Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Trentonian TV Special: Trenton High state track and field champion Jermaine Collier

Jermaine Collier (left) and Freedom Green

"Education is always first." -- Jermaine Collier

TRENTON -- Here's a quick lesson in Jermaine Collier 101: He's also first on the track. A lot.

200-meter dash: 21.9 seconds -- 1st
100-meter high hurdles: 14.05 seconds -- 1st
400-meter intermediate hurdles: 52.7 seconds -- 1st
4x400-meter relay team: anchor, 47.5-second split -- team takes 1st

Those 40 points boosted the Tornadoes to the NJSIAA Group IV team championship, Trenton's 1st crown in 7 years. "I always enjoy winning it as a team," Collier said Monday afternoon during an interview with Darren Freedom Green inside the Trentonian TV studio. The calm kid with a deep voice became the second Trenton High state champion to interview with Freedom, following in the footsteps of Ramiaah Bethea after he became the school's first wrestling champion a few months ago.

Collier isn't a me-me-me guy. He quickly listed the other three members of the 4x400 relay team in Zyaire Clemes (48.5 split), Brandon Hill (49.0 split despite arriving just in time for the race because he took the SAT earlier in the day) and Renard Howell (50.0 split). Howell (100) and Clemes (400) also won individual state titles.

Collier talked to Freedom about his start in track as an 8-year-old who was just running out energy back in 2002. "But as I progressed I saw what I can get out of it, which is a free education. I became emotionally attached to it, and from there I went on."

The free education he'll get for the next four years will take place at the University of South Carolina. "Gamecocks all day!" he said, which made Freedom, and me, laugh a bit.

Enjoy the 15-minute interview. Collier throws out love to his family, Al Jennings the Trenton High track god, the current Tornado coaches and a ton of others. Jermaine is everything that's right with Trenton.