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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Okafor, Cotton lead the boys track team at Doane

Kayira Donatho
Preston Okafor

Preston Okafor is off to a blazing start in his final season of track and field.  Okafor broke the 60m record with a time of 6.86 at the Doane HS Track & Field Meet.  This was only the beginning of Okafor’s reign of dominance as he went on to win the 200m indoor at College of Saint Mary.

Track isn’t the only thing Okafor has excelled in at Westside, Okafor found the majority of his success on the football field as a defensive back for the undefeated state championship winning team.  This past fall Okafor signed to play Division 1 football at the University of Nebraska.

At the Westside Invitational Okafor laid down a blazing time of 10.65 in a sweep of the 100m with his teammates Keynan Cotton and Christian Jones respectively.

The trio makes up 75% of the 4×1 team that has high expectations this season.  However, they haven’t been able to show what they are truly capable of due to injury.

“I think once our 4×1 is healthy, we could do some scary things at state,” said Okafor.  “It could be good for sure, school record, hopefully state, we’ll definitely be good.”

This season Okafor has exceeded expectations. People knew what he was capable of, but no one expected him to be running this fast this early into the track season so the sky’s the limit from here.

“This is only the beginning, it’s just going to keep getting better, so it’s great,” said Okafor.   “I mean, I still could fix up my start, but my top speed helps.  I can still fix up some things, so it’s just the beginning.”

Okafor has been putting in extra work since the offseason, so it was no surprise to Coach Adante Lloyd that all of this hard work would show on the track.

“I would say we knew Preston would run fast.  He has put in a ton of work in the weightroom and has really been working on his form, technique, and race execution”, said Lloyd.

The Husker commit is using this track season to prepare him for his first fall down in Lincoln.

“This helps me and talking to my DB coach up at Nebraska for this too,” said Okafor.  “It’s good for me to come in there being fast and in shape.  And we’ll all get taught the  same, position stuff, but it’s just good for me to be in shape and so to get my speed once I get up there which will help me in my position.”

Okafor’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.  His hard work has been recognized by his coaches a lot this year.

“Preston is committed.  He has not missed a day since he has made up his mind to run track this year.  He works hard on his body and is following a strength regimen that’s very complimentary to his track and field workouts.  Track and Field takes serious dedication when it comes to having record setting goals and performances,” said Lloyd.

”It’s been great. I mean, a little bit of a roller coaster, but yeah, I’d say it’s actually pretty good.  You know, I have great coaches this year, which is honestly a blessing.”

”I go down there a few times for practice and stuff.  So then we all catch and just talk about how I’m doing on track so it’s pretty nice.”

Okafor’s coaches believe that him being a multiple sport athlete has really helped him significantly on the track.  Without football Okafor wouldn’t be as good of an all around athlete.

“Different sports give young athletes different skills and experiences. It also allows an athlete to be competitive in different ways.  I think sports like football and wrestling bring out qualities like being team oriented and tough,” said Lloyd.  “Looking at some of the foundational aspects like effort and toughness that our football team promotes, those things transcend over to track and field.  Track when you really get down to the qualities that make an athlete great, is not easy.”

If Okafor keeps up his record breaking ways, he’ll be sure to break a couple more records before the end of his high school career.

”I try to stay modest, but I think Preston is in a position that he could likely break the 200m record at Westside that his brother has.  He could also go after the 100m record that Jaylen set last year,” said Lloyd.  “Records are hard to be broken and the season can put obstacles in front of you.  I believe that Preston is tough, if he can stay healthy and get the right conditions he’ll have some amazing performances this year.

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About the Contributors
Kara Stricklin
Kara Stricklin, Sports Journalism Writer
Kayira Donatho
Kayira Donatho, Sports Journalism Writer and Photographer
This is my first year in sports journalism.  I am a writer and a photographer.  I love nachos and sour patch kids.
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