Exciting the home crowd is important to North Shore's Luke Kuna.
So naturally the senior track star was all smiles after winning the 110 high hurdles in 15.7 seconds at the North Shore Invitational Saturday.
"Most of the people in the stands are all people from the area," Kuna said. "They all know who I am. They own the local businesses. It's a great feeling."
Kuna said it would be more exciting if he took first in a second individual event and then he did just that, winning the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
Kuna felt he could have done a little better, but he admitted placing first was just as important as the distance.
"Doing it on the home track gave me a lot of emotion and motivation," Kuna said.
Locust Valley's Marc Mauro also ran with emotion Saturday, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. (10.7 and 22.3 respectively).
"Every race I want to win," Mauro said. "Losses are always disappointing."
Being a winner on the track is only part of the story for Mauro. He starred on the Locust Valley football team in the fall and hopes to continue in that sport in college.
"This is great. I started running track in 10th grade," Mauro said. "It helps me get ready for the combine season, running 40-yard dashes and things like that . . . speed kills."
Mauro said he had a football scholarship offer from Hofstra, but with the Pride's football program disbanded, Mauro plans to attend Salisbury School, a prep school in Connecticut.
"If I have a good spring on the track and a strong summer, I'll be more than ready for football season," Mauro said.
Hauppauge was one of several teams with multiple individual winners. Matt Block won the pole vault (12 feet) and Ryan Colabella won in the 3,200 (9:53.8).
Baldwin's Ieshawn Johnson won the discus in a meet-record distance of 153-1, while teammate Frederick Harris won the triple jump in 39-7.
Floral Park's Justin Wilson won the high jump (6-6) and was also part of the winning 4 x 100-meter relay team.
Longwood's Joe Payton won the 400 hurdles (55.6), edging teammate Shane Cruz (55.7). MacArthur's Matt Granata won the 400 (49.0).
Chaminade's Conor Nickel won the 800 in 1:58.5, Plainedge's David Desalvo took first in the 1,600 (4:25.3) and Brandon Reynolds of Kings Park won the shot put (50-1).
Holy Trinity placed first in the 4 x 400 in 3:21.8 and Chaminade's 4 x 800 relay won (8:21.3).