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Track is Back in Amityville

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Amityville Memorial High School student-athletes are excited to be back in action, with the winter track and field team the first to return since the shutdown of high school sports last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are 27 members of the boys team, coached by Reynolds Hawkins, and 19 on the girls team, under the direction of Stephanie Barnes. The winter track season will be held outdoors this year with the full complement of events, including sprints, middle- and long-distance races, hurdles, jumps, relay races and shotput. Several safety regulations have been put into place including the use of every other track lane in short races and requiring all athletes to wear masks when not participating in an event. There also will not be any championship meets following the regular season. 

“They’re excited to be here,” coach Barnes said. “They’re happy that they have a season, that they can be with their friends and compete.”

Senior Damani McLennon, participating in his third winter track season, said he is looking to lower his times this year in the 55-, 100- and 200-meter races. Kevin Contreras, also a senior, said he is glad to be back with his “second family.” He added that if everyone follows the safety rules, the season can be successful and will hopefully pave the way for other sports to return. 

Imani Jackson, in her fourth season on the track team, will participate in the 100- and 200-meter races, as well as the long jump. She said she kept in shape by doing core exercises and running at the high school track.

“I’m happy to be competing again,” she said. “It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to.”

Her teammate, Serenity Smith, said her goal for this season is to become better in hurdle races, specifically to cut down from four step to three steps in between hurdles, which will improve her times. Senior Jarrell Fisher, who typically runs in all three sports seasons, said he missed the competition and is looking forward to participating in the 200-meter, 400-meter and long-jump events. 

Junior Brandon Dennis, a previous state qualifier in shotput, is hoping to reach a throwing distance of 60 feet this year. During the shutdown, he stayed in shape by exercising regularly and working with a personal trainer. 

Coach Hawkins said that there is a lot talent on both the boys and girls teams, and he is happy for them to once again have a place to showcase their abilities. 
Monday, May 17, 2021