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It was like a day at the buffet for Chamique Francis.
The Cardozo sophomore came away with two victories and a second-place finish in a variety of events at the PSAL Queens indoor borough championships at the Armory Tuesday. Her performance helped the Judges capture the borough title, beating Jamaica 128-99.
“She has always been that,” senior Tessa West said of Francis’ ability to succeed in multiple events.
Francis, the national leader in 400 meters, was first in the 55-meter dash in 7.17, first in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet 2 inches and was a member of the second place 4 x 200 relay team. The squad lost to Cardozo teammates.
“She reminds me of Dalilah [Muhammad], because she is an all-around,” Cardozo Coach Gail Emmanuel said. “She can do anything from the 55 to the 800, high jump, she can long jump. She is a multi.”
Muhammad graduated from Cardozo last year and is now on a track scholarship at USC. She was one of the nation’s best middle-distance runners and high jumpers.
Francis enjoyed getting a chance to show off her multiple talents at the borough championships
“It makes the meet more fun instead of doing the same event over and over again,” she said.
Her closest race was the 55-meter dash. She made a late push over the final 20 meters to edge out teammate Lateisha Philson, who was second in 7.20.
“This girl [Philson] over here at practice her start is fast like a bullet,” Francis said. “I knew I had to work to wherever she was at.”
Philson, who also won the 55 hurdles in 8.56, didn’t know where Francis was until the end.
“My eyes are closed always,” she said.
Francis was a bit disappointed with clearing just 5-02 in the high jump, saying she has cleared 5-06 easily at times this season and attributed the subpar performance to a problem with her steps. She transferred from Queens High School of Teaching to Cardozo this year because of its track program, law classes and dance courses.
“First period every morning,” she said of her dance class.
The Judges waltzed past their competition on this night. Claudia Francis (no relation) finished first in the 1000 in 2:55.29 and the 1500 in 4:52.16. Ahtyana Johnson won the 300 in 39.72 and West was first in the 600 in a time of 1:38.01. Johnson and West along with Philson and Alexis Mapson were also members of the winning 4 x 200 relay in 1:41.58.
One of the few blemishes on Cardozo’s day came in the 4 x 400 relay. Jamaica opened up a large lead with Cardozo battling back to second. Johnson was able to close the gap during the third leg and the Judges regained the lead on the anchor.
Jamaica’s Francesse Menelas had a different idea for the ending, though. She narrowly sprinted into first over the final 20 meters to give Jamaica the win in 4:12.56.
“I was so tired,” she said. “But my coach [Alan Coles] was like, ‘Move Francesse, moves Francesse, give it all you got.’ ”
Veronica Henry won the long jump with a leap of 16-07.25 and the triple jump in 33-09.25 for Springfield Gardens. Amina Smith was first on the 3000 (11:55.43) and was a member of the winning 4 x 800 relay team, along with Sandeep Dhillon, Carolyn Shirian and Ellie Wu for Townsend Harris.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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