Roosevelt's Raymond Jones is a triple threat. When he steps on a track, one thing is for certain, he's incredibly hard to catch. Jones won three events in class A-I at the Nassau class county championships, held Tuesday and Wednesday at Westbury High School.
The senior won the 100 meters in 11.07 seconds, the 200 in 22.29 and the 110 hurdles in 16.07.
"I won all three of them last year," he said. "I just wanted to come out and prove that I could do it again."
Jones said he is most comfortable running either the 100 or 200.
"I have pure speed," Jones said. "Those are the pure speed events. If you mess up one hurdle, you're pretty much done."
The week before, Jones finished second in the division IV-A 200. He said the loss, which came by one-tenth of a second, served as a major motivating tool as he prepared for the final county championships of his career.
"This week, I practiced a little harder to gain stamina," Jones said. "Last week, I got caught at the finish line. I didn't want that to happen this week, so I went all out from start to finish."
Jones' work contributed to Roosevelt winning the A-I team title with 106 points. Westbury won the A-II crown with 80 points and Syosset scored 98 en route to the A-III championship.
Syosset's distance trio of Simon Nwana, Ryan DePinto, and Tyler Italiano dominated the A-III long runs. DePinto won the 1,600 in 4:23.29. Nwana (4:23.93) and Italiano (4:23.98) finished second and third, respectively. Nwana won the 800 in 1:55.82. Italiano won the 3,200 in 9:27.23. DePinto was second in 9:31.81.
Knowing that they had to run important races on Wednesday, Italiano, DePinto and 3,200 fourth-place finisher Dale Mittleman (9:46.23) wanted to expend as little energy as possible during Tuesday's 3,200 while still finishing high on the score sheet.
"We sat on the leaders for the first 2,400 meters or so," Italiano said. "The last 800, we kicked it in."
MacArthur's Steven Morra faced a similar challenge after finishing fifth in the A-III 3,200. Morra came back Wednesday and won the 3,000 steeplechase in 10:00.36.
Before the steeplechase, Morra said he was worried about how the fatigue from the 3,200 would affect his time. That worry washed away fast.
"During the race, I gained energy," he said. "I just started running faster at the end. If you go out fast, it's not going to end well. I tried to sit in the top pack, but not too far up. I knew I could win in the last couple of laps."
Roslyn's Scott Pourshalchi won the A-II 800 in 1:59.29 and the 1,600 in 4:32.43. Jericho's Jose Velasquez took the A-II 3,200 in 9:36.50 and the 3,000 steeplechase in 9:56.01. Teammate Rio Lee won the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 101/4-inches and the discus in 136-9.