Road to NBNI Blogs: Obafemi Animashaun, Week 2

by Obafemi Animashaun

Guess who’s BACK BACK BACK ... Back AGAIN GAIN GAIN ...

This week was pretty good.  Coming in to the bittersweet ending of my last high school indoor season, I had three meets left:  The Eastern States Championships, NJ Meet of Champions, and NBI Nationals.  Normally, MOC is held before Easterns and it was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, but was moved to March 1 on account of the brafrillion inches of snow that hit the area (-__-).

Anywho, back to that in a moment.  Easterns is a fun competitive meet that I looked forward to because that is where I had PR’d in the 55m hurdles last year (7.42) ... but that wasn’t the prime focus for the night.  Throughout the season, the UC squad had targeted Easterns as an opportunity to go for the New Jersey state 4x4 indoor record: 3:15.78 by Camden in 2001.  But unexpected injuries had occurred which forced us to poste pone the pursuit until nationals….. Oh yea and I false-started, too, oops!  LOL, my bad!

It was pretty annoying because I knew it was going to happen.  I was in my start position, but I was basically on my toes.  I tried to plea my case with the ref, but he didn’t budge.  I’m not upset about it, just have to learn from your mistakes and move on.  My coach on the other hand wasn’t that easily forgetful.  Seconds after the track was cleared, he told the 4x4 guys to run all-out 400s against one another.  I guess it had to be done, especially for Kenny, who came to the meet only for the 4x4 ... LOL, sorry Bro!

Last week’s practices were gearing up for the MOCs. The team is already in shape so it was mostly focused on technique and form.

Going into MOC, as a team we had the opportunity to leave with three individual wins and a 4x4 win.  The first race was Taylor McLaughlin's open 400, which he won in an unexpected way.  Zyaire Clemes, the US#1 in the 400, fell right after the 200 mark.  It was anticipated that they would have a great rematch from the other night at Easterns, where they ran NJ#2-3 all time. It was unfortunate that they couldn’t race all the way.

Soon after were trials and finals for the 55 dash and hurdles for Jordan Jimerson and I.  Going into the 55H final, I focused on my start, pushing off the blocks and driving with power.  It was a really close race.  I led through the race, but over the last hurdle I saw out of the corner of my eye Mkevin Hagamin of Timber Creek sneakin up on me.  I wasn’t ready to celebrate crossing over the line because of the uncertainty of winning or not.  Next was Jordan’s 55m dash final.  His hip was bothering him the other day but with the help of our athletic trainer, Chris Esperon (shoutout!), he was able to run comfortably.

Waiting for the announcement (of the 55H results) took forever!  After packing my bag and putting on my sweats, I started to hear an announcement:  8th, blah blah blah; 7th, blah blah blah; 6th, blah blah blah, and so on.  Then finally, 2nd, from Union Catholic, blah, blah, blah ...  Ugh!  I was pretty upset because I really wanted to win.  As I began to walk angrily back to the team area Jordan began to jump up and down out of excitement.  I was really confused, but I learned that the announcement I’d just heard was for the dash.  Jordan hadn’t won, but he had gotten second and PR’d (6.49).

So still had hope for an individual MOC title.  Seconds after Jordan’s celebration, my own followed.  It was a great feeling.  I had won by .01, 7.44 to 7.45.

Right after the hurdles, we had to get ready for the 4x400.  At this meet we were going for the all-group record (3:20.53).  Old Bridge, a 3:18 team, was going for it, too.  Fortunately I did not false start and led the race.  We finished with a new meet and new group record (3:19.7). 

After some interviews, and talking with other athletes, a few members of the team and coaches went back to the school gym to ball up #BAllIsLife #AfterTrack.  After a series of half court backwards shots, 3pt hook shots and 360 dunks, we met up at Derek’s house to chill and relax. 

Now there is a 2-week gap between until NBN Indoor.  Workouts are going to be faster in preparation for the meet.  We are in pursuit of what we had accomplished last year and more.

Talk to you soon Track Nation, I have a test to study for #Student-Athlete.

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