinals. But this year, I want to come back and win.”

Elsewhere, Port Washington’s Aaron Siff-Scherr won the 1,000 in 2 minutes, 40.89 seconds, Hempstead’s Tyrese Halls won the 300 in 35.54 seconds, and New Hyde Park’s Danny Diaz won the shot put, tossing 48 feet, 7 1⁄4 inches.

On the girls side, Wheatley’s Brianna O’Brien dominated the 3,000 in 10:18.80, winning by 28.32 seconds — an eternity in any track and field event.

O’Brien built a 30-meter lead almost instantly and never relented.

“In the beginning of the season, I had trouble getting off the mark faster, just because I was so used to cross country, when I had more time.” O’Brien said. “But on the track you have to start out faster. These past three races, I’ve had more adrenaline”

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