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Long Beach's Linster wins gold in Federation 100

Long Beach's Josh Linster, front, edges Holy Trinity's

Long Beach's Josh Linster, front, edges Holy Trinity's Shaka Shomari at the finish of the 100-meter dash final during the second day of the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships held at SUNY-Albany on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Credit: Adrian Kraus

ALBANY - Being hot, hungry and tired is not usually the recipe for a state championship. Unless, that is, you're Long Beach's Josh Linster. The senior, who described himself as being all three before Saturday's Federation 100-meter championship on the second and final day of the New York State Track and Field Championships at the University at Albany, took home gold in 10.85 seconds.

"I was a little drained," said Linster, who will attend Utica College. "I saw Holy Trinity's Shaka Shomari right beside me. That made me push harder."

Corey Butcher from Medgar Evers (Brooklyn) was second in 10.87 seconds and Shomari was third in 10.89 seconds. Linster also won the Division I final earlier in the meet, at 10.68 seconds.

"My start blew everybody out," Linster said of his Division I triumph. "It was amazing. I was proud of myself."

Although running in different heats, Linster finished 0.01 seconds slower than Shomari in Friday's Division I preliminary round. But a text from coach Gregg Milone later that night gave Linster confidence heading into Saturday's Division I final.

"He told me that my heat was the only one with headwind," Linster said. "[Without that], my time would have been a 10.7 [instead of a 10.89]. I thought about it and thought 'I can beat [Shomari].' I wasn't worried about it."

Huntington's Infinite Tucker won the 400 hurdles championship in 52.29 seconds. Half Hollow Hills East's Sam Chimezie was second in 53.18 seconds.

"I went out a little bit faster on the backstretch," Tucker said. "The competition here was really good. I had to stay with them until the last 10 or 20 meters."

Tucker said he felt a little rushed running the faster pace in Friday's Division I final, but adjusted to it by the time the gun in the Federation final fired.

"The wind in the last 100 meters was a killer," Tucker said of Friday's race. "It was not as bad today as it was yesterday. It didn't push me [back] a lot. I was able to fight through it."

Tucker, along with Exzayvian Crowell, Kyree Johnson and Scott Gulizio, placed second in the 4 x 400 relay in 3:16.73. Brooklyn's Boys and Girls High School won in 3:15.05.

Floyd's Hasani Rathan won the high jump championship, clearing 6 feet, 10 inches, the same height he cleared in March to win the winter state title. He is the first Floyd athlete to win the state high jump championship in both seasons, coach Ed Noll said.

"I just tried to do the same thing I did in winter," Rathan said. "I'm grateful for having these two championships."

The title comes after a spring filled with frustration for Rathan. The senior suffered cuts on his back after colliding with a stanchion during an April practice.

Rathan needed staples put in his back. After two weeks, those staples were removed and the state champ was back at practice. But those two weeks greatly affected his form. "My approach was all off," Rathan said. "My back arch wasn't there at all. I just took deep breaths, figured out what I had to do, and remember what I did in the winter."

Through intense coaching, Rathan found that arch again. He jumped 6-2 to win the Division I high jump championship and cleared 6-4 at the state qualifier meet before winning another state title Saturday.

Copiague's Aaron McFadden won the Division I 110 hurdles in 14.24 seconds. Sachem East's Drew Alfano won the Division I pentathlon, scoring 3,506 points.

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