Christopher Duhaney won’t sit still.
The Uniondale senior brings endless energy to the track where he competes in a myriad of events and finds the most success in the 55-meter high hurdles.
Before the Marine Corps Holiday Classic at the Armory in Manhattan on Dec. 29, he stood around the starting blocks 40 minutes before that race began.
“The problem is calming him down,” coach Dennis Kornfield said. “Because unfortunately he can only do three events [at a meet].”
Duhaney said he spent the time mentally preparing himself to the start. He then won the final in 7.62 seconds.
Afterward, his energy still hadn’t dissipated.
“He won his race and I said, ‘You just won, relax, you did fine.’”
To which Duhaney responded, “Yeah, but how can I get faster coach? What else can I do?”
Duhaney runs many short events, but also makes use of longer ones like relays and generally would go up to an 800-meter race. He competed in his first 600-meter race this week. He might not be the top runner in each event, but having a willingness to run longer distances as someone who excels at sprinting is unusual.
He said extending his abilities helps him gain more speed during shorter races where sometimes he and his teammates can find themselves fading toward the end.
“I welcome the pain and the more distance with open arms because it’s not like [opponents are] speeding up — it’s just that we start to die,” Duhaney said.
That outlook is part of what makes him excel, Kornfield said. A can-do attitude where anything that can be worked on either at practice or with an extra run at home will be done.
“I always feel like I’m on borrowed time,” Duhaney said. “I never want to be complacent or slack.”
This is his last high school winter season and he said he wants to cap it with a state title and a trip to the national championship in the 55 high-hurdles. Last year, he made a state championship appearance, running an 8.18.
For now, with many meets still to go before the championships, Duhaney is focusing on improving his time, helping his younger teammates and running in whatever events Kornfield throws his way.
“I always want to do better and inspire the people on my team,” he said. “I don’t want to take that for granted.”