York coach now on CUNY track and field body

York College’s head coach of track and field, Mark Benjamin, has been named the CUNY Athletic Conference Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year. This is Benjamin’s first year coaching at York College in Jamaica.

With Benjamin’s accolades, seven members of the men’s and women’s track and field squads were selected as CUNYAC All-Stars.

“I’m very pleased that my colleagues voted to give me this award,” said Benjamin, “especially this being my first year at York College. Of course, I could not have done so well without the guidance and support of my wife, assistant Coach Jenny Benjamin, who in many ways was the real force behind our success as a developing program. I must thank my track athletes at York who became a warm, loving and intense group of competitors who were really open to a different type of training that paid off for most of them.”

Benjamin earned the honor after taking over the reins of the Cardinals this season and leading the men’s squad to a third-place finish at the CUNYAC Outdoor Championships. The Cardinals improved upon a fourth-place finish at CUNYAC Indoor Championships, as well as a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Outdoor Championships.

Earning the All-Star nods for the men were Tarik Weekes, Jason Shaw, Steve Burnett, Wayne James, Olabimpe M. Ologundudu and Christopher Peguero. Maria Suero-Santos was named an All-Star on the women’s side.

Weekes, a three-year veteran of the team, won the 400-meter dash at the CUNYAC Championships and placed fifth in the same event at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships a week later.

Freshman Olabimpe M. Ologundudu earned All-Star honors thanks to performance in the high jump at CUNYAC Championships, where he finished tied for first with a height of 1.81 meters.

Steve Burnett’s win in the hammer throw at the CUNYAC Championships helped him earn the All-Star nod. Burnett tossed the hammer a distance of 35.99 meters that day.

Shaw, James, Peguero, along with Tarik Weeks, placed in the 4×400 meters at CUNYAC Championships to round out the men’s All-Stars.

Suero-Santos took gold in the javelin throw at CUNYAC Championships with a distance of 27.54 meters to get the only all-star honor on the women’s side.

Sergio Soto of the City College of New York and Katisha Simmons of Medgar Evers College were named the Men’s and Women’s Performer of the Year. Wendal Davis of Medgar Evers was named the Men’s Rookie of the Year and Shantay Beccan of Lehman was named the Women’s Rookie of the Year. Alphonso Dance of Medgar Evers was named the Women’s Coach of the Year.

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