With God as her springboard, Te'Aira Branham-Patrick ‘25 earned an indoor track State championship title when she placed first in the 200m dash. Running a personal best of 24.25, the fastest time in CJ indoor track history, her performance is the sixth fastest time to ever run in the 200m indoor State competition.
The road to State was not a smooth one for Te’Aira Branham-Patrick as she took almost eight months off, prior to the start of the season, to recover from an injury. Her winning mindset, however, kept her focused on her goals and looking toward the future.
“I was worried about how this indoor season would turn out due to me being off for so long, but I was determined and focused to get better and stronger,” she said. “I had to train that much harder in order to make up for the time I had missed, but I knew with my faith and God by my side — anything was possible.”
Her winning strategy centered around a healthy mindset. While winning was a goal for Branham-Patrick, her highest priority was maintaining her health and running her very best.
“I had my goal times set and every time I broke them, I made more,” said Branham-Patrick.
Three to State
With camaraderie and teamwork at the forefront of the CJ indoor track program, the Eagles sent three student athletes to compete at State. In order to qualify, a participant must be a member of the milesplit top 40 final list. Of that top 40, the top 26 fastest times or longest jumps are accepted. CJ athletes took three of the 26 spots available, entering Zyon Woods ‘24 in the 60m hurdles, Jeffrey Wall ‘23 in the long jump, and Te’aria Branham-Patrick in the 60m dash, 200m dash and 400m dash.
Branham-Patrick credits her support system, which includes her family, teammates, coaching team and God, for her performance.
“When you have people by your side who believe in you every stop of the way, and encourage you to keep going, it reminds you who you are and what you can do. I encourage anyone reading my story to never give up on your dreams and to have faith in God because anything is possible through Him.”
Branham-Patrick and the rest of the CJ track team are now preparing for the official outdoor track season to begin.
“CJ track is growing into a program that is garnering respect around the state and is bringing out approximately 40 percent more athletes this year,” said Sheldon James, head coach. “Each team member is developing at a phenomenal rate, and our seniors are focusing on their future education along with their opportunities and ability to participate in NCAA athletics.
“Our motto is to have a State, State of Mind and to be great in all aspects of life,” he said.