Athletes of the Week (April 9-14): Preston Coker, Taliah Wall

Preston Coker and Taliah Wall have been named the Daily Journal’s Athletes of the Week for the week of Monday, April 9.

Coker is a junior on the Richmond boys track and field team who placed first in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, and came in second in the 100m dash, at Bill Carver Classic at Reid Ross Classical School this past Saturday. The junior sprinter finished the 200m with a time of 21.82 seconds and the 400m with 50.23 seconds.

He also helped the 4x100m and 4x200m relay teams to a couple of first-place finishes during last Thursday’s conference meet at Jack Britt — which Richmond won. Coker was runner-up in both the 100m and 200m dashes as well.

“I’ve been working on, sprint wise, coming off the block better and finishing the race stronger,” Coker said. “I’ve been eating my fruits and vegetables, continuing to hydrate, and listening to the coaches. Just doing what I’ve got to do.”

Wall is a junior on the Richmond girls track and field team who helped the Lady Raiders win last week’s meet at Jack Britt with her first-place finishes in the 100m hurdles (17.9s), the long jump (16 ft, 3 in) and the triple jump (33 ft, 3 in). Wall would tie for second in the high jump (4 ft, 8 in) with Jack Britt’s Tyne Haverkate.

At Reid Ross on Saturday, she placed ninth in the triple jump (32 ft, 7 in) and 14th in the long jump (16 ft, 1 in).

“A lot of people know me to be a good hurdler, but that wasn’t my main look last week. I was trying to work on my triple jump since it was my first time doing it,” Wall said. “I was excited about that (finishing first). That was pretty big for me.”

Both Coker and Wall look to continue their recent runs of success as the teams enter the final stretch of the season. Richmond will compete in its last regular-season meet of the year Thursday afternoon at Pinecrest.

“I’m trying to focus on beating the clock, not just the guy beside me, and getting my times down. I’m going to continue to keep working and just build up,” Coker added.

“I got some competition coming up. I’m looking forward to going up against Veronique (Woodson) from Hoke (in the 100m hurdles),” Wall said.

Below are Coker’s and Wall’s answers to questions presented by the Daily Journal:

Q: Who’s your biggest influence?

PC: My parents. They really teach me how to continue to work (hard) and follow my dreams.

Q: What would be your first purchase if you won the lottery?

PC: I’d pick a good house for my family and give them what they need.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

TW: I see myself as a successful nurse practicioner and living the dream.

Q: What would be your first purchase if you won the lottery?

TW: I’d purchase my mom and my brother a big house, get my own car, and then get my mom and brother their own cars. Just provide for my family first.