By John Grimaldi
Huntington High School’s four-headed monster of Lawrence Leake, Shane McGuire, Kyree Johnson, and Infinite Tucker, added to their already impressive year by winning another national championship while breaking yet another record, this time the state’s all-time 1,600-meter relay time.
The relay squad finished the race in 3:10.93, snagging the title, and breaking the previous record of 3:12.7, which was set in 1966 by a squad from White Plains. They did it at the New Balance Nationals Outdoors meet held in North Carolina.
“The record kind of just happened, but we always knew that we could actually do it,” said Huntington track coach Ron Wilson. “I just told them believe in yourselves and believe in each other.”
Wilson said that sacrifices are necessary in order to be a national champion.
He continued, “This is a long season, starting in November, the training is rigorous and exhausting. You can’t always go out with your friends, you have to go and practice instead. Lawrence [Leake] gave up playing lacrosse this year to be a part of this national championship team, he sacrificed that for the good of the team.”
Despite the long season, Kyree Johnson said he and his teammates go out and give it their all each time they race.
“We go to track every day because we knew if we worked hard, success will follow,” Johnson, a junior, said. “So we went out every day and did our best.”
Infinite Tucker, the relay team’s anchor, who is set to graduate from the high school this Friday, said the squad “worked really hard to get where we are this season.”
The Blue Devils relay squad also won a national championship this winter in the indoor 4x400-meter race.
Tucker will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall, and plans to study physical therapy. Tucker also plans to play football and run track at Amherst.
“I’ll probably have to choose at some point, it’s going be hard to do both,” said Tucker.
Coach Wilson said it’s going to be difficult without Tucker next season.
“How could you replace someone like him?” he said. “I don’t know if we could ever replace him to be honest. Next year we’re going to have to find a couple of kids who have that desire to be a champion.”