On a day reserved primarily for field events, all Ryan John seemed to do was run. From one end of the track to the others, the Valley Stream North junior spent the afternoon bounding between the long and triple jump area behind one end zone of his home school’s football field and the high jump area behind the other.
It was almost like a fourth event, and if it was, John would have likely won that, too — just like he did his other three.
John won the long jump, going 22 feet, 4 ¾ inches, the high jump, clearing 6-6, and the triple jump, flying 47-7 ¾ at the Nassau Class AA steeplechase and field events championships at Valley Stream North High School in Franklin Square on Monday afternoon.
Athletes who are competing in multiple events have 10 minutes to take their turn after their name is called, making the "doubling dance" (or in John’s case, tripling) all the more stressful.
"It definitely gets tiring, just going back and forth, trying to make it in the 10-minute mark," John said. " You want to make sure you get all your jumps in. You do what you can. I’m not going to lie, I wish the stuff was a lot closer so I could rotate between stuff, but you make things work."
John broke the Valley Stream North school high jump record of 6-2, set by Xavier Jean-Charles in the mid-2010s, Valley Stream North coach Mike Frazer said. After barely missing on his first two attempts at 6-6, John cleared it easily on his third and final attempt.
"I just attacked it differently," John said. " I changed the speed. I was running a lot faster."
The meet was postponed after one event Friday after a severe thunderstorm warning was issued, giving competitors the weekend to sit on preparation that they thought would pay dividends at the end of last week.
"I was really prepared for Friday," said Bellmore JFK’s Maya Spottiswood, who won the girls 2,000-meter steeplechase in 7 minutes, 39.8 seconds. "I was nervous because Wednesday is [the county championships for all other running events], so I was hoping I’d have more rest, but today was cooler and I was happy with my time."
After getting passed on the first water jump, Spottiswood passed the field on the second lap and cruised to victory.
Elsewhere, Manhasset’s Samantha Kinloch cleared 4-10 to win the girls high jump. Kinloch was seconds away from jumping Friday when the meet was called off.
"Today, I had to go straight into 4-6, which was difficult," Kinloch said. "I wish we had finished Friday, but with the storm coming, it was better to postpone it."