Western Branch girls track breaks another national record

CHESAPEAKE (WAVY) – Claude Toukene, the former Olympian athlete and long-time track coach at Western Branch High School, says his teams never think about records.

In reality, they just break them.

“We just think about out-doing the group who came before,” said Toukene.

His girls 4×100 shuttle hurdle relay team set the standard yet again, breaking the national record with a blazing time of 55.06 seconds at last weekend’s New Balance Outdoor and Indoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“When we crossed the line, and it was like a national record, I was just like, ‘whoa,'” said Jada Terrell, who took a slim lead during the first leg. Her sophomore teammate Shadajah Ballard dominated the second leg, senior Jashella Jenkins maintained that lead through the third leg, and sophomore Adriana Shockley capped off the national title and the record.

“It means a lot because my freshman and sophomore year and junior year, I was kind of the underdog,” said Jenkins, who will continue her track career on a full athletic scholarship at Delaware State University. Terrell will run at East Carolina University.

Toukene, who ran at both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic games, has always stressed academics and good character more than athletic achievement. What his seniors have accomplished in the classroom demonstrate that. “(To see these seniors reach college), it’s one of the greatest feelings anybody could have,” he said.