By Shelby Townsend
After an impressive showing at the Roadrunner Invitational, freshman distance runner Jeffrey Reyes was named East Coast Conference’s Men’s Track Athlete of the Week April 4.
Reyes, a pre-med major, won the 800 and 1,500-meter run, crossing the finish line at 1:59.72 and 4:07.58, respectively, while also running the third leg of the 4×400 team that finished in third.
Earlier in the year, during the indoor track season, Reyes exceeded everyone’s expectations when he captured the East Coast Conference title in the 1,000-meter run while still recovering from a pulled hamstring. Reyes said he pulled his hamstring in his right leg, and also hurt his right knee, in December while working out.
Reyes said that overworking himself something that he has to work on. “Coach Buckley always encourages me to run faster, run better, but also not do too much because I’m the type of person who likes to work out a lot,” Reyes said, referring to Kevin Buckley head coach of all running teams at LIU Post.
Buckley, who is in his first year as head coach at Post, was the one who recruited Reyes from Bay Shore High School last year. “I didn’t know where to go, and Buckley just came out of nowhere and convinced me to come here,” Reyes said.
Reyes actually started his athletic career with football, only running competitively to gain speed for football. It was his sister Jasmin, who is just 10 months older than Jeffrey and a freshman on the University of Buffalo cross country and track and field teams, who introduced him to competitive running. After a successful winter and spring track season during his freshman year of high school, Reyes dropped football after his to focus on running full time. Some of his accomplishments during his four years at Bay Shore include: league champions three years in a row in spring track, qualifying for States his senior year in the 1,000-meter run, and also qualifying for nationals during his freshman and senior year in the 1,600-meter run and spring medley relay.
Reyes has continued his success in all three competitive running sports for the Pioneers: indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and cross country. He has actually cut his times during his first year on campus, and he credits Buckley for his continued success. “He’s always telling me less is more,” Reyes said. “When I’m feeling down, he’s always bringing me up and pushing me.”
Stefan Adams, a senior runner for the Pioneers, said that although Reyes has performed well, he knows he can still do better. “He works hard, probably harder than anyone else on the team,” Adams said.
As for his next three years at Post, Reyes said he hopes to eventually qualify and win nationals, as long as he can stay healthy.