While it may be easy to rest on the laurels from past success, Infinite Tucker hasn’t had a problem focusing on the season ahead with the reigning state champion 4x400-meter relay team at Huntington.
“Whatever happened last year, happened last year,” Tucker said. “It’s a new season.”
The team returns all four legs from its indoor track state championship -- Kyree Johnson, Exzayvian Crowell, Lawrence Leake and Tucker. But when it comes to running, any dip in performance can drop you from the top quickly -- especially when every team is chasing you.
“The team can’t just lay back because we won last year, we have to keep on driving,” Tucker said.
That’s why the Blue Devils have a new set of goals: new times to beat and new places to grab in the months ahead. The team’s best time came at the Millrose Games, when they finished first in 3:20.63 in the Long Island boys’ race. Its time at the state championship was 3:27.76. Now, it’s time to go lower; 3:18 is the long-term goal.
“You can have all the talent in the world, but if your talent is not working, then somebody out there is going to be working harder than you and will beat you,” coach Ron Wilson said.
That hasn’t been an issue for this group, which makes a habit of comparing times against each other after races. It’s friendly competition that keeps the drive to improve going. Tucker and Crowell also compare their hurdle times, while Johnson and Leake vie for the best 300-meter performance.
“We always battle with that,” Crowell said.
Competing with yourself might not be enough when you’re up against other improving teams, but the accolades also bring experience with four runners who have seen ups and downs. The best teams don’t often get such a luxury.
“That’s the huge advantage we have against other teams, if we do that and keep our minds focused we’ll be fine with this working,” Crowell said.
With another season ahead and a title to defend, it comes down to the work.
“Right now we’re trying to focus on the rest of the season and make it back to states,” Tucker said.