Throughout the outdoor track and field season, Uniondale sprinter Giordano Williams has started and finished right — both physically and literally. After indoor track ended, Williams changed his foot pattern at the starting line. Instead of leading left, Williams now uses his right foot to get started. The change, a March-revelation by the Uniondale coaching staff, made a lot of sense in retrospect.
“My right is stronger than my left leg, so it’s more explosive,” Williams said. “I was using my weaker leg for my start…At first, I wasn’t used to it. Then I just stuck with it and my starts been better.”
The move worked out brilliantly. Williams, who has spent most of the season with the fastest 100-meter time in the state, won the event in 10.97 seconds on the second and final day of the Nassau State Qualifier at North Shore Saturday afternoon. He also won the 200 in 22.01 seconds.
The races qualified Williams for the state championships, scheduled for June 7-8 at Middletown.
“Next week, I’m trying to finish top three at states,” Williams said of the 100 meters.
On Saturday, even though his footing was correct, Williams said he was unhappy with his 100 start and had to adjust on the fly in the later stages.
“I just finished the drive phase, got up and finished the race,” Williams said.
Williams blamed his poor start on his use of blocks, something he didn’t do for most of the season. He said he will not start with blocks at the state championships.
Elsewhere on the boys' side, Farmingdale’s Patrick Smyth won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:55.46. The victory clinched Smyth’s first trip to a state championship — in any of the three seasons. Four years of extremely close calls and injury issues made Saturday extra sweet for the senior.
“I’ve been so close every year, up until this point,” Smyth said. “I’ve been injured right before states, had a bad race last (fall) right before cross country. It was devastating…Obviously, I’m going to run in college. But for my high school career, it was something I knew I had to check off the bucket list."
Smyth battled with East Meadow’s Brian Villfuerte throughout the entire race, finally gaining enough daylight to feel somewhat comfortable with 800 meters to go.
“My coach saw me just before I had two laps to go and said ‘you have to go now. This is your time’,” Smyth said. “I really pushed it into an extra gear for my last two laps.”
Villfuerte was second in 10:04.51.
Wheatley’s Nadeem Al-okla qualified for the steeplechase out of Division II, finishing in 10:13.52.
North Shore’s Jack Rosencrans won the 1,600 in 4:18.76. Rosencrans, who won the 800 on Friday, barely outpaced MacArthur’s Timmy Weber, who was second in 4:19.81.
On the girls side, Uniondale’s Zaria Fuller won the pentathlon with 3,313 points as she warmed up for a state title try next week. Fuller won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.07 seconds, the high jump (4-11 3/4), the shot put (34 3/4), the long jump (17-5 1/2), and the 800 in 2:34.74.
Valley Stream South’s DeAnna Martin won the 1,500 in a blazing-fast 4:37.46. Despite the fast pace, Manhasset’s Angeline Caamano (4:42.13) and Jericho’s Mackenzie Setton (4:43.28) stayed with Martin for a lot of the race.
“I was freaking out,” Martin said. “Every turn, I would look at the shadows to see how close they were.”