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4 x 800 relay team gives Bayport-Blue Point Suffolk League V title

Bayport-Blue Point's John Antonacci grabs the baton from

Bayport-Blue Point's John Antonacci grabs the baton from Adam LaFemina in the 4 x 800-meter relay in League V. (Jan. 27, 2013) Photo Credit: George A. Faella

One event. That's what Sunday's Suffolk League V Championship at Suffolk CC in Brentwood came down to.

Bayport-Blue Point, which led for most of the meet, had fallen one point behind Amityville after the 4 x 200-meter relay. A meet full of impressive performances would go by the wayside if Bayport didn't score points in the 4 x 800 relay.

It needed one solid performance. It got two big ones.

Bayport took first and second in the final event, scoring 18 points for a 128-111 win over Amityville, which did not compete in the 4 x 800. The winning team, composed of seniors John Antonacci, Harrison Martin, Adam LaFemina and Bailey Imbo, finished in 8 minutes, 43.88 seconds.

"I knew how close it was," Martin said. "We just needed to get a win. If we got that, I was sure we'd have the [championship] sewn up."

It was almost fitting that a meet determined by overall scoring came down to an event rooted in team performance.

"The kids came up big," coach Mike Zafonte said. "They really buy into the team concept. They want to be on the relays. There were ups and downs, but they stayed composed and focused. I couldn't be more proud of these guys."

It was the third league title -- and second outright -- in the program's history, according to Zafonte. "It's pretty awesome to end on a high note," Martin said.

Martin, who battled the flu this week, also won the 55 meters in 6.77 seconds and the 600 in 1:26.04.

"I knew I had to go out and control the race," Martin said of the 600. "The last 200 [meters], I heard my coach say that I could shut it down a little bit on the last straightaway."

Bayport also excelled in field events. Junior Beau Kraft won the shot put, throwing 45 feet, 4.5 inches, a career best. "It's all about speed across the circle," Kraft said. "You need to get your foot under you and just explode."

Moments before throwing, Kraft does wind sprints, which are designed to maximize his physical potential. "They work my fast twitch muscles,'' he said, "which help a lot when you're in the circle."

Dan Percival and Chris Stelling also scored in the shot put. Percival placed third, throwing 44-1. Stelling came in fifth, tossing 40-3. Jack Flood won the high jump, flying 5-8.

Bayport wasn't the only school to succeed on League Championship Sunday. Longwood won League I behind Mike Engesser, Dayshawn Taylor and Dennis Russel. Engesser won the 600 in 1:27.38. Russel threw just under 50-1 to win the shot put, and Taylor won the long jump at 21-7 3/4.

Northport took home top honors in League II. James Dickinson won the 3,200 in 9:54.45, and Devin Sullivan placed first in the 600 in 1:27.76.


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