The smell of victory filled the air for Longwood on Sunday morning as the team prepared to take its shot at a Suffolk County Large School Championship.
"It's going to be a good day for Longwood," Montavis Brown predicted as he watched the early action at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.
He couldn't have been more right. Longwood, after scoring 93 points, won the title and ended Northport's streak of four consecutive county championships, encompassing cross country, winter and spring track.
Northport finished second with 72 points.
The reason for the win was simple, as Dayshaun Taylor told his team before the meet.
"We had a great week of practice," Taylor said. "We just had to keep it going. No one wanted it more than us. We worked too hard this week. We weren't satisfied with coming in second to Northport. We refused to get beat by them once again."
Taylor backed up his words quickly, winning the 55 meters in 6.65 seconds. Brown was third in 6.77 seconds.
"It was probably one of the best days I've ever had," Taylor said. "I had an amazing start. I won trials and, before finals, I had a good talk with my coach. He told me to stay focused, feel free, relax, be easy on my hands."
Taylor also won the long jump, flying 23 feet, 1/4 inch. His teammate, Glenn Reddick, placed second, going 22-5 1/4.
"That's my No. 1 man right there," Taylor said of Reddick. "He led me to pop that 23. His jump made me want to jump farther and that made him want to jump farther. We used each other to compete and become a better team."
Taylor still had more points to score. Along with Brown, Reddick and Kyle Watkins, he won the 4 x 200 relay in 1:36.01.
"I couldn't ask for a better team," Taylor said. "We had great handoffs and great speed."
Success in field events was a major reason Longwood went home with a plaque almost as large as the athletes' smiles.
In addition to his long jump prowess, Reddick cleared 6-2 in the high jump, placing second to Smithtown West's Alexander Ladouceu.
Nigel Riley took third in the triple jump, going 45-3 1/4.
But it was the shot put where Longwood really shined, taking three of the top six places. Dennis Russell was second, throwing 59-11 1/2. Corey Murphy finished third at 56-10 1/2 and Joe Rehal was sixth (48-10).
Smithtown West's Ben Bonhurst won the event, hurling the shot 63-5 1/2.
Russell said he decided to forgo the Longwood senior trip to Pennsylvania in favor of competing for a county championship.
As he basked in the glory of the team title, he had no regrets.
Sunday was a day that just couldn't be missed. It was a great day for Longwood.