Entering Saturday, Holy Trinity senior Quinten Distante still was pursuing the individual track and field league championship that had eluded him.
Before the day was complete, heavy rain and all, Distante captured not one, but two titles.
“I actually made a big improvement,” said Distante, who won the boys 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 58.51 seconds and the 110 hurdles (15.91) in the NSCHSAA championship meet at soaked St. John’s University. “I set personal records by multiple seconds in both events that I ran. It was just these big improvements that I never expected for myself. It feels great to win here. The environment here is great.”
Distante said the precipitation was certainly a significant factor throughout the meet.
“I couldn’t see much of anything,” Distante said. “With the rain I told my dad right before I went, ‘I can’t see anything after the first hurdle.’ So it’s really just muscle memory. And then from there on it kind of got a little easier.”
Holy Trinity received two more wins from Jaiden Antoine. He placed first in the 100 (11.26) just ahead of Kellenberg’s Justin Harvey (11.43) and he also won the 200 (22.51).
“The rain was distracting, and it added to the cold, but at the end of the day I was ready because I practice in the rain,” Antoine said. “It was just about getting out hard, driving fast and picking my knees up. Toward the end I just kept my form and stuck to what I’ve been practicing.”
Matthew Payamps and Mason Gatewood of St. Anthony’s helped lead the Friars to the overall team title (92 points) with victories in the 1,600 (4:24.06) and 800 (1:58.75), respectively. Chaminade finished second with 43 points and Holy Trinity third at 41.
Gatewood and Payamps also edged each other in their wins, as Payamps placed second in the 800 (1:58.90) and Gatewood second in the 1600 (4:24.15).
“The weather was bad obviously but just having the team in the back of my head and doing what I can for the team is really what pushed me and Mason to really go out there and finish one and two,” Payamps said.
Gatewood touched on the competitive spirit he and Payamps constantly bring out of each other.
“Matt and I really train well together,” Gatewood said. “We definitely elevate each other to newer levels. We live very close to each other so we do pretty much all of our runs together. It’s been pretty great.”
Brendan Dearie put on an impressive performance for St. Anthony’s in the 3,200, winning in 9:56.70, 11 seconds in front.
Other winners included Chaminade’s Kyle Krummenacker in the 400 (50.48), Colm Brown, Aidan Healy, Kyle McCormack and Patrick Fiorillo in the 4 x 800 relay (8:17) for St. John the Baptist, Kellenberg’s Erik Brown, Patrick Beglane, Zach Lazo and Dydro Prosper in the 4 x 400 (3:32.48) and Griffin Kudla in the 3,000 steeplechase for St. Anthony’s (9:58.79).