February 8, 2024

Lake-Sumter State College Jaabir Taylor Named NJCAA Track & Field Athlete of The Week.

2.4 min read| Published On: February 8th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Lake-Sumter State College Jaabir Taylor Named NJCAA Track & Field Athlete of The Week.

2.4 min read| Published On: February 8th, 2024|

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has named sophomore sprinter Jaabir Taylor as the Men’s Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week after a standout performance on the track last weekend.

Taylor, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, competed in the 400M dash at the Celebration Pointe Classic in Gainesville on Saturday, Feb. 3. He ran in heat eight of the 400M finals, taking first in his heat and 18th overall in the event competing among NJCAA, NAIA, and NCAA Division I and II athletes.

Taylor’s time of 51:41 seconds was good for a new personal record (PR) and marked his third consecutive PR of the season. He was also the highest-finishing NJCAA athlete in the event.

Head Coach Cristy Snellgroves expressed her excitement for Taylor’s achievement, “As Jaabir’s coach, I could not be prouder to see him recognized as the NJCAA Athlete of the Week. His dedication to his sport and his unwavering commitment to excellence are truly commendable.”

“With a clear goal of becoming an Olympic athlete, Jaabir consistently puts in the work and effort required to achieve his dreams. His determination, discipline, and passion for his craft serve as an inspiration to his teammates and coaches alike,” said Coach Snellgroves.

“Jaabir’s dedication to his sport exemplifies the values we aim to instill in our student-athletes, said Padraic McMeel, LSSC Executive Director of Athletics. “Under the leadership of Coach Snellgroves, these players are becoming well-rounded individuals who not only excel athletically but also grow personally and professionally.”

“I am proud to congratulate Jaabir Taylor for this recognition as NJCAA Track & Field Athlete of the Week! We take great pride in the achievements of our student-athletes,” shared Lake-Sumter State College President Heather Bigard. “Jaabir’s success underscores the positive influence that our Athletics program has on our student-athletes and showcases our commitment to character development within the program. Go Lakehawks!”

“I have no doubt that Jaabir will continue to make strides towards his Olympic aspirations, and I am excited to see him continue to excel as an athlete and a student,” added Snellgroves.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field is in its inaugural season at Lake-Sumter State College, expanding from Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams that started in 2019. Track & Field practices at the National Training Center facility in Clermont, located next to the College’s South Lake Campus.

Track & Field Expansion

Head Coach Snellgroves boasts an impressive resume as a two-time U.S. medalist in the 50-mile National Championships, a bronze medalist at the Comrades Marathon 89k South Africa, and over 130 marathons completed in her running career. Snellgroves also trains Olympic-level athletes and coaches with Team USA Track & Field.

The teams will be back in Gainesville this weekend for their final regular season meet before competing at the 2024 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in March.

About Lake-Sumter State College

Founded in 1962, Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) offers a high-quality education at an affordable price to the communities of Lake and Sumter counties. LSSC embraces its mission as a community college to increase access and opportunity for all learners in its community. As a proud member of the Florida College System, LSSC serves more than 8,000 students annually at four locations and online: Leesburg, Four Corners, South Lake (Clermont), and Sumterville. LSSC offers non-credit, certificate, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree programs designed to support and prepare students to pursue their goals and join Florida’s dynamic workforce. LSSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Learn more about LSSC at www.lssc.edu.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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