Coupling the mystery of her competition with an unyielding will to win made all the difference for Half Hollow Hills East’s McKayla Jones on Saturday afternoon.
“You never know who’s gonna be on the line with you and who could be faster than you,” said Jones after becoming a double-winner at the Bob Pratt Invitational at Smithtown East with victories in both the 100 (12.69 seconds) and 200-meter dash (26.64). “So you just have to put your heart into it.”
Her teammate, Jahnia Hodge, placed second in the 100 (12.97).
Kaitlyn Yurick of Smithtown East also came away a double-winner after claiming first place in both the shot put (34 feet, 1.5 inches) and discus throw (97-2). Her teammate, Catherine Farrell, put forth an impressive display in the 800 by finishing in 2 minutes, 27.51 seconds, more than six seconds ahead of the pack.
“I just went out fast and saw that the first lap my pace was about 68 or 69 seconds,” Farrell said. “So I just kept it going and tried to open the gap and take it home.”
Smithtown East claimed victory in the girls 3000 as well behind Emily Ginty (10:57.88), who edged Whitman’s Grace Weigele (10:57.91). Aniyah Walters captured the 100 hurdles for Whitman (15.45).
Other girls winners included Commack’s Fiona McLoughlin in the 1500 (4:48:81) and Catherine Eng of Smithtown West in the 400 hurdles (1:12.31).
On the boys side Hicksville’s Luis Carrillo Rubio mounted a late comeback victory over West Islip’s Andrew Paules in the 1600 (4:41.54) after watching a sizeable lead slip away moments earlier.
Carrillo Rubio detailed how an unusual occurrence nearly sidetracked his pursuit of victory toward the final stretch.
“The first time he passed me I got a little bit worried,” Carillo Rubio said. “I also got a little bit distracted because I saw my sticker flying off. I was looking down at it like, ‘My sticker, is it there?’”
Securing first place in the 800 was Smithtown West’s David Cabello (2:03.81).
“I wanted to get out in the front at the end of the first lap,” Cabello said. “I was feeling good so I wanted to stay with them and hopefully have enough energy over the last 100 meters to outkick them.”
Babylon’s Evan Parise came away victorious in the 200 (23.41), as Smithtown West’s Ryan Leinwand finished a close second (23.62).
“This was a big mental race,” Parise said. “Just knowing when to push as hard as you can and when to hold back. That and knowing the competition was the key.”
Additional boys winners included Hicksville’s Jamar Louis in the 100 (11.50), Ryan Tona of Smithtown West in the 110 hurdles (15.64) and St. John the Baptist’s Patrick Glasgow in the discus throw (135-3).