C.J. Washington’s first year of track and field is going well.
Plant City High School senior C.J. Washington became academically eligible for high school sports for the spring semester, and immediately joined the track team. He won in the triple and long jump events in his first-ever meet, and followed it up with third-place finishes last week at Wharton High.
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What made you come out for track?
My freshman year, I was doing kind of good (with grades), and then I slacked off. I came back out here to do something before I left.
How did you work to get your grades back up and get eligible?
I had to cut off all the negativity and get back into the books, like I’m supposed to be.
What’s your favorite subject now?
I like reading and writing.
Were your sights set on any other sports, or just track?
There was football, but I didn’t have (my grades) up in time. So, I got out here.
What was the transition like, going from three years on the sideline back into the action?
Well, I stayed doing something active. But coming out here and trying to adjust and learn everything, it was kind of difficult.
What was the hardest thing to learn out here?
I think it was the triple jump. You’ve got to swing your leg and land it properly. You’ve got to learn it and get it down pat.
How long did it take you to get it down?
I’d say about a week and a half, two weeks, something like that.
How did you feel when you picked up those wins at George Jenkins?
It was kind of crazy because it was my first time doing the triple jump. It was just long jump. But Coach (Drew Martucci) was like, “I need you to go out there,” so I went out there. It felt good. It was nice.
What are you hoping to accomplish this season?
Hopefully, to make it to states and try to beat some records that older people left.
Any college plans?
Two years of community college and two at a university.
What do you want to do after college?
I’d like to be a doctor.
As someone who successfully turned his grades around and reached your goal, what advice would you give to help someone who’s falling behind in the classroom?
Don’t slack at all. Not one bit. You’ll be trying to play catch-up, and it’s really hard. It’s not easy to just catch up and get everything made up that you’re supposed to have made up.