MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon boys track and field team came, saw and conquered at the 2014 Outdoor New Balance National competition, and it has returned home to its city as champions and all-Americans.
The Knights won the 800-meter medley relay in a Section 1 and Westchester County record 1:30.05, and were inches away from another Rai Benjamin title in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, but the junior was disqualified when judges ruled his legs went around, not over three of the impediments.
According to head coach Marcus Green, if his 51.20 time had stood, Benjamin – who ran the anchor leg of the winning medley relay along with sophomore Shaquille Dacres and juniors Robert Romney and Cody Housen – would have broken the state record for juniors and run the third fastest mark in the country.
“It’s great when you get to see all the hard work the students have put in come to fruition,” he said. “This season we’ve been preaching that you get out what you put in, like a bank. If you want to make a big withdrawal, you need to keep making deposits throughout the year, and that’s what they did.”
Green said his squad narrowly missed all-America consideration in the 1,600-meter sprint relay, where his team ran the fastest time in Westchester County history, but finished seventh, with only the top six earning the distinction.
The future looks bright for the track team, which will bring back the core of this national championship squad, including the entire relay foursome, and is graduating just one senior.
“Everybody is a junior, so we can’t wait,” Green added. “Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we keep training and we make Mount Vernon proud.”
Fresh on the heels of the Summer Breeze opening concert series on Wednesday, Green said he was happy to give the community something else to celebrate.
“It’s great when you have gentlemen that come from this area and can succeed at such a high level,’ he said. “Often around here, you only hear the negative things. It’s good to have something positive to bring back to the community.”