It was a lap that Farmingdale senior Tariq Gibbs had dreamed about for years. The Nassau Class A Championships have been the sight of many close calls, great individual victories and bitter disappointments for Farmingdale over Gibbs’ career, but never a team victory lap.
That was until Tuesday night when the Dalers, decked out in black and green warm-up gear, trotted around the track at St. Anthony’s High School as the clock approached 11 p.m. Sure, it was late, and sure, they had school early the next day, but it hardly mattered. They were champions. Finally, at long last, they were champions.
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The Dalers scored 59 points to earn the Class A team title; East Meadow was second with 57.50, and Uniondale was third with 49.
It was truly a reversal of fortunes for Farmingdale. Last season, they came up 2 1⁄2 points short of Syosset. Three years ago, they were six points short of a title.
So, to finally win one, was truly a culmination of a long albeit frustrating journey.
“It’s a great feeling,” pole vaulter T.J. Greco said. “We’ve been working hard for four years. Coming up short a couple of times made us stronger.”
Greco was one of two Dalers to take home individual victories on Tuesday night. He cleared 13 feet to win the pole vault, beating the field by 6 inches.
“I felt great today,” Greco said. “I had a few good jumps at certain heights, cleared all on the first attempts, put the pressure on the other guys and came out on top.”
Gibbs also won a field event, posting a 44 foot, 1⁄2-inch mark to take the triple jump. His victory was a little less flawless than Greco’s. The lefthanded Gibbs jumped off his left foot instead of his right which, he said, was incorrect form. The issue was caused by stutter-stepping before coming to the board.
“A couple quick steps right before the board messes everything up,” he said.
But, once he was in the air, foot placement proved to only be an anecdotal issue.
“Right when I got to the sand, I turned around and looked at how far I was and said, ‘Yeah, that’s a good jump right there,’ ” Gibbs said.
By the time Gibbs was taking that victory lap, it didn’t matter which foot he led with. Neither were on the ground.