After historic prep career, Washington set for next step along with summer track clubs

Wilmington - During his senior outdoor season, he won four state championships - triple jump, long jump, 110 hurdles and the 4x200 relay.

This, in addition to helping North Brunswick win four straight championships as a team still wasn't enough for Jayhlen Washington.

"I feel like I could've had a better career. I could've trained harder," Washington said, in a chat during practice for his summer team, the Cape Fear Flyers. "My work ethic wasn't as good as it used to be back in my freshman year. But it started coming back. As long as I continue to work hard I think I'll do good.

Washington says his father was one of his biggest motivators, and when he moved down to Georgia, he lost some of that edge. Still, this past season he found it again in pursuit of elite marks, and it's led him to the college level. He'll spend next season at Essex County College up north, in part because he prefers...cooler temperatures.

"I'm from Seattle Washington so I'm used to cold weather. I had the chance between New Jersey, Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, and Texas, and I choose New Jersey because it's the coldest."

The plan is to eventually come back to UNCW – where any summer day you might see his club team, the Cape Fear Flyers, or Port City Track Club and Without Limits, developing the next generation of track athletes.

"We saw a need for it, and there really wasn't a real track and field program" said Rod Bell, the head coach of Port City Track Club. "And Coach T (Tamika Newsome) and myself – we both coach at Laney - we said we need to start something. Because coaching on the high school level, we found once we went above that I-95 corridor that these kids, golly, what are they doing? And then I talked to a couple of coaches, and they said you've got to have a feeder program."

Without Limits, Port City Track, and the Cape Fear Flyers - all programs for both high school athletes, and those at a younger stage.

"I'm really glad I joined," said Meagan, an incoming sixth grader who earned four state titles at her most recent meet, qualifying her for Regionals. 
"The coaches are always there while you're running so that helps a lot, and they always are cheering you on and helping and correcting you."

All three programs qualified nearly 100 athletes combined for Regionals. Stay tuned to WECT throughout the upcoming weeks for updates on athletes that advance to the national meet.

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