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Whitman’s Aiden Smyth makes his case

Whitman's Aiden Smyth leads Juan Lasso into the

Whitman's Aiden Smyth leads Juan Lasso into the turn on the bell lap in the boys 1000m run during the Suffolk Last Chance track meet on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at Suffolk County Community College. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

On the day after Christmas, Aiden Smyth let the track world know that he would be the state standard-bearer in the 1,600 meters. The Whitman senior ran his favorite event in four minutes, 21.84 seconds at the North Shore Invitational at The Armory in Manhattan. In the month that followed, many tried to catch Smyth, but no one could quite reach him.

Through the crux of the indoor track regular season, the time has held up as the top mark in the state entering Saturday, according to milesplit.com.

But Smyth knows that the time’s tops-in-the-land status may be on it’s last legs, with the postseason set to kick into high gear this week. Suffolk’s run of county championship meets begin on Friday and, if history is any guide, times fly down during that stretch.

“I know there are people just as fast as me in the county. Even though it’s the fastest time right now, I know that there are going to be people challenging me,” Smyth said after winning the 1,000 in 2:35.22 at the Suffolk Last Chance Meet at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood Saturday morning.

Smyth has spent the last month working on both speed and endurance, focusing more on the 1,000 and 3,200 before locking back into the 1,600 at the county championships.

“I might be a little rusty” Smyth said. “But I think I’ll be fine.”

During Saturday’s 1,000, Smyth sat on Westhampton’s Juan Lasso’s shoulder in the early stages, pulled even with him as the final lap began, and held him off in the final 175 meters. Lasso was second in 2:36.07.

“On the last lap, I managed to kick past [Lasso],” Smyth said. “I think that’s going to be very important in the mile, as well — just to be able to kick past someone in the last 200 meters of a race to win.”

Elsewhere, Shelter Island’s Kal Lewis flew past Patchogue-Medford’s Carlos Santos on the final lap to win the 1,600 in 4:27.82. Santos was second in 4:30.24.

“On the last lap, I knew [Santos] wasn’t going to give up at all, so I just decided to go right away” Lewis said. “I was kind of dehydrated, so I was thinking ‘I’ve got to go now, just so I can get this over with.’ I hit the 300-meter mark and just decided I had to go faster.”

Lewis said he isn’t exactly sure what he’ll run at the Small School county championships, scheduled for Friday, but he assumes he’ll be lining up for the 3,200.

“I’m excited to race against all the good competition,” Lewis said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

In the field, Babylon’s Vladislav Cullinane cleared six feet, five inches to win the high jump. Cullinane cleared 6-8 on Dec. 16, which was the top mark in the state entering Saturday, according to milesplit.com.

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