New beginnings; new faces; same old Huntington. That’s a good thing, to be sure. The obvious became painfully clear to the Blue Devil boys’ indoor track and field team’s opponents at Sunday’s crossover “A” meet at Suffolk West in Brentwood.
Huntington showed that “despite losing some super-studs to graduation, it can still compete,” said Ron Wilson, the Blue Devil’s always optimistic head coach.
In the throwing circle, senior Clay Jamison, showed right away that he is one of the county’s best, tossing the shot put 46-09.5 feet for first place. Junior teammate Eric Sands finished in second place with a throw measured at 43-04.25 feet. On his final throw, senior Levi Leach secured fourth place with an effort that went 41-02.5 feet.
Huntington’s underclassmen also performed well in shot put. Sophomore Gary Barash and freshman Mekai Butts both made the cut with Barash throwing 38-0.5 feet and Butts tossing the weighted metal ball 36-04.5 feet. “That’s a pretty decent start for these underclassmen,” Wilson said.
Also returning to the circle was senior Anthony McDonald, who finished seventh with a throw of 39-06.5 feet.
Junior Johnathan Smith leaped 37-08.5 feet for a second place finish in the triple jump. The Blue Devils looked to outperform everyone else in the high jump, but were interrupted with the relays. Seniors Michael Drake and Alex LaBella and junior Joey Garetano had all cleared 5-06-feet before the relays and the starting time of the next scheduled meet abruptly ended their day of leaping over the bar.
Freshman Trevan Meagher made his track and field debut by leaping of 5-03 feet in the high jump, which pleased Wilson. “If he works at it, he can be one of the best in Suffolk,” the coach said.
Huntington also performed well on the track. Smith and Brian Pierre were solid the 55m high hurdles. Smith reached placed fourth in a time of 8.73 seconds. Pierre just missed the finals with a time of 8.75 seconds. In the frosh/soph section of the 55m hurdles, sophomores Jaylen Bush (9.62 seconds) and Rhaliek Thomason (9.80 seconds) finished 1-2.
In the 3200m run, sophomore Jason Verville and freshmen Aidan Heller and Carlos Martinez all ran well. Verville finished in ninth in 10:58.98 while Heller placed 12th in 11:11.22. Martinez finished 24th in 11:32.72.
“We didn’t make the finals in the 55m dash, but still managed to run some decent times,” Wilson said. Seniors Aaron McQueen and LaBella ran 7.05 seconds and 7.10 seconds, respectively. Freshman Nasir Youngblood ran an impressive 7.09 seconds and eighth grade sensation Josiah Melendez ran 7.21 seconds. Melendez would later finish in a close second of his heat in the 300m dash with a time of 43.35.
In the 1000m run, the Blue Devil’s underclassmen continued to do well. In the frosh/soph section, freshman Isaiah James finished in first place in 3:00.61 while fellow ninth grader Andrew McKenzie finished third in a time of 3:05.58. Sophomore, John Segreti placed seventh in 3:11.98.
In the ninth and tenth graders’ division, freshman Anthony Joseph continues to dominate the 300m dash, finishing in first place in a time of 38.18 seconds. Sophomore Jaylen Bush finished in tenth in 42.12 seconds.
Huntington’s relays were nothing short of spectacular. The 4x400m consisting of Brian Pierre, Jonathan Smith, Aaron McQueen and Anthony Joseph finished first in 3:40.18. A second 4x400m relay comprised of Joey Garetano, Arkim Pierre, Anthony Puglisi and Rhaliek Thomason placed ninth in 3:59.50.
The Blue Devils’ 4x200m relay team of Nasir Youngblood, Alex LaBella, Michael Drake and anchor Jason Turner finished in first in1:38.84. A second 4x200m relay consisting of Jaylen Bush, Michael Persilot, Junior Flores and Francisco Hernandez finished sixth with a time of 1:47.46. A third Huntington relay in the event that was comprised of Josiah Melendez, Jahiem Hawkins, Bryce Robinson and Kyeon Lyons was eighth in 1:52.18.
The Blue Devils will be back at Suffolk West next Saturday when the team competes in the second league crossover meet of the season. The action begins at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free.