Ron Wilson knew it was going to be a close meet and that’s exactly how it turned out. The Huntington High School boys’ track and field team’s head coach knew Smithtown West was loaded across just about every event. When the final scores were tallied, the Blue Devils were able to claim victory, 76-65.
Huntington pulled off an upset of Smithtown West last spring so the Bulls were hoping to return the favor. “West had come into that meet having won the Section XI indoor county championships with an awesome team,” Wilson recalled. “This year’s match-up was no different. It was a meet that once again went down to the very end. Almost four hours of competing; virtually unheard of for a dual meet.”
Both squads are highly regarded. Smithtown West being the proverbial powerhouse of distance running and Huntington dazzling everyone with its sprinters and throwers. “Both teams had athletes and 4x400m relay teams that qualified for the state and national meets this past indoor season,” Wilson said.
Huntington led 65 to 52 going into the triple jump, which was the last event before the relays. “We needed to get at least one point in the event,” Wilson said. But Smithtown’s Gavin Baker is one of the top jumpers in Suffolk County. He had already leaped 21-04 feet in the long jump, just shy of Blue Devil senior Johnathan Smith’s jump of 21-09.50 feet, but ahead of Huntington sophomore Anthony Joseph’s 21-02 feet.
Baker went on to win the triple jump with a leap of 43-07 feet and one of his teammates finished second with an effort that measured 41-feet. Huntington junior, Rahliek Thomason came up with a jump of 40-02 feet to capture third place, which gave the Devils the one point they needed.
Now leading 66-60, all Huntington had to do was win just one of the three relay races. Smithtown West breezed to victory in the 4x800m relay adding five points to their total score to narrow the Bulls’ deficit to 66-65.
Huntington’s 4x400m relay of Justin Stevens, Isaiah James, CJ Kiviat and Johnathan Smith went wire-to-wire in 3:30 to clinch the meet for the Blue Devils. The 4x100m relay team of Nasir Youngblood, Josiah Melendez, Jason Turner and Anthony Joseph also coasted to victory in the fine time of 44.8 seconds to give Huntington an 11-point win in the league meet.
In other action:
- The Blue Devil throwers swept both events. Eric Sands won the shot put (49-10 feet) and the discus (122 feet). Gary Barash placed second in shot (44-06 feet) and Mekai Butts placed third (43-07 feet). Butts placed second in discus (111 feet) and Barash placed third (109 feet).
- Senior Jaden Bholan won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet and senior Joe Garetano placed third with a jump of 5-10 feet. Seventh grader Roberto Rodriguez surprised everyone when he leaped 5-04 feet. “He is new to track and field and we are very excited about this young man being on our team,” Wilson said.
- Sophomore Isaiah James placed third in the 1600m run and junior Craig Haas placed third in the 800m run.
- Junior CJ Kiviat placed third in both the 200m dash and the 400m dash.
- Sophomore Jason Turner won both the 100m dash and the 200m dash.
- It was a clean sweep in the 200m dash with Anthony Joseph taking second.
The Blue Devils are now 2-0, defeating Northport to open the season and now Smithtown West in the second meet. Huntington travels to undefeated Copiague on Wednesday (April 10) for a 4 p.m. meet.