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Lynbrook's Luke Germanakos wins 600-meter state title for second time

Lynbrook's Luke Germanakos checks the scoreboard after winning

Lynbrook's Luke Germanakos checks the scoreboard after winning the 600-meter run during the NYSPHSAA Winter Track & Field Championships held at Cornell University's Barton Hall on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Credit: Adrian Kraus

ITHACA, N.Y. - The nights have been sleepless for Lynbrook's Luke Germanakos. Since winning the 600 meters at last year's state championships, defending the title has dominated his thought process.

"It inspired me every morning to wake up and train to my full potential," Germanakos said. "I knew that I was going to be up against top notch competition so I had to put in top notch training."

It's a safe bet to say Germanakos slept well Saturday night after winning the event in one minute, 20.60 seconds at this year's version of the championships, held Saturday at Cornell.

Germanakos overtook the race in the final 100 meters, sprinting past the field as he ran toward another championship.

"Because of my training, I knew that I still had some juice for the last 150 meters," the senior said. "I figured I'd leave every ounce of strength I had on the track because there's no more indoor state championships for me. I thought I'd leave all my marbles on the table."

Port Jefferson's James Burke was similarly stuck on the memories of last season, but for a different reason. Burke placed second in the 1,600 last year and wanted to go out a champion in his favorite event. And, like Germanakos, Burke's hopes became a reality, winning in 4:17.88.

"It means everything," Burke said. "On my runs over the summer, during cross country, and this whole winter, I just pictured this track and that last 200 in my head. It's all worth it."

Huntington's 4 x 400-meter relay team, composed of Kyree Johnson, Exayvian Crowell, Lawrence Leake, and Infinite Tucker won in 3:27.76.

"I heard a lot of people yelling so I figured [North Rockland] was right behind me," Tucker, who ran a 49.35 second anchor leg said. "I lifted my knees and drove the last 200 meters. I didn't think I had it until the last two meters."

While not as tight as Tucker thought, the race was close. North Rockland finished second in 3:29.79.

Johnson ran the leadoff leg in 51.96 seconds. Crowell, running second, clocked a 52.87. Leake was third, posting a 53.57.

Floyd's Hasani Rathan cleared six feet, 10 inches to win the high jump. The mark bested his previous personal record by five inches, he said. Suffolk athletes took the top three spots in the event. Smithtown East's Daniel Claxton was second, clearing 6-8 and Eastport-South Manor's Connor Langdon was third, clearing 6-6.

Syosset's Eric Sheng won the weight throw, tossing 67-81/2. It was the first year the weight throw was competed at the state championships, Syosset coach Chris Myers said.

"I'm happy that I won, but I'm more grateful that they added the weight throw," Sheng said. "As a hammer thrower, I really don't do well in the shot put. I'm just happy that they added something I'm good at."

Northport's Mike Brannigan took second in the 3,200 meters in 9:05.50. Brannigan was edged at the line by Saratoga's Aidan Tooker, who ran 9:05.47.

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