Glas­gow’s Ja’Saan Cun­ning­ham sprints to county cham­pi­onships

Newark Post - - Sports - By JON BUZBY jon­buzby@hot­

Glas­gow High School ju­nior Ja’Saan Cun­ning­ham earned the un­of­fi­cial ti­tle of fastest high school ath­lete in the county af­ter cap­tur­ing both short sprint ti­tles at the New Cas­tle County Track and Field Cham­pi­onships on Satur­day.

Cun­ning­ham raced to the 100-me­ter ti­tle in the morn­ing with a time of 10.95 sec­onds at Delaware’s most his­toric track, Bay­nard Sta­dium, and then fol­lowed that up with a win­ning 22.40 time in the 200 to help lead Glas­gow to a fifth-place fin­ish.

“It was ex­cit­ing be­cause I feel as though the county meet is more fun than state and con­fer­ence meets be­cause all the di­vi­sions are to­gether, and it’s a great en­vi­ron­ment,” said Cun­ning­ham, who didn’t com­pete at last years’ county cham­pi­onships due to a need for rest be­fore the state meet.

Cun­ning­ham capped his stel­lar per­for­mance at the 74th-an­nual event by an­chor­ing Glas­gow’s win­ning 4x200 re­lay team to a first-place fin­ish in a time of 1:28.51. Sopho­more Mar­tise Younger, se­nior Simeon Dai­ley and se­nior Dar­ius Blalock set up Cun­ning­ham nicely for his sprint to the fin­ish.

“Just break that school record,” Cun­ning­ham re­called of what was go­ing through his mind when Blalock handed him the ba­ton and he was trail­ing only Mount Pleas­ant.

And the Drag­ons’ 1:28.5 time did break the record of 1:28.7, set in 2008 by a team that in­cluded Glas­gow as­sis­tant coach Alan Hard­ing.

“Coach ex­pected us to,” Cun­ning­ham said, laugh­ing. “All my team­mates met me at the fin­ish line when I crossed it, which is more ex­cit­ing than an in­di­vid­ual race, and we looked and saw the time on the score­board and heard it an­nounced. We then went to Coach Hard­ing and told him, ‘We broke your record.’”

Each of the three high schools in the Christina School Dis­trict had one run­ner who placed in the top three of an event. Glas­gow sopho­more Ash­ley Pearce placed sec­ond in the 200 (25.40), Ne­wark se­nior Rachel Be­ston ran to a third-place fin­ish in the 1600 (5:12.18), and Chris­tiana fresh­man Ta’vio Rider placed third in the 110 hur­dles (16.01).

Glas­gow’s girls fin­ished ninth over­all, Ne­wark’s boys 15th and girls 10th, and Chris­tiana’s boys 17th. Ne­wark Charter, com­pet­ing with­out a se­nior class, placed 20th (boys) and 19th (girls).

Mount Pleas­ant won the boys team ti­tle for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, while Padua won its fifth­straight team ti­tle and 17th over­all.

“As the county meet was ap­proach­ing, much was ex­pected for all my ath­letes in terms of their over­all per­for­mance,” Glas­gow coach Ter­rence Wilson said. “I ex­pected each in­di­vid­ual to per­form to the best of their abil­ity and be the lead­ers they are in­tended to be, in­clud­ing Ja’Saan Cun­ning­ham.”

Cun­ning­ham now turns his fo­cus to the Delaware In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion Track and Field State Cham­pi­onships, which take place at Dover High School this week­end.

“I think I am more es­tab­lished now. I’m sort of … well, I guess I am the per­son to beat,” Cun­ning­ham, who is the de­fend­ing in­door short sprints cham­pion, said.

Cun­ning­ham learned a lot from last years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, when he placed sec­ond in the 100 and third in the 200. He said he plans to change his rou­tine the week lead­ing up to the state meet.

“I’ll change up what I eat and drink and prob­a­bly stretch more,” he said. “I’ll drink all wa­ter this week and eat more ba­nanas. I’ll train at prac­tice the same this week as last week lead­ing up to the county meet. You can’t re­ally build on any­thing right now. You’re just main­tain­ing right now.”

Cun­ning­ham’s fo­cus isn’t solely on his in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance.

“I’m fo­cused on win­ning it not only in­di­vid­u­ally but as a team, too, be­cause we have a chance to win as a team,” Cun­ning­ham said. “My job is to mo­ti­vate ev­ery­one and make sure ev­ery­one is do­ing what they are sup­posed to be do­ing at prac­tice and get­ting in by cur­few and stuff like that.”


Glas­gow High ju­nior Ja’Saan Cun­ning­ham won the short sprints ti­tles at the New Cas­tle County Track and Field Cham­pi­onships, held at Bay­nard Sta­dium on Satur­day.

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