EAST ORANGE, NJ – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the East Orange Campus High School Boys’ Track and Field Team for winning the 2017 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North II, Group 4 State Sectional Championship during a special presentation held at the Orange Town Hall in Orange, May 24.
Freeholder President Britnee N. Timberlake and Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold sponsored the Commendation honoring the team for completing a monumental season. Freeholder Timberlake presented the team with the Commendation, stating, “I am so proud of all of you for all of your hard work, and if you ever think that no one is paying attention, just remember this day.” She encouraged the group of young men to remember that they are valued and urged them to continue to make record-breaking strides on and off the track.
Head Coach Lance Wigfall accepted the Commendation on behalf of the team and thanked the Freeholder Board for acknowledging the team. He shared how important it is for the team to cherish moments like these and spoke about the growth the team experienced, the immense support received from the administrators and staff at East Orange Campus High School, and the leadership of the coaches. He thanked the team and the coaches for their work as he accepted the Commendation and offered a promise to return next year to celebrate another championship win.
Cory Poole, a senior at East Orange Campus High School and member of the team, also shared remarks, thanking the Freeholder Board for their support. Cory, who graduated last month, joined the team as a freshman like many other athletes and has grown since his start. He expressed how the team has become a family, creating a second home for each of the athletes to share in.
The Jaguars won the State Championship at the Bennet Center in Toms River after scoring 72 points to defeat Elizabeth on February 4, the team’s second State Sectional Championship win.
The Jaguars also won the 2016-2017 Super Essex Conference (SEC), American Division Championship on Dec. 29, 2016, at the Armory in Jersey City, the team’s second Conference Championship win, over Seton Hall Prep. The team outscored St. Benedict’s Prep. to win the 2016-2017 Essex County Championship on Jan. 29 at the Armory in Jersey City.
As the season ended, the team finished with a record-breaking performance at the New Balance Nationals in the Shuttle Hurdles Relay. Teammates Cory Poole, Akeem Lindo, Al-Traiq Dunson, and Ibrahim Fobay broke the National Record of 29.20, previously set by Union Catholic in 2013, to a new record of 28.62. This record became U.S. No. 1 all-time. The Jaguars also ran to victory at the New Balance Nationals in the 4-x-400-meter relay after Poole, Akeem Lindo, Kishaun Richardson, and Immyouri Etienne concluded with a finishing time of 3:16, ranking them U.S. No. 1.
Poole also won the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles for the second year in a row at the State Meet of Champions on June 10 at Northern Burlington County Regional HS in Columbus. Poole also joined Kishaun Richardson, Akeem Lindo, and Willesley Lindo, Akeem’s brother, in winning the 4-x-400-meter relay at the Meet of Champions.
At the New Balance Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C., June 17-18, the shuttle hurdles and 4-x-400-meter relay teams won titles. Poole, Al-Tariq Dunson, Akeem Lindo and Ibrahim Fobay were the runners on the shuttle hurdles relay. Immyouri Etienne, Poole, Richardson and Akeem Lindo were the runners on the 4-x-400-meter relay.
At the USATF Junior Championships in Sacramento, Calif., Poole finished second in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, but broke the state record with a time of 49.88. Poole, who will continue his track career at the University of Florida, was named to Team USA for the Pan Am Junior Championships in Peru, July 21-23.
Poole also set the state record in the 110-meter high hurdles at the SEC-American Division Championships in May in 13.46 as the Jaguars won the team title for the second year in a row.
The Jaguars also won the Essex County Championships team title for the third year in a row and the Essex County Relays for the second straight year.
The team has been successfully lead by Head Coach Lance Wigfall; Coaches George Arrington, Leander Knight, Jean Leblanc, Rolanda Bruce, and Johnathon Gentry. The Jaguars also received administrative support from Superintendent Dr. Kevin West, Principal Abdulsaleem R. Hasan, and Athletic Director Derrick Johnson. The Jaguars look forward to competing again next year and completing another record-breaking season.