Western Branch track gives coach Claude Toukene a championship send-off

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CHESAPEAKE (WAVY) – Claude Toukene’s legendary tenure as the head track coach at Western Branch High School officially came to an end last weekend at the New Balance National Outdoor Championships, where his team took home an additional five national titles. 

“It means everything,” said Toukene, who’s leaving to take over the brand new program at Bryant and Stratton College in Virginia Beach. He leaves Western Branch with a resume full of All-Americans, state titles, state records, national tiltes and national records. 

His shuttle relay team, with Shedajah Ballard, her sister Na’Taja, Adriana Shockley and Jazmine Tolmon broke the national record they set just last year. 

“To get it back-to-back, that was a big thing,” said Shockley. 

The Bruins’ 4×400 mixed relay group, which includes Na’Taja Ballard, Shockley, Jarod Knight and Darian Perkerson also set a national record on their way to the title. 

“They told me they wanted to give me a good sendoff, and they went out on the track and gave everything,” said Toukene.

“I can only be proud of them.” 

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