As East Meadow's Michael Grady began his final lap in the 1,600 meters at Wednesday's Nassau Class AAA Championships at Uniondale High School, he flashed back to last season's county championships. Grady, then a junior, fell in both the 800 and 1,600 meters. He was dead set on making sure that didn't happen again.
And it didn't. Grady was, in fact, a triple winner, taking the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 24.26 seconds, the 800 in 1:58.67 and running a 1:58 anchor leg to lead East Meadow in an 8:18.24 4 x 800 relay victory.
"It's a great feeling," Grady said. "Last year was a bummer. Today, I was thinking about how I felt last year. I wanted to come back, get my revenge and get my county championship."
He wasted little time doing so. As soon as the bell lap in the 1,600 began, Grady shifted into a second gear and motored away from the field.
"My game plan was to sit until the last lap, run a hard 200 just to break the field, and stride it in," Grady said. "The plan executed perfectly."
Syosset won the boys team championship, scoring 88 points. It was Syosset's 10th consecutive county championship, encompassing cross country, winter and spring track, coach Rich Cafiero said.
Senior Tyler Italiano won the 3,200 in 9:44.64. Italiano, along with most of the other athletes in the meet, had to battle howling winds that let up only for brief moments.
"It was awful," Italiano said of the gusts. "You just had to survive on the back straightaway and make up any ground with the wind at our back on the home straightaway."
Syosset's William Anderson won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:51.50. Isaac Guak won the discus, throwing 154 feet, 2 inches.
Uniondale took the girls team title, scoring 115 points. Crystal Green won the 400 hurdles in 63.79 seconds and the 100 hurdles in 14.55.
"It feels great to make coach [Leigh Pollet] proud," Green said. "We've trained hard this whole year."
Uniondale's Kristina Cherrington took the 400 in 58.56 seconds and Asia Jinks won the long jump at 17-51/4. Jinks also took second in the triple jump, flying 36-81/2.