Holy Trinity's Shaka Shomari had won the 100 meters in 11.41 seconds at the NSCHSAA League Championships on Saturday at St. Anthony's High School when his coach, Justin Renna, ran up to him.
"Make sure you save some for the 200!" the coach said with a big smile.
As Renna and those who follow CHSAA track and field know, there was no reason for any real concern. Shomari, one of the top sprinters on LI, was fully capable of coming back 45 minutes later and taking the longer event. As it turned out, Shomari's 200 victory, in 21.89 seconds, was even easier. The senior outpaced the field by almost a full second. He won the 100 by 0.24 seconds.
"Three of my competitors in the 200 had just run the 400 meters," Shomari said. "I knew it was going to be hard for them to come full speed. I was more well-rested."
Shomari put away any thoughts of an upset in the 200 with a strong start off the line.
"I took the turn strong and, once I got to the straightaway, I went full speed to the finish line," Shomari said.
Shomari's teammates, Ryan Archibold and Jeffrey Young, also took home championships. Archibold won the 400 in 50.31 seconds and Young won the 110 hurdles in 15.39.
St. Anthony's had 102.5 points to win the team title, their sixth straight spring league championship, coach Tim Dearie said, and it completed the league triple crown: cross country, winter and spring track. St. John the Baptist was second with 79.5 points.
"It's another check mark for us," St. Anthony's Michael O'Leary said, referring to the broad blanket of success his team has placed over the CHSAA track scene this school year. "It's just been a great year. We've done everything we've wanted to and this is just another step to the top for us."
O'Leary won the 800 in 1:56.18. St. John the Baptist's Rory Hannigan was second in 1:57.31. With approximately 300 meters left, O'Leary separated himself from Hannigan, a move that carried the senior to victory.
"I knew that Rory was going to challenge me and could win the race," O'Leary said. "He's a great runner. I really wasn't sure what was going to happen at the end. I just focused on my own race, didn't worry about anyone else, and got all the way to the finish."
St. Anthony's Pat Tucker won the 1,600 in 4:19.13, the 3,200 in 9:30.06, anchored the winning 4 x 800 relay team (8:10.54), and was named track MVP of the meet.
Chaminade's Reggie Verrier, who won the triple jump (45 feet, 9 3/4 inches) and the long jump (20-10) was named field MVP.