Source: Long Island Herald
An Elmont High School graduate and Valley Stream native has plenty of new hardware for his trophy case after an outstanding start to the indoor track season at Jamaica’s York College.
Roshane Wright, a sophomore sprinter and long jumper for the Divison III York College Cardinals, was recognized by both the City University of New York Athletic Conference, York’s athletic conference, and the Eastern Colleges Athletic Association, a collection of Division I, II and III schools from across the east coast, as an athlete of the week since beginning his indoor track season in January.
“It definitely feels nice to get the awards,” Wright said. “I was really excited and really proud when I found out. I felt like I had been running well, jumping well, you know just competing really well, and it definitely is great to have people on the outside recognize that as well.”
Wright’s indoor season started with a bang, as he finished second overall — and first among Division II or III athletes — in the long jump, with a 7.14-meter (23 feet, 4 inches) jump. He also finished second in the 400-meter race, finishing the one-lap sprint in 51.73 seconds.
Mark Benjamin, Wright’s coach at York, said he and the other coaches were “waiting” for this breakout season from Wright.
“None of us were surprised by it,” he said. “He worked very hard all summer and all fall to be ready for this season. He’s a very hard worker out there on the track. He always gives you everything he has.”
Wright’s official introduction to the sport he now excels at came during his time at Elmont Junior High School, where he and his friends joined the track team during seventh grade. His love for the sport, however, was born many years earlier.
“Before I ever joined a track team or anything like that, I just liked to run,” he explained. “My friends and I, we were all pretty fast, and we would just go to different parks and race or even just race out in the middle of the street. We just liked to run.”
He said he “didn’t always win,” those races but “I did pretty well for myself.” After joining his junior high team he started out running the 200-meter dash, a half-lap sprint.
“I did pretty well in it, but I wasn’t great,” he said.
“Eventually, I think it was 10th grade, I was at Elmont High School, and they moved me to the 400-meters,” he added. “It’s a little longer, but I was able to keep my sprinting speed for pretty much the whole lap, which is a big advantage.”
Benjamin said that enthusiasm for the sport foreshadowed his success at York.
“From the first time we talked to him, we could see he was a track fanatic,” he said. “He has so much love, so much passion for the sport. From the first time we spoke with him before his sophomore year, he told us that and he exhibited it, and we knew that would help him make a real impact on the team.”
He has not slowed down as the season has progressed, setting a season-best mark of 49.57 seconds in the 400-meters at last weekend’s collegiate Track Championships in Middletown, Connecticut.
Wright defeated his closest competitor in the finals by over a second and qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships later this year. He also placed second in the long jump behind a Division II opponent, and third in the 4×400-meter relay.
Wright said he is glad to be able to compete and find success close to home and is proud to be from both Valley Stream and Elmont.
“It really is great to be able to still kind of represent where I’m from,” Wright explained.
“I know York is a city school, but it’s still so close to home,” he added. “I’m very happy how far I’ve been able to go with this and happy to represent my hometown and my high school. It’s been great.”
Source: Brendan Murray, Long Island Herald