Hall's jumps lead West Hempstead


Jurrel Hall enjoyed winning three individual events last spring when he helped West Hempstead to its first-ever track and field county championship, a crown it shared with Clarke.
And although the Rams couldn’t overcome Clarke in the Nassau Class C indoor championships Feb. 8 at St. Anthony’s High School, Hall put on another show winning the triple jump, long jump and high jump titles. He set a new school record in the triple jump, traveling 44-feet, 11-inches.
“It’s the first time in at least 10 years we finished this high in the winter,” West Hempstead coach Nick DiBenedetto said. “We don’t have an enormous roster, but we had a lot of big performances. Jurrel got 30 points just like he did in the spring. He’s in a league of his own.”
Hall, who played basketball last winter and didn’t compete in track, is looking to compete at the collegiate level and starting to draw some interest, DiBenedetto said. He’s ranked fifth in the state in the triple jump and in the top 10 in the high jump.
“He’s looking to feed off of last spring’s experience at the state meet and be All-State,” DiBenedetto said of Hall, who helped the Rams’ football team reached the Conference IV championship game. “He got that taste of big success and became a student of the sport,” he added. “He’s equally talented in the triple jump and high jump. You don’t see kids like him too often. Some of his jumps would score points in Division 1 college meets.”

West Hempstead had four other All-County performances. Senior Corey Pierre, the football quarterback, was runner-up in the 55-meter dash in 6.71 seconds. Junior Alex Santos-Acosta ran second in the 1000m, senior Samuel Mwenda took second in the shot put, and senior Caleb Blue placed third in the triple jump.
“Corey was part of the crew that didn’t compete last winter and rode the wave of a great football season,” DiBenedetto said of Pierre.
Santos-Acosta had a strong cross country season and is a workhorse, training 60 miles or more each week. “He’s our first All-County distance kid since I’m coaching here,” DiBenedetto said.

Guerrier twins continue surge
West Hempstead seniors Gloria and Victoria Guerrier both captured county titles as well as All-County honors in a second event. They ran neck-and-neck in a thrilling 600m race, coach Colin Grey said, and were separated by a stride at the finish line with Gloria setting a new school record with a time of 1-minute, 34.19-seconds.
“Every race with them is full of surprises,” Grey said. “They both have a tremendous work ethic to go with their talents. They’re at the top of the class academically and both are headed to Yale.”
Victoria turned the tide in the 300m, winning the Class C title in 40.9 seconds. Gloria was third in 41.07.
Last spring, Gloria won the state title in the 400 hurdles, while Victoria was All-State in the 800.
“They’re extremely competitive against kids on other teams and also against each other,” Grey said.