IRVINGTON – Eleven members of Irvington-based Jersey Heat Track Club closed out its 2015-16 indoor season by competing in the 2016 USATF Hershey Youth Indoor National Championships contested at the Ocean Breeze Sports Complex in Staten Island, N.Y., March 11-13.
Out of the 22 individual events and three relays that the team contested, 13 personal-best performances were achieved, along with six of the 11 athletes coming home with National medals.
For the first time in the team’s history, it has a National medal winning relay! The combined efforts of Essex County Vocational Schools – Newark Tech Campus junior Chuckie Moses, II; and Irvington High School sophomores Nehemie Estil Duprevil, Marvin Val and Terrell Williams – resulted in a fifth-place finish in the 4×800-meter (2-mile) relay. The same athletes, along with Irvington High School senior Craig Bradley, had also won the USATF New Jersey Association Cross-Country state title last November. Clearly, these young men are a much focused path for success!
The team’s individual event achievements include two personal-best performances by Florence Avenue Elementary School (Irvington) fourth-grader Jamir Brown, who dropped his times in both the 9-10-year-old boys 800-meters (half-mile) and 1,500-meters (just under a mile) runs, finishing second and fifth in the nation, respectively; a sixth-place finish by Oaks Charter School (Newark) eighth-grader Ja’Nay Brown, Jamir’s older sister, in the 13-14-year-old girls long jump; three personal-best performances by Irvington High School freshman Sebastin Val in the 15-16 boys shot put, 800-meters and 1,500-meter runs; two personal-best performances each for Great Oaks Charter School (Newark) eighth-graders Jaziah Hayes and Anaiya Puryear – both in the 400-meters (quarter of a mile) dash and 800-meter run; one personal-best performance each by Bradley (17-18, men 200-meter dash), Marvin Val (17-18 men shot put) and Williams (15-16 boys 55-meters hurdles) as well as Great Oaks Charter School eighth-grader La’Miyya Sterling (13-14 girls shot put).
Completion of the USATF Hershey Youth Indoor National Competition marks the team’s end to the 2015-16 indoor competition season. Both the athletes and coach Michele Loring-Jones look forward to beginning their 2016 outdoor competition season. This outdoor season will mark another first for the organization as it has been granted permission to utilize the Irvington Board of Education’s Blue Knights Sports Complex located on the grounds of Irvington High School. During the early years of the organization, it had permission to use the playground area of Florence Avenue School for a few of the outdoor training seasons, but generally, the team has had to practice in the streets of Irvington and travel to surrounding communities to utilize a track facility. Coach Michele Jones-Loring says that the athletes are extremely excited to be given the opportunity to train in a facility in their hometown, which they have proudly been representing over the years. The JHTC wishes to thank Dr. Neely Hackett and the Irvington Board of Education for her continued support of its Irvington-based program.
The first outdoor competition for the team will be held Sunday, April 3, at the Quiet Storm Youth Developmental meet at Malcolm X Shabazz Field in Newark.
Anyone needing more information about the non-profit Jersey Heat Track Club program can contact Coach Michele Jones-Loring at 973-757-2537 or visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jerseyheattc. Anyone who would like to make a donation to the club can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/jhtc-outdoor16fund.