THORNBURY >> There’s a reason Chester’s James Jackson, Malachi Langley and Lamaj Curry are at the top of the Delaware County indoor track honor roll in the 55-meter hurdles, 400- and 800-meter runs, respectively. There’s a reason the Clippers have the top county time in the 4 x 400-meter relay, and it goes far beyond the individual abilities of those three Clippers.
Practice isn’t just a chance for them to hone their skills and improve, it’s also a chance to compete.
“We treat every practice like a meet,” Langley said. “We set the bar high and try to reach that bar every day.”
That training technique paid huge dividends Wednesday as Jackson, Langley and Curry came away with gold medals in their specific events, and teamed up with Abdul Griggs to win the 4 x 400 in the Delco Boys Indoor Track & Field Championships at Glen Mills’ Hayes Recreation Center.
Jackson overcame a slip in the preliminary round of the 55 hurdles to win his heat easily in 7.96 seconds and then ran 7.84 in the final to claim his second straight county championship.
“You don’t give up,” Jackson said. “You keep going. Even though I slipped I still ran a decent time.”
Jackson crossed the finish line in 7.96 seconds. He went better in the final, winning in 7.84 seconds to equal his season best and claim his second straight county title in the event.
“It feels good,” he said of his repeat championship, “but my main goal is to win Delcos and districts outdoors.”
Langley followed with a victory in the 400 in 51.99 seconds. Curry took the 800 in 2 minutes, 4.92 seconds, and the trio teamed up with Griggs to win the 4 x 400 in 3:30.76.
“We push each other as hard as we can in practice,” Curry said. “That’s how we get better.”
Several weeks ago, Cardinal O’Hara coach James Williams asked sprinter Macniel “Mac” Mandeh to give the 55-meter dash a try. Although Mandeh prefers the 200, he wasn’t about to argue with Williams.
“I don’t have 17 years of coaching experience,” Mandeh said.
It turned out to be a sound move for the senior. He won two gold medals including a victory in the 55-meter dash in 6.73 seconds. He also won the 200 in 23.84 for his first victories of the indoor season.
“It was a pretty good day,” Mandeh said. “I’m happy with it.”
A water and electrical issue has shut down Interboro’s South Avenue Athletic Complex for the time being, which means Tadhjae Jordan-Gordon and his teammates have had to find other places to train until the problem is resolved.
Jordan-Gordon and training partner Tylee Alston have had to get creative to get their work in on the jumping events.
“We go to the library at school and move the desks so we can work on our explosion and other things,” Jordan-Gordon said. “We’ve been doing that for the past two weeks.”
The makeshift training routine did not hurt Jordan-Gordon Wednesday. He won the high jump with a personal best leap of 5 feet, 10 inches. He was third in the long jump with another PR of 18-10½ and placed fourth in the triple jump (40-7). He also was second in the 55 dash with a PR of 6.86 seconds.
“I just go out there and let my body do what it was meant to do,” Jordan-Gordon said. “It’s all about being in the right frame of mind. I don’t think about what I have to do, I just go out and do it.”
The point when Haverford High’s Aiden Tomov decided to go into his kick varies every time he runs the mile.
Sometimes it’s with 400 meters to go and other times it’s later.
“I want to go when I feel comfortable,” the junior said. “I’m looking for that relaxed state.”
The right time for Tomov Wednesday to make his move Wednesday came with about 300 meters to go. He passes Elias Lindgren from Episcopal Academy to take the lead and then had to hold off a late charge from Radnor’s Ethan Zeh to win the county indoor title in the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 38.76 seconds.
“My kick is my strongest suit,” Tomov said. “It’s what I focus on.”
Tomov picked up another gold medal near the end of the meet when he teamed up with Erik McCallion, Josh Fingerhut and Brendan Campbell to win the 4 x 800 (8:46.29).
Strath Haven’s Dayo Abeeb and Christian Gallagher from Penncrest successfully defended their county titles in the triple jump and pole vault, respectively. Abeeb won his second straight Delco title in the triple jump with a leap of 44-1. Gallagher won the pole vault in 11-6.
Garnet Valley picked up a pair of gold medals. Andrew Weir, Christian Templin, Peter Zekonis and Christian Rudawsky captured the DMR (11:23.72), while Larry Coaxum won the long jump (19-1¾). Rudawsky also was third in the 800 (2:08.51).
Radnor’s Jack Bell won the 3,000 (9:49.50). Matt Arndt of Penncrest won the shot put with a heave of 48-11½.
Penncrest’s Avery Lederer, Patrick Theveny and Justin Senackerib were busy at the end of the meet, even though the Delco champs is not scored to crown a team champion. The trio ran in the final three events of the day, the 3,000-meter run and then the 4 x 800- and 4 x 400-meter relays.
“We used it as a speed workout,” Penncrest coach George Munro said. “We’ve done it before and usually when we do it we have them run the 3,000 and the 4 x 4. This time we added the 4 x 8 to make it a little more challenging.”
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