Heading into this year’s winter indoor track season, Newark High runner Jarod Wilson had already made his mark as a two-time first-team All-State cross-country selection and indoor state champion. However, on Jan. 17 at the Yale Track Classic in New Haven, Conn., the senior made perhaps his biggest mark on the sport here in the First State.
It was at Yale University where Wilson broke a 20-year-old Delaware state record in the 800-meter run with a blazing time of 1:56.05.
“It’s pretty crazy, honestly,” Wilson said. “I remember starting indoor track my freshman year, never having run before, and looking at the big dogs on my team and in the state in complete awe. I never really thought I’d be in a position where I’d be so competitive, let alone break a state record. It’s really rewarding and great to see what I’ve accomplished.”
The previous record of 1:56.72 was held by Steve Sinko, who set the mark in 1994 while running for St. Mark’s.
“I knew that Jarod was going for it [at Yale] and I fully expected the record to go down,” said Sinko, who is now the head track coach at Newark Charter. “When I set the record, I really had no idea it would last that long. After watching Jarod run last year at the DIAA indoor state championships and again at the New Castle County outdoor championships, I thought he would be the one to finally take it down. I’m glad he was able to make it happen.”
Wilson has had a great senior season to date. At the Christmas City Relays at Lehigh University in December, he won the mile with a time of 4:29.38 and came back an hour later to win the 400-meter run in 50.18. Both were meet records.
“Jarod has extreme range,” Newark coach Mike Mooney said. “He is an exceptional athlete who has the ability to focus every day on every drill, every workout.”
Wilson is well-liked by his teammates and is as accomplished off the track as he is on it.
“Jarod accomplishes all of this with great humility and a real care for his teammates and fellow competitors,” Mooney added. “He excels equally in the classroom. He is currently ranked second in the senior class and participates in several leadership organizations on both the state and national level.”
Sinko knows firsthand what it takes to reach Wilson’s level of success.
“I still remember the amount of hard work that was put in to make that effort happen, so I can really appreciate what Jarod has done,” Sinko explained. “By all accounts he is a good, hardworking young man, and I'm very happy he was able to reach that goal and make the record his own.”
Wilson was quick to credit others.
“I have a really great support network between my coaches, my mom and my team,” said Wilson, who is undecided about college but looking at MIT, Dartmouth, Annapolis, West Point and Lehigh. “They provide the push and motivation. Especially the team. They make it possible to grind out the tough runs and workouts that we do. Running with them has been a blast.”
UD cheer squads excel at Nationals
It was another impressive showing for the University of Delaware spirit teams last weekend as the Blue Hens Co-Ed Cheerleading team captured its second straight national title at the Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association National Championships at Walt Disney World.
In addition to the national title, mascot YoUDee finished second in the Mascots Open Division and the Dance team placed second in both the Division I Jazz Division and the Division I Hip-Hop Division.
Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters banquet scheduled
The state’s best athletes, coaches and teams will be honored at the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association's 66th annual banquet on Feb. 16 at noon at the Sheraton Wilmington South Hotel. One of Newark’s local athletes will receive the Buddy Hurlock Unsung Hero Award, to be announced in the Feb. 6 edition of the Post.
Tickets are available for $30 at delasports.org.
Sports JaM debuts on Fox Sports 1290
Matt Pencek and I are co-hosting Sports JaM, a show that tries to jam as much sports talk as possible – local and national – into 30 minutes on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. The show is also available on podcast at FoxSports1290am.com/media.