PSAL Harrier meets decide champs

Tevin Johnson is a junior at Truman High School located in The Bronx. Already he is making a name for himself on its cross country team. And he has a lot of potential to go far in this sport.

Johnson is on the way to the State Federation meet after he turned in a good season in the Public Schools Athletic League. In a race last Saturday morning, Johnson had ‘it’ all for himself for a while but he didn’t show ‘it’ during the last half mile of the cross individual cross country meet championships.

Tevin is the son of Isaac Johnson, who resides in Jamaica, West Indies, where he is not into sports.

Johnson held the lead during the first mile of the varsity race over the 3.1 mile course at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx. After he couldn’t maintain the pace, Luis Porto of Manhattan Center High School passed him and got into first place. Porto crossed the finish line in 17:52.97 for top honors.

“I can’t wait for my first State (Federation Championship Meet),” Porto said. “I’m happy that I made it. By wining the race means I can push myself to higher levels.”

Alvin Hooi of Bayside High, with a time of 18:51.97 wound up in third place, Darien Mascol of Boys and Girls, with a clocking of 18:53.30, and Albert Hugh of East New York Transit Tech with a recording of 18:59.61 wound up fifth to round out the leading finishers for the boys.

Meanwhile, Sidgie Greene of Jefferson High School finished fourth in a different PSAL championship 5K race.

“I ran pretty good and was proud of the results,” said Greene, who was timed in 16:46.36 in a close finish with fifth place finisher Kevin Trimmer of McKee. The latter was clocked in 16:48.45.

Curtis of Staten Island with 80 points captured the Varsity team title and was led by its top harrier Saad Baig, whose time of 16:36..93 which earned him third place in a field of 152 male athletes representing 22 schools.

“I went into the race feeling pretty positive, took it out, ran third for almost the whole race, (until) I was caught by two people coming to the finish.

“I fought one back and finished in fourth place,” said Greene, who is a middle distance and mile runner on its indoor and outdoor teams track and field teams come this winter and spring.”

Greene’s Jefferson teammate Mustafaa Bey placed 24th in a time of 17:59.62.

“This (city-wide championship) race was very challenging,” said Bey. “There was a lot of competition. And I ran the best that I can.”

Meanwhile, the individual winner of the Team Varsity race was Stuyvesant’s Jack Stevenson who ran a 16:13.39

Rounding out the top five finishers was McKee’s Kevin Trimmer (16:48.45,) Curtis’ Saad Baig, who was timed in 16:36.93, and Pier Berkmans of Bronx Science, who ran the course, in 16:32.94.

As a team, Curtis with 80 points won the team title.

The championship team race attracted 22 schools from the five boroughs of New York City. Even students who did not participate in the meet came out to cheer their favorite runners. And college scouts came out to take notes on their future stars.

The athletes are now pointing for the indoor season, but the better cross country ones are headed for the last meet of the season, the FootLocker Cross Country Regional Meet at Van Cortlandt Park.