By Joseph Staszewski
Brandon Gooden raised his hands into the air and then brought them to his face after looking up at the scoreboard.
The John Bowne senior sprinter was overcome with emotion after winning his first city title. He took home gold in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 10.67 at the PSAL Outdoor track championship at Icahn Stadium Sunday afternoon. He narrowly edged DeWitt Clinton’s Ernest Agyeman, who was second with 10.79.
“It means a whole lot,” Gooden said. “I always wanted to win a city championship and this is my senior year.”
He said he’s modified his training recently and that made the difference in his dropping nearly three-tenths of a second off his time. Gooden got away from doing just short sprint work to adding middle distance sprints with his Springfield Rough Cuts club team. It improved his stamina, evident by his strong surge to the finish over the final 50 meters.
“When I would hit the 60-meter mark, I’d slow down,” Gooden said. “But I had that extra push [today].”
Forest Hills shot putter wins elusive city title: Oghenakpob Efekoro finally brought home PSAL gold.
He continued his strong outdoor season by winning the shot put with a toss of 52 feet 1.5 inches for his first city championship after placing second indoors. He narrowly beat Thomas Jefferson’s Lesely Clervil (52 feet).
“I finally got my city championship,” Efekoro said.
The win came three weeks after the junior broke the school record held by Keino Cowell with a mark of 56 feet at the Queens championship May 13. He said he was pumped up that day and felt like he had something to prove. That feeling will continue into the state championship meet starting this Friday in Middletown. He placed 16th earlier this year competing in his first indoor state meet.
“It doesn’t stop,” Efekoro said. “We have states next week. You just have to keep throwing.”
Notes: Forest Hill’s Felipe Yanez picked a win in the 800 as he held off Thomas Jefferson’s Sidgie Green with a time of 1:55.86 and place third in the 1600 in 4:33.10.
Ji Won Kang and Sophia Mahin, of Townsend Harris in Flushing, placed one and two in the 1500 race walk.
Erena Gaither, of John Bowne in Flushing, was third in the 2000 steeplechase in 7:53.05.