At this past weekend’s Hispanic Games, a brawl broke out between a pair of New York high school 4×400-meter relay squads midway through the third heat.
Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) High sopho**re Rai Benjamin and an unidentified Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) High athlete collided, and when Benjamin attempted to rejoin the race, he was taken down by another TJHS runner, according to a Journal News report. A fight resulted between the two teams, including athletes not yet competing.
The two teams were initially suspended indefinitely from future competi*ion at New York City’s Armory, where many major prep track competi*ions are held throughout the winter, but Mt. Vernon has since been reinstated after a one-meet suspension, according to the report.The fate of the Thomas Jefferson team has not yet been determined.
Remarkably, the announcer from the official Hispanic Games video footage (starting at the 8:51:00.0 mark) barely acknowledged the fight as it broke out in front of him, and the race continued as if nothing happened. Then again, the fans in attendance who caught the above angle of the brawl seemed a tad overzealous.
The incident brings about memories of the fight between French runners Mehdi Baala and Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad during an IAAF competi*ion last year, but that altercation occurred after a race; not during one.