ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Maurice Teachey Jr. was in the middle of a dream. Through one of the many bookkeeping quirks of the state track and field championships, the Malverne senior was awarded the Division II 400-meter state championship at Union-Endicott High School yesterday afternoon.
Teachey Jr. finished second in 48.47 seconds behind Hackley’s Onye Ohia-Enyia’s 47.38. But because Hackley is a private school, Teachey was named Division II champion, a distinction reserved for public schools.
The late-spring meet always carries a little extra pressure for seniors. As the long indoor and outdoor seasons come to a close, it’s the last chance for many to capture a state title before graduation.
“My coaches drilled it into me that I had to get back to this point,” said Teachey, whose relay team was disqualified at last year’s state championships. “Ever since 10th grade, I’ve been coming and watching people win. I was like, ‘I need to be up there someday.’ ”
Teachey knew that his chief competition was a formidable foe. Ohia-Enyia entered the race as the second seed with a 47.75 time, almost two seconds faster than Teachey.
“I came out strong,” Teachey said. “He came up beside me, but I still knew that I had to run my race. I kicked in the last 150 meters and, in the last 100, I gave it everything I had . . . It’s a dream. It’s been a long road.”
The Division I 400 took on a Suffolk County feel down the final straightaway, with Huntington’s Kyree Johnson (46.56) outpacing Half Hollow Hills West’s Jovahn Williamson (46.96).
“Throughout the whole race, I knew that Jovahn would be the one to push me,” Johnson said. “The last 150, I knew that I had to go to my arms and my core, bring my knees up, and do everything I could so I could outsprint everybody.”
Johnson, the defending outdoor 400 champion, missed the indoor state championships with a pulled right hamstring, making the outdoor victory taste even sweeter.
“When I wasn’t able to run it [in the winter], I knew I had to save myself for spring, so I could do my best and repeat what I did last year outdoors,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to do something that I couldn’t do in the winter.”
Johnson also won the Division I long jump, flying 23 feet, 6 1⁄2 inches. Kings Park’s Dan Byrne, who won the state indoor shot put in March, won the Division I shot put championship with a 60- 1⁄4 toss.