His full athletic scholarship to UCLA is already secured. But that certainly hasn’t changed Rai Benjamin’s pedal-to-metal approach to his last year of high school track.
Saturday, the Mount Vernon senior outran both the reigning national indoor and outdoor high school champions in the Hispanic Games 400-meter invitational at the Armory in New York City.
Although slower than his 2014 best of 47.17, Benjamin’s 47.76 clocking is the fastest among American high school boys this year, Mount Vernon coach Marcus Green noted.
Indoor champion Richard Rose ran 48.66 and outdoor champ Josephus Lyles ran 48.76.
Long-range, Benjamin wants to crack 46 seconds but he was pleased with Saturday’s performance.
“I just wanted to run my race and execute it right and face the clock,” Benjamin said. “I’m happy with the result. I just want to keep improving. It’s coming together.”