By Jano Tantongco
Hot off of their state championship earlier in the season, the Huntington Blue Devils boys 4x400-meter relay team also claimed a national title at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet at the Armory in Manhattan on March 13.
Made up of current and now former Blue Devils Kyree Johnson, Lawrence Leake, Shane McGuire and Infinite Tucker, the squad finished in 3:16.09, besting 26 other teams, including top-seeded Archbishop Carroll High School, of Washington, D.C. The Blue Devils’ time is the third-best ever in New York State history, and a new Suffolk record.
Since then, the team’s anchor, Tucker, has graduated and went on to run for Texas A&M University.
His former coach, Ron Wilson, said Tucker ran his first race two weeks ago and has already made it onto their all-time athletes list. He runs the 60-meter hurdle and the 4x400-meter relay.
With the rest of the original 4x400 team returning to Huntington as seniors, Wilson remains confident in the team, despite Tucker’s departure.
“They’re leaving this young team that we have, and we think we’re going to be great behind these three great leader,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Johnson is eyeing schools in the Carolinas or Texas; Lawrence is considering Georgetown University; and Shane is looking at University at Buffalo.
“As my assistant [coach] Eli Acosta said, ‘It must be sunny out because the future looks very bright in Huntington because of the young talent we have,’” Wilson said. “We have a nice cast of underclassmen who I think will be the next crop of young men we can make great scholar athletes.