ITHACA, N.Y. — Huntington’s 4x400-meter relay team spent the first half of yesterday’s state track and field championships at Cornell University being pulled apart by individuality.
Kyree Johnson fell in the 55 meters by a hair, his 6.40-second sprint not quite enough to top Kelly Brown of Roch- ester’s Wilson Magnet High School’s 6.39. Lawrence Leake ran the 300 meters, clocking the second-fastest preliminary time, a 35.45. Infinite Tucker, the speedster who is committed to UMass to run track and play football, won the 55-meter hurdles in 7.38 and placed second in the long jump, going 23 feet, 1 3⁄4 inches (Beacon’s Terrel Davis won with a jump of 23-7).
But, that was all an appetizer. The main course was the 4x400 relay. Late in the meet, with the sun setting outside and all that individuality out of the way, Tucker, Johnson, Leake, and Shane McGuire won the event in 3:24.02, beating Newburgh Free Academy (3:24.91) at the line. It is the second consecutive indoor state 4x4 championship for Huntington.
“With all the events we did before, I didn’t think we would have it in us,” Tucker said. “But, coming into the last straightaway I didn’t feel as tired as I usually do.”
Perhaps Leake made the biggest sacrifice, choosing to give coast in the 300 in favor of winning a 4x400 championship. Leake placed last in the 300 in 37.57. Poughkeepsie’s Malik Lewis won in 34.95.
But, it was all for the greater good.
“I decided that the 4x4 was more important to me this year,” Leake, a junior, said. “This will be the last season I have with (Tucker). I said ‘I’ll do something else next year and this year, take it easy in the 300, and give it my all in the 4x4.”