In his first two years running high school track, Mason Gatewood never got to compete in a state tournament.
But he was younger and said he suffered some minor injuries, and he was running in a different state.
The St. Anthony’s junior, whose family moved from Lexington, Kentucky, to Garden City before the school year, was a double-winner yesterday at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island. His victories in the 800 and 1,600 meters earned him spots in the state tournament and helped St. Anthony’s claim the CHSAA Intersectional title for the sixth time in the last seven years, including each of the last two.
“It’s been a really easy transition,” he said. “The coaches here are amazing and have real ly helped me take my running to the next level. I love all my teammates, so it’s been pretty smooth.”
In the 800, Gatewood outperformed his first lap by more than two seconds on the second lap to beat Fordham Prep’s William Maghak (1:55.81) with a time of 1:54.63. He edged St. Peter’s Marc Carrera by 1.5 seconds in the 1,600 with a time of 4:24.47, his final lap of 59.444 seconds by far the best in the finals.
“As my coach [Tim Dearie] always says, it’s all about [the last] lap, so I really wanted to work that one.”
St. Anthony’s also got a first-place finish from Bryant Lewis in the high jump at 6 feet, 2 inches.
“Bryant has been really consistent this year,” Dearie said. “He’s one of those kids that when we go to a big meet, you know Bryant’s going to be ready. Bryant frees us up to try to get the supporting cast ready. It doesn’t mean we don’t give him our attention, but we just know he’s on point and knows what he needs to do.”
After posting a personal record of 50-9½ in the shot put and finishing fourth in the discus, Holy Trinity’s Billy Stouges was named most outstanding field performer. He said he placed third in shot put during the winter championship but focused on his strength and footwork in the following months to reach this point. His previous best mark outdoors was 49-4.
“I’ve been chasing 50 all year,” he said. “That’s been the number in my head, so it’s a huge lift off my chest that I finally hit that mark. It feels good.”