There is no coasting in track. There are no off laps. Those who are complacent hardly ever place first -- and Sunday's small school 1,000 meters at the Last Chance Meet at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood was a perfect example.
After jumping ahead early in the race, East Islip's William Reed built a sizable lead by the 800-meter mark. But the race was hardly finished. It's those final 200 meters that make winners and break the rest.
Hauppauge's Nick Beglane closed the gap on Reed in the final lap and forced an all-out sprint to the line. Reed, narrowly avoiding a come-from-behind disappointment, outlasted Beglane and won in 2 minutes, 37.94 seconds, a personal best, he said. Beglane was second in 2:38.18.
"I was definitely past the point of having anything left," Reed said of the final sprint. "I just dug deep and let loose."
Though a large lead may appear comforting to onlookers, Reed said it causes him the exact opposite emotion.
"Whenever I have a lead like that, it's always a scary feeling," he said. "You don't know what's coming next or how far behind they are. You just know that you have to work as hard as you can."
But that's not to say he doesn't like it.
"For me, front-running is a really good tactic," Reed said. "I like being scared because that's a huge motivation factor. I know a lot of guys don't like it, so they can't handle it. But it works for me."
Sachem East's Greg Schultz won the large school 1,000 meters in 2:44.31.
The meet acted as a final chance for runners, jumpers and throwers to improve on their seed times and make a case for entries in the league championships next Sunday, where only three athletes per team are allowed to compete in each event.
Patchogue-Medford's Brian Michels won the large school 1,600 in 4:34.92.
"There were some new faces that I hadn't seen in a while," Michels said. "Winning the large school race showed that I'm where I'm supposed to be right now. Hopefully, when leagues and counties come around, I can run with the best of them."
East Hampton's Erik Engstrom took the small school 1,600 in 4:28.93.
West Islip's Kyle Kelly won the large school 3,200 in 10:03.74. Miller Place's Patrick Engel won the small school 3,200 in 10:08.28. Sachem East's Utsav Deshpande won the large school 600 in 1:25.34. Mercy's Alex Frabizio took the small school 600 in 1:28.17.
Riverhead's Jacob Robinson won the large school 300 in 37.17 seconds. Huntington's Lawrence Leake won the small school 300 in 36.71 seconds.
Sachem East's Drew Alfano was the large school 55 hurdles winner in 8.15 seconds. Huntington's Infinite Tucker taking the small school title in 7.78 seconds. Tucker also won the small school long jump, going 20 feet, 4 inches.
Central Islip's Livingstone Harriott won the large school 55 meters in 6.66 seconds and Huntington's Kyree Johnson won the small school 55 in 6.67 seconds. Harriott also took the large school triple jump, flying 41-9.
Floyd's Hasani Rathan cleared 6-2 to win the large school high jump. Eastport-South Manor's Connor Langdon won the small school high jump at 6-0. Brentwood's Malik Sainnoval won the large school long jump, going 22-10 1/4.
Kings Park's Lenny Close won the small school triple jump at 41-3 1/2. His teammate, Dan Byrne, won the small school shot put, tossing 47-7. Copiague's Turner Kelly won the large school shot putat 50-2 1/2.