LAWRENCE — Jerimil German had history firmly in his sights as he entered last weekend’s All-State track meet.
Just months into his track career, the Lawrence High junior was determined to become the Eagle-Tribune’s all-time leader in the 100-meter dash.
“After the (EMass.) Division 1 meet I saw it posted on Twitter that I had run the second fastest 100 in the history of the (Eagle-Tribune) area,” he said. “As soon as that came up, my goal was to beat that record. I knew the time and I knew I wanted to break the record so bad.”
German delivered by running a blazing 10.74 in the 100-meter trials at All-States, setting the record for the fastest FAT (automatic-timed) dash in Eagle-Tribune area history.
That broke the previous mark of 10.75 run by three-time Eagle-Tribune track MVP Christopher McConnell of Andover in 2010. The next best was a 10.84 run by Taylor Smith of Timberlane in 1998. Non-automatic times do not qualify for the record.
One week earlier, German broke the Lawrence High record of 10.87 run by Johan Rafael in 2005.
This record-setting feat comes despite German having never run track before this winter.
“I still don’t really believe it!” he said. “I’m still trying to process what this means. I’m so new to this sport. I can’t believe all of this has come so soon. I’m still learning track every day. But it has been awesome.”
On Saturday, German will run both the 100 and the 4x100 at the New England track meet in Sacco, Maine. And his coaches believe this is just the beginning.
“We have had some serious speed at Lawrence since our staff arrived, but he tops them all,” said Bill Meuse, Lawrence’s coach since 2014. “That says a lot. To break the area’s 100 meter record as a junior is amazing. We have no idea what he is capable of.”
Growing up in Lawrence — with a brief stay in Worcester — German acquired an appropriate nickname. But it came playing his original love, baseball.
“I wasn’t a very good hitter, but I had speed,” he said. “I played center field and could cover the whole outfield. And I was fast on the basepaths. So when I was up, my teammates would yell , ‘Speedy! Speedy!’ The nickname just kind of stuck.”
When high school arrived, German turned his attention to football. But his promising career as a running back and linebacker — at just 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds — was cut short by injuries.
“Sophomore year I suffered a bone contusion after a big hit,” he said. “It didn’t heal correctly and it took about six months before I really started feeling healthy again. I thought I was done with sports after that.”
German turned his attention to another passion, Lawrence High’s JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program.
“When I was younger I would see the Lawrence JROTC kids in their dress blues and I wanted to do it,” he said. “The first thing I did when I got to Lawrence High was sign up for it. Even as a freshman they talked about me becoming a battalion commander.
“I joined the JROTC’s PT (physical training) team. We would travel to compete against other schools in things like running and push-ups. I also did the drill team, which was a lot of rifle training and waking up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays.”
COMING TO TRACK
After deciding not to play football last fall, German found himself in need of direction.
“I would go home and I would just watch videos,” he said. “I though to myself, ‘I have this speed, why not go out and do something with it?’”
After considering baseball, German decided to go out for track.
“I was very nervous,” he said. “When I got there, I knew some people knew about my speed. I had high expectations, but it was nothing like any sport I had ever done. It was very free. It took me a while to cope with it.”
German began to impress during the indoor track season. He placed third in the 55 dash at the MVC championship (6.65) and was a member of the 4x200 that was fourth at MVCs.
“That all made me hungry to have an even better spring,” he said. “But I didn’t know what I was capable of. I worked very hard and pushed my body to the max to get myself where I am now.”
German’s true breakout day came at Andover Boosters, when he won the 100 (11.32), was second in the 200 (22.95) and ran on the winning 4x100 relay (43.72.)
He followed that by taking second in the 100 at MVCs (11.00) and fourth at EMass. Division 1s (10.76), breaking the Lawrence High record.
“We had no idea what he was capable of,” said Meuse. “He showed some flashes of real speed in the winter, but we were just happy to have another competitive kid in the 100 and for relays. Then, all of a sudden, we saw him run against Central and we knew we had something special.”
German then delivered his record day at All-States, breaking the Eagle-Tribune area mark in the trials. He then placed third in the finals (10.86). His 4x100 relay was fourth (43.05).
Now he is hoping for even more at New Englands.
“I feel like I could have done even better in the (All-State) finals,” he said. “I’ve been working on my acceleration and form out of the blocks. Now I can keep my head down and my body low, and my acceleration catches people off guard and wins me the race. I would love to be a New England champion.”
Here is a look at the Eagle-Tribune area’s all-time leaders in the 100-meter dash. All are automatic timed.
Name School Time Year
1. Jerimil German Lawrence 10.74 2019
2. Christopher McConnell Andover 10.75 2010
3. Taylor Smith Timberlane 10.84 1998
4. Johan Rafael Lawrence 10.87 2005
5. Larry Elizalde North Andover 10.90 1991
6. Jadyn Ruimwijk Pinkerton 10.92 2017
7. Hector Payano Greater Lawrence 10.92 2012
8. Enrique Cuesta Lawrence 10.94 2004
9. Francis Nova Lawrence 10.94 2010
10. Patrick Farnham Andover 10.94 2011
NOTE: Hand-timed records are not included.