MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – As he prepares to round out his star crossed Mount Vernon track career, Rai Benjamin has announced that he will take his immense talents to UCLA when he graduates next spring.
Surrounded by friends, family, teammates and Mount Vernon school officials at the high school, Benjamin made his long-awaited announcement that he’ll don the baby blue and gold of the Bruins next year.
Benjamin, who was hotly sought after, rose from near anonymity to Division-I recruit, after joining the track team as a freshman looking to become more explosive on the football team. From there, he led the team to the 2014 Outdoor New Balance National competition, and has broken several school, state and county records.
In his speech, an emotional Benjamin specifically thanked his mother, Jeannette Mason, his teammates and coaches for their support of his Olympic dreams, while his younger sister looked on.
Since dedicating himself to track and field, Benjamin has claimed championships in hurdles and became an all-American in the 400-meter sprint. With him as the anchor of the 800-meter relay team, the Knights set a Section 1 and Westchester County record with a 1:30.05 finish.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.