Cooper has two podium finishes at state meet

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 10 June 2017 at 3:49 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Jalin Cooper

Medina High junior Jalin Cooper had two podium finishes at the state Division 2 (small schools) track and field championships today at Union-Endicott High near Binghamton.

Cooper placed third in the 200 with a time of :22.38 and fourth in the 100 in :11.45. He placed sixth in the 100 last year at the states.

He advanced to the finals by posting the third fastest time in the 100 (:10.84) and fifth best (:22.09) in the preliminaries on Friday.

“I reached one of my goals – in the 200 – I wanted to get into the top three and I was able to do that,” Cooper said. I was a little disappointed in my performance in the 100 because I wanted to compete for a championship in that but I just couldn’t find that finishing kick. But overall, I improved my position in both races from last year.”

“There’s a big difference (between running at the states as opposed to the sectionals). The talent is so good,” he added. “And you run against people you’ve never seen before. It doesn’t really change my approach to the meet – you always have to think: explode out of the blocks and run hard no matter where you are because you are always running against yourself.”

Cooper has also quickly set his goals for his senior track season.

“Other than winning both, my biggest goal is to have either my 4×100 team or some other teammates there competing with me,” he said. “I want to push them to have this experience too because it’s a great experience. I look around and I see all these people there with teammates and it’s so much fun for them. I liked everybody there and I got along great with all the other competitors, but I just see all those people on the same team having fun and I want my teammates to have that experience too. So I’m really going to push them to train this next year and try to get there with me.”

A three sport athlete  who has already drawn the attention of numerous Division 1 colleges for football, Cooper has captured both the Section VI 100 and 200 championships each of the last two years.