A family that runs together

Award-winning brother-sister duo finds ways to stay in motion

Abigail Jefferies, left, and her brother Adam, have earned more than 300 medals for their track and field events.
Abigail Jefferies, left, and her brother Adam, have earned more than 300 medals for their track and field events.
Melissa Koenig/Herald

Abigail and Adam Jefferies have earned more than 300 trophies in track and field events in less than ten years, and have competed in more events than they can count.

“They’re competing almost all year round and throughout the summer, traveling from Orlando, North Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, all over,” said their father and assistant coach, Jason Jefferies.

The siblings, who are both students at the Holy Name of Mary School, have competed in six Junior Olympics over the past eight years and qualified to compete in this year’s Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics in central Michigan. They were not able to attend, however, due to costs.

“Some of these events could almost be twelve days straight, and then you factor in hotel, you factor in travel, whether you’re using your personal vehicle or you’re flying it could be very expensive,” Jason said.

Instead, over the summer the family visited Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina on a two-week vacation. Everywhere they went, they found places to run.

“Our routine is when we travel, we try to add running points and that’s usually my job,” said their mother, Kanika.

“I like running with a good scenery around me,” said 12-year-old Abigail.

That is why she says she enjoyed running in the New York City Marathon last year. “When I was in Central Park, you had like the trees and the water next to you,” she said. The Jefferies siblings will be racing in the New York City Marathon again this year, which was held on Nov. 6.

To keep in shape, the siblings stretch, run around the track and climb stairs with their team, the Metro Eagles, at the Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans, Queens three days a week. When there is an event coming up, the team schedules extra practices during the weekends.

Their free time is spent completing homework and participating in other extra-curricular activities. Abigail is a member of the National Junior Honors Society and decided to quit dance classes to spend more time giving back to her community as a member of the club and completing high school level algebra homework.

Adam also made the honor roll and is a member of a golf team in Eisenhower Park. “I’m in an older group, I think I’m the youngest one in there. The group is for like 12 to 13-year-olds,” Adam, 9, said.

His golf team, the First Tee, typically meets after Adam’s track and field practices. After both practices, he said, he is exhausted. “I usually fall asleep in the car,” he said.

Abigail’s next competition will be at the Colgate Women’s Games, which will be held at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in December. Adam’s next competition will be at the Indoor Amateur Athletic Union Championships, which will be held in Landover, Maryland in March.