If you train together and plan together, you might just finish 1-2 together.
Jonathan Lauer and Chris Tibbetts did just that for Sachem North, picking apart the 3,200 Division I race lap-by-lap with a thought-out strategy. They delivered an overpowering kick over 800 meters to finish in 9:30.81 and 9:31.21 respectively at Monday’s Suffolk division championships at Comsewogue High School.
“Chris is my training partner day in and day out,” Lauer said. “We do every workout together, every run together. It’s always a confidence booster when you have your training partner right next to you.”
It didn’t appear they needed a push when the moment came. The pair separated from the pack as Lauer took the lead with two laps to go. Tibbetts started to close the gap coming around the turn and they cruised across the finish line, claiming valuable team points for this week’s team championship.
“We run mile by mile,” said Tibbetts, who took second in the 800 final. “And when we race, we work off of each other.”
Through the wind-driven rain, Deer Park’s Nick Fenton saw his opportunity in the Division II 800.
He said he knew he had to make his move with 200 left and when he hit 100 meters, the only thing that mattered was finding every ounce of energy he had left to close it out.
“I was like this is my senior year,” Fenton said. “I’ve got to go now.”
He claimed the comeback victory in 1:58.43, overpowering Hauppauge’s Nick Crociata (1:59.15).
“Honestly, going into the race I knew it was going to be tough, so I tried to save my energy,” Fenton said.
In the Division III 800, Phillip Gunther knew he shouldn’t be in the second lane, but coming down the stretch he didn’t really have a choice.
The Sayville senior pulled himself out of lane 1 and into the outer part of the track to push himself past the competition and take the Division III 800 title in 2:02.08. Westhampton’s Juan Lasso took second in 2:02.71.
Northport’s Isaiah Claiborne won the Division I 800 in 1:56.05, and Tibbetts followed in 1:56.80. Claiborne took the lead in the final seconds.
“I wanted to run 1:54 today, but it’s pretty hard to run it in the rain and wind that’s crazy,” Claiborne said. “But it’s definitely a good time for the weather we have.”