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Century Williams storms to two gold medals

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Williams won a pair of gold medals in the CHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Armory in the 1,000 meter run and 3,200-meter relay.Williams ran the 1,000-meters in 2:57.56, breaking the old meet record of 2:57.59 that was held by Lisa Edwards, a former runner at St. John's Prep who was in attendance Saturday. Edwards, 27, has worked as a track official at the last four indoor championships, zealously watching the 1,000-meter run. She set the record in 1996 as a senior when the Armory's track had a flat surface as opposed to the banked facade it uses today."On the outside I was cheering for her, but on the inside maybe I was a little sad," said Edwards, who works as a consultant at a billing company. "I was happy that the new record went to someone from St. John's Prep. Records are meant to be broken, and it was up there for 10 years. I guess I've been the record holder long enough."Williams paced herself in the 1,000-meters, staying with the pack in the first lap, and surging ahead in the final revolution, separating herself from the other runners. With the win, Williams qualified for the state championships March 5 in upstate Ithaca. St. Anthony's Gina Perno came in second at 2:59.85."I'm really excited, I can't believe I did this," said Williams, who has a 12-year-old sister, Olicia with the middle name Eternity. "I feel like a champion today. My kick was really good today. Everything was working really well."Williams anchored the 3200-meter team that finished first in 9:37.88, ahead of Sacred Heart's time of 9:39.70. The St. John's Prep team consisted of: Naika Branch, Samantha Rodriguez, Emily Rosario and Williams. Williams didn't run for St. John's Prep as a freshman. She trained with her club team, the Staten Island Starlets, and she wanted to run high school track this year but with her club coach instructing her. St. John's Prep's track coach George Cooksey, who also coached Edwards, wouldn't allow it, and Williams acquiesced, giving her time and energy completely to the school."She's a very talented runner," Cooksey said. "I didn't want to push her to do anything, so I left the decision up to her if she wanted to run for this school. I didn't want to force her to do anything. I was happy to have her, though. I just wish she had broken the record that some other school had," he said laughing.Molloy's Rebecca Power set a new meet record in the pole-vault with a height of 9 feet 6 inches, breaking the old high point of nine feet held by Molloy's Keiko Akashi last year. It was another example of a name replacing a name in the record book but the school staying the same. Power also won a gold medal in the shot-put with a distance of 32 feet and 7 3Ú4 inches, beating second place finisher Danay Spencer of St. John the Baptist who finished at 32 feet 4 1Ú4 inches.Only a sophomore, Power also plays softball and volleyball, and she may be approaching the point when she might have to narrow her field of interests down to one or two sports."She's so talented, she has to decide what she wants to specialize in," said her father, Molloy's track and field coach and the remarkably named Austin Power. "I don't know where she gets it from. She amazes me every time I see her."In the girls' team competition, Kellenberg came in first with 36 points. St. John's Prep finished seventh with 12 points and Molloy tied for eighth with 8 points. St. Francis Prep finished in 12th place with 5 points.Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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