Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garcia getting back on track at 'Vliet

Watervliet senior Melique Garcia (center) edges out Averill Park's Chris Miller in the boys' 100 meter dash at the second annual Knight at the Races at Lansingburgh High School. Garcia won with a time of 11.06. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

I caught up with Watervliet High School senior Melique Garcia at Lansingburgh's Knight at the Races meet Friday night.

Garcia had a great story to tell.

During the first football game of the season, he tore his ACL. He worked and worked and worked to get back in shape and has been a blur on the track this spring. He's won almost every 100 meter and 200 meter dash he's entered this season, including a pair of wins at the Knight at the Races.

He made it to the New York State meet a season ago and carried the Cannoneers' 4x100 relay team to a third place finish among Division II teams.

In fact, track and field was just an afterthought for Garcia. He played football since Pop Warner and wrestled his freshman year of high school. Once his football coaches saw his speed, they urged him to pick up sprinting as a hobby.

For the full story, check out Sunday's edition of The Record.

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Another interesting nugget to this story is that Watervliet lacks a track at the high school. Still, that hasn't deterred the track and field team one bit.

They use the hill around the school to train and Shaker High School has always been generous in letting the Cannoneers practice there.

"It’s kind of funny because every other school has a track and we don’t," Garcia said. "But in a way, in benefits us. We run up our school hill and we do different things that normal schools wouldn’t do."

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