Cardozo girls track has become a program that sends its athletes to competitions on the state and national level. However, watching their runners’ reaction and the joy in Coach Gail Emmanuel’s face when it was announced they had won their first city title, meant just as much - if not more - than any other accomplishment.
“This is history,” Emmanuel said after Cardozo won the indoor city championship at the New Balance Armory Track & Field Center in Washington Heights with 72 team points. “We deserve it. We work very hard. This means so much to us as a team. This is the most overwhelming experience.”
Even more remarkable was that the Judges had only four runners place - their 4 x 400 relay team of Dalilah Muhammad, Lindsay Rowe, Tessa West, and Alison Lee, who will all compete in the National Scholastic Indoor Championships March 9-11.
“I’m not surprised because we’re all strong in our events,” West said. “It’s about time we won.”
Muhammad, an All-American middle sprinter, and Rowe, who has posted the second best time in the country in the 60-meter hurdles, will also take part in the national meet in individual events.
As expected, the two excelled in the city final. Rowe, the defending New York State hurdle champion, dusted the competition in the 55-meter hurdles, recording her best time yet at 7.85 seconds. Muhammad, meanwhile, won the 600 meter race but passed up on striving for a record time to pace West to a personal second place finish.
Muhammad and Rowe also finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump, a rare feat for Rowe, who rarely takes part in the event. “It was about teamwork,” said Emmanuel, in her fifth year at Cardozo.
Burned out by the busy afternoon, the four took home second place in the relay, their signature event. In addition, Lee earned second place honors in the metric mile and won the 3,000. “When all our girls came in first or second,” West said, “I was like, ‘We got this.’ ”
In other events, Townsend Harris’s Devotia Moore finished first in the 1,000 meters and Ashlei Alexander of Flushing won the shot put with a throw of 41 feet and two inches. On the boys side, Sean Cummings of August Martin won the high jump at six feet and four inches.