Crestwood Middle School Boys Track Team Wins County Title

Crestwood’s Xavier Police competes in the high jump.

For the fifth time since 2012, the boys track and field team from Crestwood Middle School in Royal Palm Beach has won the honor of being the best boys middle school track squad in Palm Beach County.

On Monday, May 26, the Crestwood Eagles boys track squad won the Palm Beach County Middle School Track & Field Championship held at Park Vista High School. At the end of the event, the Crestwood boys earned 65 points to edge Howell L. Watkins Middle School, which finished in second place with 58 points. There were 36 schools competing.

According to Marque Drummond, Crestwood’s head track and field coach, the keys to his team’s victory were a fast effort in the opening race and a series of strong finishes in the relays and field events.

Alphonzo Carter started the meet in a big way for Crestwood with his win in the 110-meter hurdles. His winning time was 17.25 seconds. “I knew that we would be competitive, but we only had 13 scoring opportunities in the meet, whereas some schools had as many as 19 or 20 scoring chances,” said Drummond, who just completed his 23rd season as the track coach at Crestwood.

Crestwood won the 800-meter medley relay, was fourth in the 4×100-meter relay and finished fifth in the 4×400-meter relay.

The 800-meter medley relay has a unique configuration: two 100-meter sections, one 200-meter leg and a 400-meter segment to conclude the relay. The four members of that 800-meter medley relay quartet were Daniel Civil, Jaleel Stitt, Michael Chambers and Brandon Pendergrass II. Their winning time was 1:44.0. Pendergrass, a sixth grader, ran the longest leg of the race, which was the 400 meters at the end.

“When Brandon started, he had a slight lead and was able to extend the lead and win by more than 10 meters,” said Drummond, who is also the school’s athletic director and teaches eighth-grade reading. “Even though Brandon is just a sixth grader, I knew he would do well.”

In the 4×100-meter relay, Crestwood’s Pendergrass, Civil, Stitt and Jayden Espino ran the one-lap race in 48.3 seconds, good enough for a fourth-place finish. In the 4×400-meter relay, Nazier Watkins, Ja’Quan Johnson, Carter and Civil completed the four-lap race in 3:52.0.

In the field events, there were some strong performances by four members of the team. Chambers was third in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet; Xavier Police was third in the high jump by clearing the bar at 5 feet, 6 inches; Watkins finished third in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 6 inches; and Carter was eighth in the long jump with a jump of 18 feet, 3 inches.

In individual running races, Watkins was third in the 100-meter hurdles, Johnson was fifth in the 400 meters, Carter was fifth in the 800 meters and Pendergrass was eighth in the 100 meters.

In addition to this year’s team title, the team from Crestwood won the boys Palm Beach County Middle School Track & Field Championship title in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

The team members are: Treven Tipton, Michael Chambers, Ja’Quan Johnson, Jayden Espino, Joshua Destefano, Xavier Police, Alphonzo Carter, Nazier Watkins, David Alexis, K’Mari Dixon, Caleb Fulbright, Blake Girard, Brandon Pendergrass II, Mateo Hubbard, Jaleel Stitt, Daniel Civil, Jamarian Kelly, Rajon Fleurima and Christopher Jones.