Smithtown West’s Matthew Villano decided to go full-speed with running to start his junior year, and the dedication paid off.
Villano came from behind in the 600 meters and surged down the straightaway, clearing the finish in 1:26.79 to beat Half Hollow Hills East’s Christian Sam by five tenths of a second during a Suffolk crossover meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Wednesday.
Villano switched from football to cross country in the fall to stay in shape, and he said the increased stamina made all the difference to kick off the indoor season.
“I think that gave me the real drive to keep pushing, never give up and then just keep on going,” Villano said.
Villano kept past races in mind and tried to keep his speed in check at the start. When the time came, he found another gear that hadn’t been there in the past.
“I knew if I went out a little bit more conservative, that I would pass some kids and get the time that I wanted,” he said.
Mercy’s Michael Senica had a similar surge in the 1,000-meter, making a decisive move with two laps to go. The sophomore broke away and left no doubt, widening the gap near the finish. He won in 2:51.11.
The burst looked like a plan practiced and executed many times before, but this is Senica’s first indoor season after competing outside last spring. After the jolt, he had to hold onto the lead.
“It was in the back of my mind if they were going to go and if they were going to go past me,” Senica said. “I kind of just sprinted and hoped they never got me.”
Kicks were the move of the day as Copiague’s Antoine Moore recovered from getting blocked out at the start to win the 1,600 in 4:45.13. He made his way to the front and took off with a few laps left. When the bell rang, he pushed his pace a little more, but had it wrapped up.
“I let them take me through most of the race, about half,” said Moore, who won in 4:45.13. “Last lap hits, I just go all out.”
Hills East’s Jared Trefny won the 55-meter dash in 6.71 and the 300 in 37.87. West Islip’s Roman Millet grabbed the 55 hurdles final in 8.05. Hills East’s Richard Pleasants won the 3,200 in 10:12.49.