Grady, Boys & Girls win PSAL Brooklyn Champs

Compiled from coaches reports and meet results by Tim Fulton

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Powered almost exclusively by sprinting, the 2008 Boys and Girls team was able to win the PSAL Brooklyn Championships even though they did not score in any jumping or throwing event. They actually only scored 8 points in open events over 400 meters.

Going into the final two events, the 4x400m and 4x800m relays, Boys and Girls was down ten points, 83-73, to Paul Robeson High School and had a slim 8 point lead over Midwood. South Carolina bound Nadonnia Rodrigues had already competed in the maximum three events permitted.  Boys and Girls had no worries though as it knew they had the relay power to control the championship.  First they won a close battle with Midwood in the 4x800 relay taking 10 points in the victory.  Then they stepped on the track for their specialty the 4x400 relay.  Even without Rodrigues they were able to finish one-two with an ‘A’ (3:55.67) and a ‘B’ (3:56.88) team. They collected a cool 28 points on the two meet ending relays and beat Robeson by 18 points after trailing the entire day.

In the 400 meter relay,  NYS #2 Robeson (48.49) led by Samantha Francis and Geronne Black did upset the NYS#1 Boys and Girls relay (48.82) led by Rodriques at the start of the day’s competition. Robeson Junior Samantha Francis who was overshadowed by numerous Brooklyn sprinters during the indoor season is no longer Brooklyn’s best kept secret. The slender Francis exploded to upset national track sensation Rodriques in the 100 meters. Francis ran 12.08 in the final, but recorded the fastest FAT time in New York State this year when she flew to an 11.86 in the trials. In all Brooklyn claims 4 of the top ten fastest girls in the state and three of the top five 4x100 relays in New York. Francis was not done as she came back to achieve a huge personal best in the 200m with a 24.93, which was good enough for second to Rodriques, who ran the state’s fastest outdoor FAT time in 24.39.

Perhaps the star of the day for Boys and Girls was Meagan Gillespie who anchored her team’s victorious 4x400 relay and added wins in the 400 hurdles (64.39) and 400 dash (56.14) . The wins for Gillespie and the times she recorded were good enough to move her into 6th and 8th  places respectively in New York State. 

Indoor state champ Janice Jackson of Medgar Evers won the 100m hurdles in the 14.3h, second fastest time in New York State this year.

With Gillespie’s new performances in the 400 hurdles (14 points) and Rodriques checking in with a  third ranked 100 meter performance (17 points) Boys and Girls will likely run past Suffern to take the #1 team New York State ranking. Likewise Robeson is expected to move up from 15th ranked to a top ten spot when does their next team ranking update (5/29).

On the boys side, unranked Grady won its second straight outdoor Brooklyn Borough Championship by defeating New York State 7th ranked Midwood and 10th ranked Sheepshead Bay.

The boys competition also came down to the last two relays as Sheepshead Bay held a 4 point lead over Grady and an 8 point lead over rival Midwood. Grady won the 4x800 and came back to win the seeded heat of the 4x400 with a 3:25.45, but that time was topped by Midwood (4:24.08) in the unseeded section of the 4x400. In total Midwood ran three teams in the 4x800 and 4 teams in the 4x400. But when the dust settled and the scoring was calculated Grady had 88 points, Midwood had 82 and Sheepshead Bay went from first to third with a total of 74 points as they had no 4x800 and were unable to score in the 4x400 meter relay.

The race of the day was the 110m hurdles between Darryl Bradshaw and Jeremy Rosado, who were tied with the state lead in the hurdles at 14.43. Rosado slipped at the start of the final and Bradshaw had a clear advantage, but over the last hurdle it was tied and a sprint to the finish was given to Rosado with a handheld time of 14.3 while Bradshaw received a 14.5, but the race was clearly won by only hundredths of a second.  All other races but the hurdles were FAT.  Rosado took second in the 400m hurdles (55.97) and anchored Grady’s 4x400 that won the seeded section. Grady was also powered by the distance tandem of Taylor and brother Mark (DJ) Dressman. Taylor won the 3200 (9:39.60), the 1600 (4:34.27) and anchored the winning 4x800 (8:15.79) while little brother DJ won the steeple chase in 10:03.51.

Bradshaw also won the Pentathlon (2,954) and took second in the long jump (21-07) to score a total of 26 individual points for Sheepshead Bay. Keith Nkrumah is Brooklyn’s fastest man. Keith Nkrumah won the 100m (10.81) over the states # 7 Ayo Isijola of Sheepshead Bay and the 200 (21.79 4th in state) over South Shore’s #2 ranked Keoto Peterson. Erasmus Hall’s Isaiah Phillip also won two events claiming titles in the 400 (50.04) and 400 hurdles (55.11).


Tilden’s Monique McKenzie winning the 800 in 2:16.95

Top ranked New York State stars battle for bragging rights in Brooklyn in the 100. Keoto Peterson for South Shore, Midwoods Keith Nkrumah and Sheepshead Bay’s Ayo Ishola Isijola.

Francis in early round heat ran 11.86