Medgar Evers boys fall short of 4 x 400 goal, reach small schools final

Andre Jordan called the race bitter sweet.

The senior and his Medgar Evers 4 x 100 meter relay team had its best showing in the last few seasons at the Penn Relays on April 29 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. But it wasn’t their best time of the season leaving a bit of doubt toward reaching the Championship of America final.

“Since my freshman year a team comes here and goes 43 [seconds] or slower,” said Jordan, who was the anchor leg. “This was the first year that we actually went 42 at Penns.”

The Cougars team of Jordan, Michael Betton, Brent Jules and Adrian Lewis won their heat with a time of 42.81, holding off Ellerslie Secondary (Barbados) over the final 30 meters. The mark was not good enough to earn a spot in Saturday’s Championship of America final. They will compete in the small school final instead. It comes a day after their girls programs could not complete its 4 x 100 after a nasty spill during the first baton pass and the 4 x 400 squad earned a spot in the elite final.

“We wanted to go a little fast to secure a spot completely so we don’t have to be that worried watching the results,” Jordan said.

Medgar Evers placed second at the Taco Bell Classic with a state-leading time of 41.91 on April 8. Knightdale (N.C.) grabbed the final spot in the Championship of America final with a mark of 41.94.

The Cougars got off to a slow start before Lewis, the third leg was finally able to get them separation. Jordan held off the field the rest of the way. Truman’s team of Abdul Malik Rahman, Michael Hall, Weyonn Hoskins and Jason Tomlinson posted the next best time by a New York City team in 43.44 and Transit Tech’s Stevon Campbell, Dondre Smith, Kajeem Bailey and Rajai Anser followed in 43.48.

“As the third leg my job is to get as big a gap as possible,” Lewis said.

His team however wasn’t able to distinguish itself enough from the field to earn a spot in the prestigious final. The time was just OK in their eyes, especially since they know they could be even better.

“It was disappointing, Jordan said. “I was expecting it to be faster. I’m not really a curve runner so that extra curve and the short straight way kind of messed with me.”

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