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Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal repeats in 55 at CHSAA Intersectional meet

St. Anthony's Heron Maurisseau-O'Neal comes in first in

St. Anthony's Heron Maurisseau-O'Neal comes in first in the boys 55-meter dash semifinal aduring the CHSAA Intersectional indoor track and field championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Once again, the St. Anthony’s boys proved that they are the class of Long Island track and field in the CHSAA. No, they didn’t win the catholic league’s annual indoor Intersectional meet, held Saturday at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island — that title went to Xavier with 36 points. But the Friars were a force at all distances and walked out of the all-day meet with 30 points and a second-place plaque.

First, the short of it. Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal won the 55 meters in 6.43 seconds, using an explosive start to get a step and a half ahead of the field in the first 10 meters and then gliding the rest of the way.

Maurisseau-O’Neal, who won the same event at last year’s meet, said that repeating as Intersectional champion was one of his main goals for the indoor season.

“I won it last year, as a junior, so the least I can do is win it again,” he said.

The sprinter entered the weekend tied for the fastest 55 time in the state, running 6.39 at the CHSAA championships on Jan. 28, according to milesplit.com.

“At leagues, [my start] was a little better,” Maurisseau-O’Neal said. “I think I was a little bit more relaxed. Today, it was OK. It’s not where I want to be, but it’s OK.”

Matthew Payamps took control of the mid-distance events for St. Anthony’s, winning the 600 in 1:21.74. Payamps wasted no time positioning himself with the lead and took it from there. He wanted no part in giving anyone else a chance to win.

“I usually go all-out for the first 200 because I know I have to go out fast, because if I don’t, they’re going to get in front of me,” Payamps said. “I just went out at a decently hard pace for the first 200 and just stuck with it for the rest of it.”

Once Payamps controlled the heavily sought top position, he knew all he had to do was look straight ahead.

“I’ve learned that, if I’m running in the front, I just have to worry about what’s in front of me — and that’s the finish line — and not worry about what’s going on behind me,” Payamps said. “That’s really what I try to do, focus on finishing strong.”

Mason Gatewood used an inside move to take the 1,000 in 2:28.88 and Gatewood, Payamps, Brendan Dearie, and Michael Barbaro-Barnett won the 4 x 800-meter relay in 7:59.47.

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