“Running is a good way of teaching children teamwork as well as being an individual. It is an individual effort that keeps you in the limelight but it’s also the camaraderie that you have with your team that gives you the impetus to run. Running is a way to develop their leadership skills and provides all around development for the kids.”
So spoke Dawn Skeete, runner Owen Skeete’s mother, a former athlete, herself, at Brooklyn’s Clara Barton High School, where her specialty was the half mile.
The duo comes from a running family. Owen’s brother Deon Cameron became a standout runner in the ‘80s. Cameron competed for Brooklyn’s Alexander Hamilton and then August Martin high schools in the public schools system of New York City. Deon went on to get a scholarship to Indiana University and starred nationally. Dawn’s husband Leslie played soccer at Kingston College High School in Jamaica, West Indies.
“I was born in Jamaica (West Indies) but grew up in New York,” said Dawn. “We did not have a lot of structured things available to us, so we had to do what comes naturally. Jamaica is a hilly society with its physical terrain. I think that lends itself to a lot of athletes-mostly sprinters.”
Dawn’s son Owen Skeete, highly ranked in New York State in the mile and two miles, had previously qualified for the 3200 meter run when he was clocked in 9:14 at the Loukes Meet in White Plains in mid-May, but it didn’t really matter closer to home, more recently in the State Qualifier at Westbury High School. He finished in third place in a time of 9:35.03.
Wantagh’s Nick Filippazzo took the lead after the 1600 meter mark and went on to win the 3200 in 9:26.13.
“Skeete is a tough runner,” said the winner.
“With three laps to go it looked like fatigue hit Skeete,” said Westbury’s assistant coach Darin Harrison.
Dehydration and maybe not much to eat were possibly the reasons Skeete got beaten, thus marking his first loss on Long Island this season.
On the following day, the 1600-meter run was hard for him, but he still managed to come out victorious in 4:19.56.