Isaiah Claiborne could see his long-coveted state championship slipping away, and he was having none of it. Midway through the final lap of the 1,000 meters, the Northport distance standout kicked into high gear and never looked back. The move, akin to a stutter-step, was clear to everyone in the jam-packed Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex and left little doubt that Claiborne meant business.
Largely because of that decision and at that precise moment, Claiborne is a state champion, winning the event in two minutes, 26.95 seconds at the track and field state championships on Staten Island Saturday afternoon. Claiborne’s time is a meet record, breaking North Rockland’s Liam Purdy’s 2014 mark of 2:27.63.
After leading early in the race, Claiborne fell into third place, but worked his way back into prime position. With 150 meters left, and the field looking like they might leave him behind, he made the move that made all the difference.
“I knew if they put a gap on me [on the back straightaway], I wouldn’t be able to catch up,” Claiborne said. “Once they passed me, I knew I had to catch up to them again and pass them. I knew [Fairport’s] Ben Bulkeley was behind me and he had a fast kick, so I had to make sure I got a gap on him.”
Bulkeley was second in 2:27.60.
Isaiah’s twin brother Elijah had a mad dash on the final lap of the 1,600, but Schenectady’s Maazin Ahmed outpaced him by a split second. Ahmed ran 4:15.543 and Elijah ran 4:15.548.
St. Anthony’s used a speedy third leg from Matthew Payamps to top Northport and win the 4x800 meter relay. Payamps, Brendan Dearie, Mason Gatewood, and Michael Barbaro-Barnett ran 7:45.30.
Babylon’s Vladislav Cullinane, who has been the top high jumpers in the state virtually all season, made it official by clearing six feet, seven inches. Shoreham-Wading River’s Richard Casazza was second, clearing 6-6.
“I’ve been battling with [Casazza] all year,” Cullinane said. “And it was close.”
Uniondale’s Christopher Borzor won the public school 55-meter championship in 6.44 seconds and the public school 300 in 34.53 seconds. He was third in the Federation 55. Carlon Hosten of Taft Educational Campus in the Bronx won in 6.35 seconds and St. Anthony’s Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal was second in 6.42 seconds.
Borzor also finished third in the Federation 300. Tahje Flemmings of Brooklyn’s Benjamin Banneker won in 34.10 seconds.
State Track and Field Championships
Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex
1,500 meter race walk: Margaret Atwood, Sachem East, 6:49. 09.
55 hurdles - Chibugo Obichere, Valley Stream South, 8.19 seconds *public school champion.
4X200 meter relay: Floyd (Kianna Hawkins, Tatiana Kistner, Jade Foster, Antoinette Miller) 1:41.49.
55 dash: Christopher Borzor, Uniondale, 6.44 seconds *public school champion.
300: Christopher Borzor, Uniondale, 34.53 seconds *public school state champion.
1,000: Isaiah Claiborne, Northport, 2:26.95.
High Jump: Vladislav Cullinane, Babylon, 6-7.
4X800 meter relay: St. Anthony’s (Brendan Dearie, Mason Gatewood, Matthew Payamps Michael Barbaro - Barnet), 7:45.30.
4X800 meter relay: Northport (Elijah and Isaiah Claiborne, Dan O’Connor, Thomas Fodor), 7:56.52 *public school state champion.
Intersectional distance medley relay: Suffolk: Joshua Green (Shelter Island), Zachary Hicks (Patchogue-Medford), Adriel Robinson (Sachem East), Carlos Santos (Patchogue-Medford), 8:54.11.