Speeding up to break the record

Senior Sanjay Motwani has his eyes on one prize: breaking the school record, set by Sydney Brown ‘19, in the 400 meter.
Sanjay getting set to run a fast race.
Sanjay getting set to run a fast race.
Kavi Riedi

In recent years, Saint Stephen’s track and field athletes have been breaking records all over the board: Sophomore Julian Lazarra breaking the 100m-110m hurdles with a time of 15.22 seconds, Sophomore Keymani Dillingham breaking not one but three records, in the 300m hurdles 200m dash and Shot Put with 12.15m, and finally 8th grader, Piper Pullen, broke the 100m dash with a time of 12.64 seconds.

However, in running events of 400m and over, those records haven’t been broken in over seven years.  

There is one current athlete, though, who just may be on track to break these records.

Track and Field star Sanjay Motwani has been working hard since the start of 8th grade. Since then, he’s had a high chance of breaking the 400m record. 

Motwani does not plan to continue running track in college, so this is his chance to leave Saint Stephen’s with his name on the record wall. 

The current record holder is Sydney Brown, who set a 50.42 in 2018. Motwani’s desire to break this blossomed after he came close during his sophomore year, with a time of 51.66 seconds. 

As an athlete, Motwani has garnered the admiration of his coaches and athletes alike.  His determination and persistence in workouts have reflected in his performance during track meets.

Motwani before the meet on April 18 at Palmetto High School.(Kavi Riedi)

At the beginning of Motwani’s junior year, he suffered a terrible leg injury that put him out for the rest of his season. This initially crushed his hopes of breaking the record, but instead of losing hope, he took action to recover as fast as he could.  Motwani aggressively participated in physical therapy and has since made it back onto the track.  

This year, as a senior, in a recent meet at Shorecrest, Motwani moved one step closer to breaking 50 seconds in the 400m. The time he hit was 52.06 seconds.

Head Coach AJ Brown and Assistant Coach Shameka Burdick believe Motwani would have broken the record earlier, but his injury at the beginning of his junior year really hurt his chances.

“It has been a joy to watch Sanjay grow up over the years and see how he has battled back from injury,” Brown said.  “I believe he will have an opportunity to medal at the state track and field meet this May and perhaps meet his goal of breaking the school record.

 The progression through Sanjay’s high school track season has not only impressed the coaches and himself but also shaped him into who he is today. 

“It’s been a joy to run for Saint Stephens’s and the people that have supported me throughout my journey here,” Motwani said. “It was frustrating last year that I couldn’t get to run that much, but that put me into a position where I can come back strong to finish my senior year of track.” 


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