Kyree Johnson and Lawrence Leake put on a show at the Section XI track and field championships/state qualifier last weekend at Port Jefferson, turning in exceptional performances in multiple events to earn berths in the state finals at Union-Endicott outside of Binghamton on Friday and Saturday.
Johnson captured county titles in the 400m dash and long jump and Leake won the 400m hurdles and took third place in the 110m hurdles. Johnson, Leake, Jonathan Smith and Anthony Joseph then teamed up to win the 4x400m relay and qualify for the state championships in that event.
“All in all it was quite breathtaking,” said Ronald Wilson, Huntington’s head coach. “We came here looking to win gold medals and that’s what we did. Now our attention is on the state championships, where we want to show everyone what the Blue Devils are all about.”
Johnson and Leake both qualified for the state finals in three events, but Leake will forego the 110m hurdles to concentrate on 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.
“They’re premier athletes and they are anxious to once again show everyone what they are capable of accomplishing,” Wilson said. The two seniors have won league, division, county, state and national titles with Huntington during their respective careers.
Johnson soared to the Suffolk long jump crown on the wings of a leap that measured 23-05.50 feet. Amityville’s Kerron Gonzales placed second with a jump of 22-03.25 feet. The Blue Devil star came back to win the 400m dash in a time of 46.68 seconds, which set meet and school records and is the fastest recorded by anyone in the state this spring. (Johnson is also No. 1 in the state in long jump after leaping 23-09 feet earlier in the season.)
“I’m extremely happy,” Johnson said. “I’m going to try and win all three events next weekend.”
Leake coasted to victory in the 400m hurdles in a time of 54.79 seconds, more than 1.5 seconds faster than runner-up Brandon Gilpin of Amityville. The Huntington teenager was third in the 110m hurdles, finishing in 15.25 seconds, which was a mere 22/100ths of a second off the pace set by Connetquot’s Christian Forlett, who won the event.
“I’m happy to be going to states for the last time in my high school career,” Leake said.
Huntington’s 4x400m relay team swept across the finish line in 3:17.42, easily turning back challenges from second place Half Hollow Hills West (3:21.78) and Half Hollow Hills East (3:24.99).
“We plan to have a good week of practice and then give it everything we have on Friday and Saturday,” Wilson said.