By Christopher Hunt
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – When Jordan Yamoah finally got his chance to meet Bill Cosby at Penn Relays, he told the meet’s most revered celebrity that he had been dying to meet him.
“Well, I’m glad you lived,” Cosby told him.
It’s a good thing too. Despite battling an array of injuries, Arlington’s Yamoah set a New York State record, while winning the pole vault championship at Franklin Field, clearing 16 feet, 6.50 inches. The senior bettered his own state record of 16-6 set last year.
“I was pretty nervous at first because I didn’t know how my hamstring was going to feel,” Yamoah said. “Then I missed my first attempt at 14-3 and I was pretty worried after that. Once I made it on my next attempt, I knew I was ready to go.”
Yamoah became the first high schooler from New York to ever clear over 17 feet when he vaulted 17-1 to break the indoor state record. But he suffered a strained hamstring while competing at indoor nationals. He wore a brace on his right knee and said he had started feeling pain in his right Achilles tendon two days ago.
“I’m a broken person,” he said. “I’ve got to get fixed.”
Yamoah cleared his next two heights without a hitch and cleared 16-3.50 on his attempt to win his second title. Then he decided to push up the his state record. He cleared that on his first try and was later named the meet’s outstanding high school performer.
“I knew there was going to be good competition here,” Yamoah said. “I wanted to perform well here and get a best outdoors. I didn’t really feel my hamstring at all so that was really good.”
Erasmus Hall senior Shane Green finished struggled early on in the popped a leap of 48-7.50 on his penultimate attempt to finish third in triple jump championship. He said he was pleased with his mark, given that it was his first competition with favorable weather. It also helped to have Sheepshead Bay’s Rolyce Boston competing at the same time in the long jump. Green and Boston are training partners.
It was Boston’s season debut after suffering a strained calf muscle at indoor nationals. He finished seventh at 23-1.75.
“I felt good for my first meet out,” Boston said. “I was just coming out to have fun. It’s my last Penn. … If (Green) wasn’t here I wouldn’t have the same motivation. I told him when he jumps 50, I’ll hit that 24.”
Tre Bracey of Hamilton was sixth in the long jump with a distance of 23-2.50.
Medgar Evers finished fifth in the Small Schools 4x100 championship final in 42.54. The Cougars, with Michael Betton, Brent Jules, Adrian Lewis and Andre Jordan, were the first American school to finish. Half Hollow Hills West was seventh in the Large Schools race in 43.29. HHHW, led by Daniel McCord’s 48.69 anchor leg, also ran 3:19.22 in the 4x400, finishing second in its second behind St. Jago of Jamaica.