Shaquille Hodge running the 200 meters
Photo Credit: Verity Rollins
The Outdoor Track and Field team was unable to continue their indoor season success due to the cold weather and lack of dedication. “I have a core of five guys and three women who are at every track meet and every practice,” said Head Coach Mark Benjamin who is in his second season at York. Some of the athletes are unable to participate for the York Cardinals this season due to family issues and trying to focus on academics. “I understand these student-athletes have other responsibilities besides track, but unfortunately it is hurting our program,” said Coach Benjamin.
Coming off third and fifth place finishes in the Indoor Track and Field season, Coach Benjamin hoped to build off that. “Our effort is not at 100 percent and we need to change that before the championships,” said Coach Benjamin.
The York Cardinals has had a subpar season but remain optimistic heading to the CUNYAC Championships on May 3rd. “We definitely have what it takes to do well but we to tighten our form and fix the minor mistakes,” said Senior Christopher Peguero who is also team captain. “I like helping the younger runners by helping them fix their stride and always open to answering questions from them,” said Peguero. “He’s not the most vocal leader but when he talks, people listen,” said Coach Benjamin.
“I feel the best runner this season is Christopher because he has the best time in the 400 meter and helps us a lot as a leader,” said Sophomore Jesus Medina.
Junior Kemillia John has been the leader for the women all season. Coming off her all-star season in Indoor Track and Field, John feels the weather has made a big impact on the team’s performance this season. “The meets have been cold but I think we will run a lot better when it is warm at the CUNY Championships,” said John. John ran a seasons best 27.03 in the 200 meter dash and earned two top five finishes this season against fields of 28 competitors.
The bright spots to the outdoor season have been freshmen Shaquille Hodge and Michael Tomlin. Shaquille Hodge received all-star honors with his second place finish in the 4×400 meter relay at the CUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Hodge also feels the weather has been a big reason for the lack of success this season. “The wind has been a huge factor because you are already tired towards the end of the 400 meter and the wind slows you down even more,” said Hodge.
Michael Tomlin, coming off a torn ACL in his senior year at high school has competed well all season in the triple jump and the long jump. Tomlin highest finish this season came at the Queens College Invitational when he came in second at the triple jump. “I feel we can do better but we are getting stronger and stronger,” said Tomlin.