After losing many of its top performers to graduation last June, the Huntington boys’ winter track and field head coach Ronald Wilson knew one era was ending and a new and exciting one was just beginning.
The recently completed season was a successful one, to be sure. Several Huntington runners and throwers qualified for the state championships. Many others came close.
“This was a young, but talented team we had here,” Wilson said. “We obviously graduated a phenomenal group of seniors last year. However, these young, less experienced athletes performed at every track meet.”
Huntington boys' track and field head coach Ronald Wilson.
Huntington’s freshman 4x200m relay consisting of lead leg Nasir Youngblood second leg Jason Turner, third leg and eighth grade sensation Josiah Melendez and anchor Anthony Joseph emerged as one of the best freshman relay teams in the state. “They took on all freshman relay teams from the northeast region at a meet at Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex and were victorious. They are going to be something special.”
The Blue Devil freshman sprint medley relay team consisting of consisting of a Youngblood and Turner, who both runs legs measuring 200m, Joseph, who runs the 400m leg and Isaiah James, who handles the final 800m of the race broke a nine year old meet record at the Molloy Stanner Games at the Armory in Manhattan with a time of 3:48. “Their time of 3:48 would have actually won the sophomore division as well on that day,” Wilson said.
Wilson and assistant coach Eli Acosta naturally see plenty of room for improvement next winter. “We had a horrible showing at the league championships, but rebounded a week later and competed very well at the large school county championship where we finished in third place,” Wilson said. “We qualified several runners and throwers for the state championship and a freshman for the nationals, so I guess it wasn’t that bad of a year.”
Looking ahead, Wilson would like to establish more of a pipeline to the high school program. “We need some sort of running club at the intermediate schools so we can get more athletes interested in track and field,” he said. “Numbers at the middle school level needs to improve.”
The Huntington boys’ track and field program has gained a national reputation. Athletes have been recruited by the top college teams in the country. Wilson wants to keep the Blue Devils among the best.
“Our goal is to continue to teach the fundamentals of track and field to high school athletes,” Wilson said. “To compete at a high level, win our league and county championships and make it to the state championship and win there as well.”