Male Athlete of the Week: Jimenez soaring to track success for Falcons

Coy Jimenez

STRASBURG – Coy Jimenez felt some uncertainty heading into his sophomore track and field season for Central High School this spring.

As a freshman last year, Jimenez competed in one meet for the Falcons before suffering a hairline fracture while “messing around” in gym class, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The injury sidelined Jimenez for the rest of the spring track season, leaving him wondering how he would rebound when Central began competing again in 2016.

“It made me feel like I wasn’t gonna get enough out coming into this year,” Jimenez said prior to the Conference 35 Track and Field Championships at Strasburg High School on Tuesday. “It made me feel like I wasn’t gonna be as good coming into this year, but I got in the gym, did some work and … I was pretty strong coming in.”

Jimenez returned to full strength in time to participate in golf in the fall, but he admits he was a bit rusty when the Falcons hit the track for their first meet back in March. The sprinter shined in that first meet, a quad at Strasburg, and Jimenez hasn’t slowed down since.

“Expectations were to try to surprise myself, coming off of not running a lot last year,” he said. “Trying to come here and see what I can do, try to build on what I can do. It’s turned out pretty good.”

In last week’s Bull Run District Championships, also at Strasburg, Jimenez continued to build on what has turned into a stellar sophomore season. Jimenez, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for May 9-15, won the boys 400-meter run with a time of 51.55 seconds, was second in the 100-meter dash (11.33), third in the discus (125 feet, 6 inches) and ran a leg of the Falcons’ championship-winning 4×400 relay (3:36.08).

Jimenez contributed a total of 26.5 points to the Falcons’ total of 146, easily handing Central the boys team championship.

The sophomore said the district meet, a final tune-up for the true postseason competitions, went about as he expected, although he has loftier goals still to accomplish over season’s final few weeks.

“I set really high goals in the 100 and the 400.” Jimenez said. “My 100 goal was to run a sub-11, just like 10.98 or something like that, and I’ve ran 11.3, so I’m getting closer. And then I set a goal of a sub-50 in the 400 and I’m knocking off my time and getting closer and closer. Hopefully I can get down there and get that.”

The momentum Jimenez has been building all season continued in the Conference 35 meet earlier this week. The speedster streaked to a sweep of the three sprinting events, as he won the 100 (11.4 seconds), the 200 (22.96, a new personal record) and the 400 (51.23).

Central head track coach Rick Lytton praised Jimenez’s work ethic.

“The kids watch him because he is the hardest worker on the team,” Lytton said. “He can laugh and have a good time, but he can also work really hard all the time. And he’s become a pretty good discus thrower in addition to being a sprinter and a relay runner.”

Central’s boys, not lacking in contributions from up and down their roster, continue to excel as a group, as the Falcons also ran away with the conference team championship. They will try to maintain that momentum next week at the Region 2A East Championships, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at East Rockingham High School.

“We have a really, really strong guys team, so we had high expectations and we’ve met a lot of them,” Jimenez said. “We’re getting guys qualified for states and we’re looking pretty good.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com