No Track, No Problem: TechBoston Academy runners relish underdog role

Stacy Jean, Bedjina Blanc, Bianca Tropnas, and Maeva Dorelien make up the girls’ 4 x 400-meter relay team that took third at the City Championships.
Photos courtesy TechBoston Academy track

When it comes to City League indoor track and field, TechBoston Academy in Dorchester isn’t among the usual names at the top of the leaderboard. But last Tuesday (Feb. 9), the boys’ team turned heads when they took second place in the ultra-competitive City Championship Meet at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center.

It was even more impressive for the fact that over the last few years, the Bears have built up to that second-place finish without having a track to practice on.

“We’re scrappy,” said Coach Scott Muhlstein. “We practice in the hallways. We run the hallways, the stairs – we find space in the library or the cafeteria. We practice pretty much anywhere we can find space. They have to open doors and avoid getting knocked over by custodians.

“We really try to keep our consistency and positivity and really try to make the best of our circumstances,” he added. “So many of the kids are used to doing that in their lives.”

Senior Captain Wod Magloire, Coach Scott Muhlstein, and Senior Captain Kenyon Colbert with the TechBoston Academy track team’s division champion banner and runner-up award from last week’s City Championship. The TechBoston team has enjoyed the underdog role this year, surprising many with their improvement.

While other city teams, and their better resourced suburban counterparts, use posh indoor track facilities, the TechBoston team has done quite well in its makeshift facilities at the former Dorchester High building. In fact, the athletes have prospered in those practice conditions, which certainly haven’t hurt their state qualifying 4 x 200-meter relay team.

“For each leg, they run from the first floor up the stairs, around the hallway and down the stairs and make space to simulate an exchange zone on the first floor,” he said. “They qualified for state.”

That 4 x 200 team was a shining light for the team at last week’s competition, taking second place and qualifying for this Thursday’s (Feb. 16) State Meet, also at Reggie Lewis, and picking up a South Division Conference Championship. The relay team is made up of senior co-captains Kenyon Colbert and Wod Magloire, as well as Peterson Petit and Jean Bernard.

The star of the team is Colbert, who surprised everyone by taking first place in the 300-meter run and the long jump. He has qualified for the state meet in those events, too, as has Petit in the 55-meter dash.

“It’s kind of fun to be the underdog,” said Colbert, referencing the surprise to perennial track powerhouses like John D. O’Bryant High School and Boston Latin Academy. “People feel like we came out of nowhere.”

Senior Captain Kenyon Colbert qualified for the state track meet this week in three events.

Colbert has participated in track all four years and came to the team because he was tired of basketball whose team practiced at the same time. He wandered into a track team practice session one day and never looked back. His success this year has all to do with changing up his events.

“I ran more longer events like the 600 meter and the 4 x 400-meter relay and the 4 x 200-meter relay,” he said. “Earlier this year, I was at a meet and joined the 300-meter race and ended up getting first. It felt good so we decided to stick with it.”

Colbert and Magloire do their best to lead a young team, and both said they were going to be proud no matter what place they ended up – with Magloire giving all the credit to Colbert for his leadership.
Junior Jaquin ‘JQ’ Fahnbulleh said that even though his main sport is football, he has come to love competing with the TechBoston track team.

“We have a really, really great squad,” he said. “We love to push each other and that makes us a better team. We have so many kids that shave down their times. Even on weekends we’re working. We’ve done everything we’re supposed to do to be in this position.”

On the girls’ side, Muhlstein said the girls are making great progress as well – finishing 5th of 10 teams at the City Championships – under the leadership of Captain Bianca Tropnas. The 4 x 400-meter relay team took third place, with Tropnas, Stacy Jean, Bedjina Blanc and Maeva Dorelien running the four legs.

He said that sophomore Claudean Hawthorne has shown great promise in the 55-meter dash, qualifying for the finals at the city meet.

The coach noted that the boys and girls have improved every year in the classroom and on the track. Now, all that hard work is paying off in medals.

“Each year we’ve gotten stronger, and we’ve continued to build the program,” he said. “Our numbers have been growing every year as a team and that’s definitely building a culture around track. Over the years we’ve had a lot of individual successes, but this was the first time we really got it together as a team.”

Muhlstein is in his fifth year as head coach. His assistants include Jalissa Ross, Chrissy Fernandes, Fatima Sidibe, and Joe Anderson.

The TechBoston Academy indoor track team.

Track Seniors.jpg
The 2022-23 seniors on the TechBoston indoor track team.


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