By Jano Tantongco
The Long Island chapter of the USA Track and Field Association named on Sunday Blue Devil track star Infinite Tucker the male junior athlete of the year, and recognized his Huntington High School track coach, Ron Wilson.
The awards were given out during the association’s 17th-annual awards brunch, which was hosted at the Hofstra University Club in Hempstead before a crowd that included Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Tucker, who has raced to some of the best times in the country this season, said Wednesday that he was “honored and grateful” for the recognition. He added that he “enjoys the competition, going out there and racing the best kids.”
The day before he was honored, Tucker helped the Blue Devil’s 4x400-meter relay team race to both county and Millrose Games meet record times. Huntington’s time of 3:17.36 is the second fastest in the country this winter.
Tucker began his rise on the Huntington track team in 2012 as a freshman. At first, he played on the school’s basketball team, but felt it wasn’t for him. Coach Wilson advised Tucker to stay with it, telling him “you don’t want to start something that you can’t finish.”
But a week later, Wilson said, Tucker made up his mind to leave basketball, and joined track. Tucker’s older brother, Y’Majesty Allen, a former Blue Devil himself, made the same choice when he was in high school.
“I was just following after my brother’s footsteps,” Tucker, now a senior, said.
Wilson said he was thankful for the “incredible support our district and community has given to our athletes. They have helped make our success possible.”
On being recognized by the association as an exceptional coach, Wilson said, “It was a bit overwhelming actually cause there’s so many other great coaches out there both in Suffolk County and Nassau County.”
He also credited assistant coaches Shawn Anderson and Eli Acosta, as well as the rest of the team, which has made Huntington a national powerhouse in the realm of track.
“Their success has been largely due to how they feel toward one another,” Wilson said. “They have a certain respect, a certain love for one another. It allows them to push for each other.”
On March 5, the Blue Devils are primed to compete in the state intersectional championships at upstate Cornell University.
Before that, Wilson’s team will compete in the Long Island championship this weekend, a “tightener” and an an opportunity to prepare for the state meet, he said.
“It’ll be really good for our kids because they'll really be pushed into… high level competition.”