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Clara Barton star runs away with Wingate Award

Track & Field was a part of Kadian Dunkley’s life growing up. She ran for fun back home on the Island of Jamaica and when she came to Brooklyn at the age of 12.

She never saw it as more than a recreational activity – until last year, that is, when Dunkley began to take off (no pun intended) during the cross country, indoor and outdoor track seasons, qualifying for the New York State meet in all three.

“I realized I was very successful if I put my mind to it and I could see a future,” said Dunkley, who lives in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

At the 2009 PSAL outdoor track and field championship, the Clara Barton senior finished in the top 10 in three events: 400−meter intermediate hurdles (second), 400 dash (sixth) and was a member of a tenth place 4 x 100 relay (10th). In cross country, she won the PSAL individual title and finished second at the Mayor’s Cup. As a junior, she won the 2,000 steeplechase at the 2008 PSAL outdoor track and field championships. Dunkley will run at South Plains College in Texas, where she will also study business, next fall.

Adding to those accomplishments, Dunkley was awarded the PSAL Wingate award for outdoor track & field.

“It means everything,” she said. When Dunkley was told about the honor, she was surprised. “I was shocked, but I was really happy and proud of myself.”

Added Clara Barton coach Hollie Denny−Bishop: “She’s a pretty reserved person, quiet, but on the track she gives it her all. She’s like a silent warrior. She’s very coachable. I wish I had a few more like her.”

Denny−Bishop praised Dunkley for her versatility, raw talent and determination. The coach feels her star runner has yet to reach her potential. Clara Barton doesn’t have a practice facility, so many of their workouts are held indoors.

“She should improve greatly,” Denny−Bishop said.

Dunkley isn’t exceptional just on the track. She enjoys volunteering with the New York Road Runners Club and Alpha Pre−school and participating in charity events such as the Prospect Park Breast Cancer Walk.

“I like to help my community,” she said.

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