ALBANY - It wasn't the state championship he's become accustomed to, but Lynbrook's Luke Germanakos could not have been happier. After consecutive 600-meter state titles during the winter season, the senior finished third in the 800 meters in 1 minute, 51.96 seconds at the New York State Track and Field Championships on Friday at the University at Albany.
"It was my PR for my entire high school career," Germanakos said. "I couldn't ask for anything more. I am so happy. I think it's one of the best races I've ever run. Just because I didn't win the race doesn't mean I didn't execute my plan perfectly. I took third, but I ran a smart and technical race."
Fayetteville-Manlius' Kyle Barber won in 1:51.40. Thomas Jefferson's Gairy Springer was second in 1:51.91. Springer took the race out fast, leading by a considerable margin until the 400-meter split, when the field bunched together again.
"I knew it was going to go out fast, we all did," Germanakos said. "My training revolved around going fast, but staying relaxed."
Germanakos made a move with about 300 meters to go and ran with an extremely slight lead for 200 meters but was caught by Barber and Springer on the home straightaway.
"I gave it everything I had," he said. "The other guys had a little bit more, but I sprinted as hard as I could and couldn't be more proud of myself."
Whitman's Shamar Powell was fifth in the 800 in 1:52.55 and East Meadow's Michael Grady was eighth in 1:53.16
Huntington's Infinite Tucker won the Division I 400-meter hurdles in 53.15 seconds.
Holy Trinity's Shaka Shomari had the top 100-meter trial time of the afternoon, 10.88 seconds. Despite the distinction, Shomari wasn't happy with his performance.
"I have to focus on my form and make sure I get out fast," Shomari said. "My start was pretty bad. But [Saturday], I'll make sure I improve on everything."
Despite the self-described "slow and late" start, Shomari made up for it, leading comfortably for 90 meters.
"I was making sure I stayed ahead," Shomari said. "That was my whole goal today -- stay ahead, win my heat, and have a strong finish."
Long Beach's Josh Linster won his heat in 10.89 seconds, the second-fastest first-day time.
Copiague's Aaron McFadden ran the fastest Division I 110- meter hurdles qualifying time, clocking 14.30. Amityville's Travon Duncan earned the final qualifying spot, running eighth in 14.87. Southampton's Jesse Scanlon qualified in Division II, finishing fourth in 15.14 seconds.
Huntington's Kyree Johnson was fifth in the Division I 400 in 48.62 seconds. Amsterdam's Izaiah Brown won in 46.40, breaking the meet record of 46.79 set in 1988 by Reggie Harris of James O'Neill High School in Highland Falls.