All five runners medal at state championship
Infinite Tucker won a pair of gold medals to lead the Huntington boys’ track and field team to an impressive showing at the state championships in Albany last weekend.
Tucker won a pair of 400-meter intermediate hurdles races to capture the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and State Federation titles.
“I thought that I was going to win because I didn’t see anyone in front of me the whole race,” the junior said after the first of his performances Friday afternoon. “It wasn’t my best race ever, but I thought that I ran well.”
Tucker’s time of 52.29 seconds in the federation finals ranks him No. 2 in the state and No. 3 in the country this spring.
He plans to compete in the event one more time this season at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina this week.
Huntington sophomore Kyree Johnson fared well in the 400 dash against a field filled with exceptional athletes. He ran against five seniors in the State Federation finals and finished third in 49.20 seconds. A day earlier, the runner earned a fourth place medal in the NYSPHSAA final. The State Federation races include the top public school, New York City/PSAL and private and parochial school athletes.
Johnson’s best time of 48.5 seconds in the 400 dash this spring ranks him No. 1 among all New York sophomores. He too will be racing at nationals.
The long weekend ended on a high note when the Blue Devils’ 4×400 relay won a silver medal in the State Federation race, crossing the finish line in 3 minutes, 16.73 seconds, finishing behind Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School. Huntington outraced Newburgh, who had won the NYSPHSAA title only one day earlier.
“What an awesome race,” Huntington head coach Ron Wilson said of the relay. “You just had to be there to witness such excitement. The crowd of people gathered at their feet as the eight remaining young men grabbed the batons.”
Junior Exzayvian Crowell ran with the Blue Devils relay on Friday for the state title, where the team earned a fourth-place finish. Sophomore Shane McGuire took Crowell’s place for Saturday’s State Federation finals, joining Johnson, Tucker and senior Scott Gulizio on the track.
“Shane gave everything he had on the first leg and ran a personal best of 51.4,” Wilson said. “He almost collapsed trying to pass the baton to Scotty Gulizio, who split 49.2, which is good. Gulizio passed to Kyree Johnson who ran a 48.7 split and brought us to third. When our anchor, Infinite Tucker, got the baton, he took off like a jet. He passed the Newburgh anchor, who had won the state crown just the day before. He then set his eyes on the state leader, Boys and Girls, who was about 20 meters ahead of the rest of the field.”
The Boys and Girls anchor, Richard Rose had just won the 400 dash in a sizzling 47.11 seconds, so it was a difficult assignment for Tucker to run him down, but the athlete gave it his all, splitting 47.435 seconds, falling just short of first place. Huntington’s time is a new school record and the second best in the state this spring. It’s also the second fastest in Suffolk, ever. Amityville set the record of 3:16.66 in 2002.
“We were just a bit shy of the Section XI record, but we will have one more crack at it at the nationals,” Wilson said.
All five Huntington athletes medaled at the state championships, with Crowell earning one in the NYSPHSAA 4×400 relay race and McGuire getting a silver medal in the State Federation finals. Gulizio won a pair of medals. Johnson and Tucker won four medals each.
“It was an exhausting weekend,” Wilson said, “but well worth it.”