Panisses keeps up streak

Cardozo celebrates its sixth-straight PSAL Girls' Indoor title. Photo by William Thomas
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Add another chapter to Alexis Panisse’s stellar senior season. The Benjamin Cardozo star turned in an exceptional effort to lead her team to a sixth-straight PSAL indoor track city title in a year many thought its streak would end.

“All I can say is, what a performance,” Judge Coach Gail Emmanuel said. “She is the best athlete we have had. What makes it great about her is her attitude.”

The Tennessee-bound Panisse took a refuse-to-lose approach despite her teammate, the Miami-bound Lateisha Philson, missing the meet because she was running at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle, Wash.

Panisse ran 4800 meters total and was victorious in every race she entered.

Panisse, who turned down a chance to go to Brooks, won the 3000 and 1000 meters in times of 10:03.32 and 2:53.01, respectively. She later provided the moment of the meet when she rallied from fourth place and half-lap down to rally her team to victory in the 4x800 relay in 9:36.85 at the Armory Saturday. She ran the leg in 2:09.

“When I was right there you might as well do the spring form down the straightway, so I did,” Panisse said. “I just felt we did it. I told them we were going to win so I wanted to do it for them.”

She validated the last-minute decision to move Sabrina Southerland to the second slot and Yerin Kim into third, keeping Kesha Medas King in the lead. Cardozo won the meet with 74 points, second place Port Richmond had 51.25 and Medgar Evers was third with 51.

“People doubted us,“ said Panisse, who ran at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships and the mile at the Millrose Games. “But I said, ‘We are not going to lose today.”

Emmanuel admitted making a mistake by giving Philson, the city’s top sprinter and hurdler the OK to run at Brooks, not realizing it was the same day as the city championship meet. It provided what the coach called the most interesting and rewarding of Dozo’s crowns. Throughout the meet she said assistant coach Ray James kept telling her, “We got it.”

In addition to Philson’s absence, Southerland was disqualified for cutting in too soon during the 600, a race she was supposed to win. The junior made up for it by winning the 1500 in a personal best time of 4:42.78. The Judges’ 4x200 team placed a disappointing third. Teammates Akayla Anderson (8.08) and Sandreka Bancroft (8.36) placed first and second in the 55 meter hurdles, respectively.

“I had to do something good because that 600 wasn’t so great,” Southerland said.

Kadecia Baird won the 300 with a time of 38.57 and ran a stellar anchor lead to rally Medgar Evers to a win and spot in the state in the 4x400 relay, ranked second in the state, along with teammates Ashley Tasher, Ja’Nai Cameron and Paige Thompson Charles in 3:58.66. Baird also had to come from behind to win at the Millrose Game. Tasher was also second in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 7 inches, behind Taft’s Jonelle Campbell (16-10.00).

“It doesn’t bother me,” Baird said. “I like working. I like to pass people.”

Port Richmond sophomore Yazmin Wilson-Jones ran right with DeWitt Clinton star Brittany Adams into the final turn. There she exploded and won the 600 comfortably in a time 1:35.87. Teammate Katrina Hill was the triple jump champ with a leap of 36-09.00.

Truman’s Treasure Glymph was the high jump champ with a mark of 5-02.00 and Desiree Gordon took home the shot put crown with a toss of 34-07.75. McKee/Staten Island Tech’s Jessica Szela won the pole vault in 7-06.00. Ji Won Kang of Townsend Harris was the 1500 race walk champ in a personal best time of 7:06.88.

“A lot of the work I have been doing at practice is how to finish,” Wilson-Jones said. “Everything just worked today.”

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