Nicholas Lourenco was still basking on the glory of what had just happened when he was handed a phone. His next obstacle was on the other line.
Lourenco, a St. Anthony’s senior, broke his own Catholic school pole vault state record Saturday afternoon, clearing 16 feet, nine inches to win at the CHSAA Intersectional track and field championships at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island.
Now, with only a few jumps left before heading off to High Point University in North Carolina, Lourenco has one more hurdle to clear – the overall outdoor state record. That’s 17-1, set by Wallkill’s Louis Martinez last year. And, after Lourenco finished setting another catholic school historical benchmark, Martinez’s voice was waiting for him.
“We met a couple times and competed against each other,” Lourenco said. “It’s a really good friendship. We always pushed each other to get better. Every time we competed against one another, it was like ‘one of us is (setting a personal best)!’”
The success of the day went further than the record. Not only did Lourenco officially qualify for the state championships – scheduled for June 10-11 in Cicero – but he blasted past the 16-6 plateau that he had been stuck on for most of the outdoor season.
“It was a long time coming,” said Lourenco, who was named Most Outstanding field performer of the meet. “I jumped 16-6 twice this year and had really good height on it, but I just couldn’t get any higher than that. Today, my run was ok. It wasn’t a lot of speed, more a lot of power that I was putting down…The technique was really what helped me out today.”
The meet featured a two-hour storm delay, which began at approximately 12:15 p.m. - right before the boy’s pole vault was set to begin. While frustrating on the surface, Lourenco said the delay was beneficial.
“Honestly, I think it was really good for me,” Lourenco said. “I felt really sluggish. I had to run the 4X100 (meter relay trials, earlier in the meet), so I was a little tired. The rain delay definitely helped. I got water, took a break, and got myself some rest.”
Chaminade’s Daniel Muccini, who jumped 21 feet, ½ of an inch to win the long jump, was in the middle of the high jump competition when the thunderstorm came. He cleared six feet and finished second when it resumed, but he said the delay did him no favors.
“It was just that, after stopping, you have to warm up again, get ready again. It throws you off,” he said.
Muccini, whose previous success came primarily in the high jump, has found another niche in the jumping pits.
“I think I’d probably call myself just a jumper at this point,” Muccini said. “I used to think of myself as a high jumper, but this year especially I’ve broken into the triple jump and long jump and I’ve really found an enjoyment in that.”
Elsewhere, Holy Trinity’s Josiah Brown won the 100 in 10.76 seconds, edging out Iona Prep’s Marcus Nahim, who was second in 10.91.
“I was at a level of focus that I had not reached before,” Brown said. “I was focused on my phases and, when I got into my acceleration phase, I just let it all out.”
It was the fourth time that Brown broke 11 seconds this spring. Entering the meet, his previous personal best was 10.83, ran last weekend. He ran 10.79 in the trials on Saturday.
“My goal [at the state championships] is to hit a 10.5 or 10.6, around that area,” Brown said.
Fordham Prep won the team championship with 39 points. St. Anthony’s was second with 37. The St. Anthony’s 4X800 meter relay, composed of Jack Ward, Jack Noble, Jeremy Paredes, and Collin McLaughlin, won in 7:56.65. St. Anthony’s Jordan Spencer won the triple jump, flying 44 feet, 2 ¾ inches.