St. Joseph’s Prep junior and Mt. Airy resident Salim Epps received the Most Valuable Runner Award at the Philadelphia Catholic League Indoor Track Championships. (Photo courtesy of Bill Avington)

For St. Joseph’s Prep junior Salim Epps, of Mt. Airy, winning the 400-meter dash at the 2019 Catholic League Indoor Championships was personal. After all, Miles Green, a former Prepper, had won the race in each of the past three years, and Epps wasn’t going to let it go.

“I definitely wanted to keep that 400 title here,” Epps said. “I wanted to pick up where Miles left off and keep that title for the Prep.”

He did, winning the race and also placing second in the 200-meter, and was part of the 4×200 relay that also placed first. Epps was named the meet’s Most Valuable Runner and helped the Prep to a second place finish.

“Besides the 400, I really wanted to place high in my other events to get points for the team,” Epps explained.

Epps was first-team all-Catholic in the 200, 400 and part of the relay IN 2018, as well as the first-team all-state in the 4×400 relay that won the National Championship last year. For 2019, he is hoping to win states in the 400 as well as push himself to close in on Green’s school record of 47.4 seconds.

“My main focus coming into the year was being named captain and leading us in a positive direction,” Epps said. “As sprinters, we wanted to pick up where we left off and continue to make a name for the Prep in the state and the nation.”

Epps attended CW Henry Middle School. Outside of the Prep, he trains at Athletes Academy with Coach Kenroy Wallace, who also coaches the Prep’s sprinters. Though his college recruiting is heating up, he only offered a hint to his desired college.

“I want to go south,” he said with a smile, “where it’s warm.”