The Seaford Blue Jay track program is breathing new life, and with the growing interest in the sport, the student athletes are enjoying small successes. The Seaford girls’ team held up the state championship trophies in 1983, 1984, and 1985.
The boys’ team fielded many strong competitors over the years and a new rising star is emerging in junior Jazonte Levan.
The boys’ relay teams have their sights set on repeating state champions in the 4×200 but also nabbing the first place ribbon in the 4×100. The relay team of Careen Bolden, Tre’Von Paulson, Tyree Seymore, and Levan are improving over last year’s 44.49 time with a season best of 42.89. The 4×200 team of Michael Trammell, Paulson, Alex Jean, and Levan will have the bullseye as the returning state champions with a 2022 time of 1:31.52.
The girls relay team won the bronze medal in the state meet for the 4×200 and this years’ new runners Navea Cannon, Jordyn Evans, Jeannica Odaris, along with senior Bazeline Medard have their sights on future medals.
Seaford is led by Coach Jamaal Austin, who in two short years is reigniting fun for the student athletes by opening up the track and field experience. Levan had no idea he could run and compete in track more or less rise to national competitions and hold the state title in 200 meter dash.
Last season Jazonte caught the eye of many but it is Coach Dontez Collins of the Above Expectations Travel Team who has helped him improve and also receive attention beyond Delaware.
“Coach Austin spoke to Coach Collins after the Meet of Champs and that is how I came to work out and compete in the different places,” Levan said.
Recently Jazonte ran a 21.5 in the 200 meter race in Maryland. “I want to give exposure to Seaford track,” said Levan. “I learned there are many great athletes and saw how fast the athletes are around the nation. I knew I had to get faster to get to the next level.”
The junior, in his second year of track, said the sport has pushed him personally, “I came to realize nothing comes easy, work and consistency is key in life. This is not just in track or sports but in the classroom.”
Jazonte said he gives a lot of credit to his football coach Mark Quillin. “Coach Q really pushed me to be a better person. In ninth grade I didn’t like school, avoided practice and he spoke to me and got me in the weight room and changed my perspective. I realized I had potential. Coach Jensen Dennard and Coach Jamaal Austin reinforced Coach Q teachings. It is a great community.”
Jazonte spoke of personal goals for track, “I want to break the school record held by Dom Brown. I met him and he told me that he is looking forward to me breaking it and I really respect that and him.”
Jazonte holds the school record in the 200 meter dash and said his goal is to break the 21.36 record held by Edwin Rosenbert in 2017.
“You may think you are faster but you have to keep coming to get better every day.”
He works out in the weight room, upper body only during track season and said the commitment helps him in and out of school, “Excellence does not come without hard labor and a lot of commitment. I lean on the coaches and understand you can’t be great without the hard work.”
Jazonte said his coaches help him see different perspectives, “Coach Austin told me the middle school and elementary kids are looking up to me so anything I do will affect them.”
Jazonte wears his Seaford attire everywhere. “People who don’t know me watch us and know I represent Seaford. I know that anything I do will get documented fast so I must represent and act maturely.”
He gives credit to his mother Deshayla Mann and grandmother Geraldine Lofland who influenced him and he appreciates all the people who lift him up in life.
The Seaford junior has big plans for his future and wants to take advantage of every moment of high school. “My first passion is football and I hope to be able to go to college and play football. If they would allow, I would also run track because it can only help improve my speed as a running back. Coaches want to see our times in the 40 yard dash,” said Levan.
Levan led the Seaford football team with 1,345 total yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He was named first team all-district and second team all-state in 2022.
In the moment Jazonte is enjoying track season and time with his high school friends. “We appreciate the crowd support and I really want the community and school to come together and watch us run track. I want more students to join the team and run track with us,” he said.
As the season closes and the conference and state championship meets draw near Jazonte said he is laser focused. “I want to be in the top 10 in the nation in my times, I want our relay teams to win the state championship ribbon, and I want to be a New Balance All America,” Jazonte said. “I believe in myself and there is no catching me, I am that focused and trust in myself.”
Editor’s note- Levan ran a 10.57 in the 100 meter dash last Tuesday to set a new school mark.