Central Hurdlers Leap To 3rd In Nation

Jared Harris, Jonathan Banks, Elijah Jimenez and Jonathan Gonzalez were honored for ranking 3rd in the country for hurdling. (Photo courtesy Central Regional)

BERKELEY – Central Regional High School’s hurdling team ranked third in the Nationals, their coach reported.

“What does it take to achieve greatness? How does an athlete go beyond the mundane and shine as one of the best?” coach Michael Jordan asked. “Commitment! Commitment to their craft. Commitment to their sport. Commitment to their team and each other. This type of overwhelming commitment to their task, their dreams, their goals is what Jared Harris, Jonathan Banks, Elijah Jimenez and Jonathan Gonzalez demonstrated during the 2017 – 2018 Winter Track season.”

The students endured the constantly changing weather, training outside all the time, he said. Since its nearly impossible to run in cold weather clothes, they had to tough it out. They reportedly spent 50 minutes or more warming up for 40 minutes of practice.

There were several big wins along the way. One of them was on Jan. 21, when they won the NJSIAA Group 3 State Relays in the Shuttle Hurdles at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex (the bubble) in Toms River. On Feb. 7, they had the Last Chance Meet at the same location, and they set a new school record for the winter track team.

Photo courtesy Central Regional

On March 10 the team ran 30.31at over 5 hurdles at 55m in the Shuttle Hurdles to earn 3rd place at the Nationals, All-American status each as an athlete and the 2nd fastest time this season in New Jersey in this event.

Last year, they ranked 16th in the Nationals.

“We keep winning,” Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said. “We got great kids, so it’s easy.”