It’s a simple formula, really. Health equals success. The less bumps and bruises, the faster legs usually pump. The Amityville boys track team can add an addendum to that equation — health equals county championships. Amityville scored 81 points en route to a Small Schools Suffolk championship at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood Saturday afternoon.
Two of Amityville’s biggest contributors, jumper Emmanuel Oguntoye and hurdler Alijah Benymon rose above the aches and pains of a normal track season and came up with key victories when their team needed them most.
Oguntoye, who is one of the top jumpers in the country and has missed nearly a month of ‘serious’ competition with a nagging hamstring injury, won both the triple jump, going a personal-best 48 feet, nine inches and the long jump, flying 22-3.
“I came in expecting to jump 47 [in the triple jump],” Oguntoye said. “I didn’t really expect to jump what I jumped today. I surprised myself. My first jump, I PR’ed and then on the second jump, I PR’ed again. It was a good experience.”
Oguntoye, who has the top jump in the state, suffered the hamstring injury just as he was hitting his midseason stride.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “I didn’t think I would make it to this point in the season. I thought it would be a lingering injury, but I took some time off, listened to my coaches, and just strengthened. Everything is good now.”
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Oguntoye Saturday was fear of another injury. But once he stepped on the runway, his worries vanished. “I knew I was I going to win, but I just didn’t want to get injured again,” he said. “It went away. I just went with it and surprised myself with a monster jump.”
Benymon, who has battled knee tightness this season, won the 55 hurdles in 7.96 seconds. After a long warmup to make sure he knee was as loose as possible, Benymon’s strong start carried him toward victory.
“The 55 [hurdles] is a quick race, so as long as I get the start right, it all comes together,” Benymon said. “I warmed up for longer distances than usual. I felt more fluid and flexible. That’s really important when it comes to hurdles.”
Terrance Hinds won the 55 in 6.58 seconds. Hinds, Oguntoye, Kerron Gonzales and Kalvin O’Neal won the 4 x 200-meter relay in 1:34.19.