The Huntington High School boys’ track and field teams faced off against Smithtown West earlier this month in a close meet that finshed in a 76-65 Blue Devils victory.
Blue Devils coach Ron Wilson knew it was going to be a tight meet, and since Huntington pulled off an upset of Smithtown West last spring the Bulls were hoping to return the favor this season.
“West had come into that meet having won the Section XI indoor county championships with an awesome team,” Wilson said. “This year’s match-up was no different. It was a meet that once again went down to the very end. Almost four hours of competing; virtually unheard of for a dual meet.”
Smithtown West is considered the proverbial powerhouse of distance running, while Huntington boasts the stronger sprinters and throwers.
“Both teams had athletes and 4x400m relay teams that qualified for the state and national meets this past indoor season,” Wilson said.
Huntington led 65 to 52 going into the triple jump, which was the last event before the relays.
“We needed to get at least one point in the event,” Wilson said.
Smithtown’s Gavin Baker is one of the top jumpers in Suffolk County. He had already leaped 21-04 feet in the long jump, just shy of Blue Devil senior Johnathan Smith’s jump of 21-09.50 feet, but ahead of Huntington sophomore Anthony Joseph’s 21-02 feet.
Baker went on to win the triple jump with a leap of 43-07 feet, but Huntington junior Rahliek Thomason came up with a jump of 40-02 feet to capture third place and the one point the Blue Devils needed.
Now leading 66-60, all Huntington had to do was win one of the three relay races. Smithtown West breezed to victory in the 4x800m relay adding five points to their total score to narrow the Bulls’ deficit to 66-65.
Huntington’s 4x400m relay of Justin Stevens, Isaiah James, CJ Kiviat and Smith went wire-to-wire in 3:30 to clinch the meet for the Blue Devils. The 4x100m relay team of Nasir Youngblood, Josiah Melendez, Jason Turner and Joseph also coasted to victory in the fine time of 44.8 seconds to give Huntington an 11-point win in the league meet.
In other events during the meet, Blue Devils senior Eric Sands won the shot put with a throw of 49-10 feet and the discus with a toss of 122 feet. Senior Jaden Bholan won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet.
Turner dominated the sprinting events in his individual races as well as the relay. He won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes for the Blue Devils.
Blue Devils junior Craig Haas placed third in the 800m run.
The 2-0 Blue Devils were slated to travel to undefeated Copiague to take on the Eagles after deadline Wednesday, April 10.