By Stephen Witt
Team enthusiasm, good grades and community concern. These were the criteria that earned the Sheepshead Bay High School track team $10,000 for taking first place in the Seventh Annual New Balance Marty Glickman Award. The award, which pays homage to the recently deceased track star, legendary sports broadcaster and humanitarian Marty Glickman, was given to the school at the 11th Annual New Balance Games last Saturday. The meet was held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Upper Manhattan. “It is an honor to present the New Balance Marty Glickman Award to such a worthy track and field program as that of Sheepshead Bay High School,” said Paul Heffernan, executive vice president, Global Marketing, Design, and Development. “Marty personified the ‘Achieve New Balance’ philosophy that recognizes the importance of perseverance and success on and off the playing field,” he added. The school won the highly competitive award in which several hundred northeast coast schools entered. Taking the $5,000 runner-up award was the Bridgeton High School track program from Bridgeton, New Jersey. The school’s track team won the award with a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 out of 4.00. Additionally, Sheepshead Bay High School’s community service achievements included donating significant time to various food drives, penny harvests and efforts to collect clothing for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The track team also participated in community fundraisers including the “Making Strides for Breast Cancer” walk and a Ronald McDonald House school dance which raised $1,000 for the charity. Sheepshead Bay High School track coach John Padula noted that while the team’s cumulative grade point average is 85, there are six students on the team that have a great point average of 95 or better. All together, there are 60 boys and 20 girls on the team, which is currently rankled second in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL), Padula said. Padula said the money will pay for equipment in the school’s weight room, and improvements in the study hall for academics. “We will get a bunch of SAT review books and have a Saturday SAT tutor come in,” said Padula, explaining that many of the students have problems with English as it is not their primary language. Padula noted that all seven seniors on last year’s track team went to college with partial or full scholarships. The Sharks’ track team also shattered freshman records at the New Balance meet – in the 4 x 200 yard relay, and the 4 x 400 yard relay. The relay team includes Wayne Cammbell, Lavaughn Harriss, Darryl Bradshaw and Ayo Isijola. Padula said Isijola, originally from Nigeria, is currently ranked New York High School’s Number 2 sprinter in the 55-yard dash, Glickman, for whom the award is named, died at 83 on January 3, 2001. A graduate of James Madison High School, Glickman was the indoor and outdoor city and state champion in the 100-yard dash during his junior and senior year. He was also the National Scholastic Sprint Champion in his senior year. Glickman went on to run track and play football for Syracuse University. Although named to the 1936 Olympic 4 x 100 meter relay team, Glickman was unable to compete in the Games in Berlin because Hitler banned all Jews from the Games hosted by Germany. In 1999, the United States Olympic Committee presented Glickman with a plaque to recognize the fact that he was denied his place on the gold medal sprint relay team because he was Jewish. Glickman went on to a career in broadcasting, where he was the voice of the New York Knicks, the New York Giants and the New York Jets.