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Smithtown West's Mirenda wins long jump on final leap

Devin Mirenda was the last person with an attempt left in the long jump. He had just seen his leading mark of 22 feet, 2 inches get wiped out by Huntington's Tyriek Johnson one jump earlier. It was the final jump, of the final flight, at Mirenda's home field, in his team's home invitational.

No pressure, right?

"Usually in the long jump, there've been cases where I couldn't step up under pressure," Mirenda said. "It was always a problem, where I felt like I just couldn't step up in the big moments."

This time, Mirenda came through in a big way for Smithtown West. The junior jumped a school-record 22-5 on the final attempt of the event to score the victory and help the Bulls successfully defend their boys' team title at Saturday's Smithtown Invitational.

Smithtown West scored 102 points to earn its second straight team championship. Floyd finished second with 75 points, and a depleted St. Anthony's -- its star performers were in Philadelphia for the Penn Relays -- took third with 58 points.

"It's just incredible," Mirenda said. "I was just going for 22 feet, and I got the school record."

Mirenda's jump bested Johnson's mark of 22-4 -- which the Huntington senior had set right before the record-setting leap -- by an inch. That lone inch, however, was more than enough for Mirenda.

"I was actually jumping pretty bad before that," Mirenda said. "I tried to get the crowd going and clapping, and I just did it."

Frank Ida (21-4) and Michael McCann (20-10) finished behind Johnson to give the Bulls three of the top four spots in the long jump.

Mirenda also finished second in the 110-meter hurdles (15.38 seconds), finishing behind Johnson (14.60).

"[Johnson is] one of the best in the county," Mirenda said.

Mirenda's winning jump was just a small part of Smithtown West's big field day. The Bulls had first-place performances in the field events from McCann, who cleared 6-4 to win the high jump after taking fourth in the long jump; Matt Morganelli, who took first in the shot put at 53-1; and Karl Nilsen, who won the pole vault at 13-0.

"We have guys all around in every field event," McCann said. "We're always competitive."

Alex Muniz, Adam Hymowitz, Ida, and Andrew Lapreziosa won the 4 x 100 in 45.43 to put the finishing touches on the Bulls' defense of their home track.

"This is where we train," Nilsen said. "We've been out here on this track rain or shine, all the time. We've been out here for hard workouts, easy workouts," Nilsen said. "It's kind of neat to win this one."

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