The Kingsway Boys Winter Track and Field Team had a banner season this year. They won the South Jersey Group 4 championship over a very good Southern Regional team. They also won the New Jersey State Group 4 relay team championship over a tough Westfield team.
It seems as though they did just about everything that a team could do in a season. However, they showed that they had even bigger plans.
With stars like senior middle distance runner Jeff Heineman, All-South Jersey sprint stars Evan Corcoran and Damon Dukes Jr., and one of the best distance runners in the US, Kyle Rakitis, the Kingsway squad decided to make bigger plans, plans on a national scale.
They decided to merge these powers into one unit, a sprint medley relay, to see how they would fare against the best in the country. They then took this team to the Nike Indoor National Championships on Staten Island in New York City. Here, they would face off against track powers such as Seton Hall Prep, Elizabeth, Portsmouth from Rhode Island, and Cathedral from Los Angeles, CA.
This was going to be a race to behold.
Led off by Dukes on the 200 meter lead off, the Dragons handed off right behind the leader from Cathedral. They were in a great position. Corcoran then ran a blistering 21.8 split in the 200 to get right up on Cathedral at the handoff to Heineman. Heineman then ran a very smart race to stay right on the Cathedral runner’s shoulder.
It then was fine for Rakitis to do what the anchor is supposed to do. He took control of the race, passing the strong Cathedral anchor early in the race. The Cathedral runner hung on the shoulder of Rakitis and tried to make a move on the third lap. However, that inspired Rakitis to make a strong move to run away from his adversary for good. Rakitis ran 1:54.1 on his 800 meter anchor leg to seal the deal.
Kingsway not only won the National title, they also broke the facility record and shattered the Kingsway school record with one of the fastest times ever run by a New Jersey squad.
What a way for a great team to come together yet again on a national stage!
By Christian Lynch