Perhaps the only thing that could keep Sachem North’s Jonathan Lauer down during Tuesday’s Suffolk Division Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park was a howling gust of wind that made it’s humble home across the final straightaway.
So, as Lauer entered the final stage of the race, he had to fight against the blustery blows that seemed so very resistant to the idea of him finishing the race fast.
“The final straightaway was terrible,” Lauer said. “It was brutal. The last 200 meters, I was just running right into the wind . . . It was like running with a 20-pound sandbag attached to you. It’s impossible.”
But lately, nothing seems impossible for Lauer. The senior won the 5-kilometer race in 16 minutes, 4.45 seconds. His teammate, Christopher Tibbetts was second in 16:11.79. Both times were personal bests, coach Billy Holl said.
Lauer said that he and Tibbetts broke away from the field about a mile-and-a-quarter into the race.
It was the second consecutive year that Lauer and Tibbetts finished first and second, respectively, at the Suffolk Division Championships, a race that pits the top talent in the county, regardless of class, against each other.
“It went how we planned,” Tibbetts said. “We went out hard and were able to hold it.”
Despite the fact that the two have been the class of Suffolk, without much resistance, for two straight seasons, they are careful not to take any race for granted — especially one against all the talent the county can offer.
“You always have to expect the unexpected,” Lauer said. “Some guys could have a great day and be right up on us. You always have to be on your toes when you’re out here in Suffolk County, because they bring the best of the best.”
Smithtown won the team title with 57 points. Michael Grabowski, despite battling a cold, took third in 16:41.94.
“You just have to put your head down,” Grabowski said. “I drank a lot of fluids during school and tried to get as much warm soup at home. But, it’s just another race.”
Sachem North finished second with 75 points and Northport was third with 91 points.