Kyree Johnson captures four, Huntington wins first-place team title
Infinite Tucker put on one of the most dominating performances ever seen in the New York State Track and Field Championships, winning six gold medals to lift Huntington to a first place finish in the team standings last weekend in Syracuse.
Huntington head coach Ronald Wilson and assistant coaches Eli Acosta and Haidee Bonhurst couldn’t have asked for more from the Blue Devil stars.
“What can I say?” asked Wilson rhetorically. “All those medals speak for themselves.”
The 6-foot, 5-inch 205-pound Tucker won New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division I titles in the 110-meter high hurdles, 400 intermediate hurdles and 4×400 relay, and then went on to win three more gold medals in the same events in the state federation finals when he defeated the top athletes from Division I, Division II and the state’s private and parochial schools.
Tucker is one of the toughest competitors that Huntington has ever fielded in any sport. Despite achieving mind-boggling individual honors, the athlete puts his team above himself. The senior notched the fastest 400 relay split, 47 seconds, of the weekend, which is an impressive feat considering he competed in multiple events and was running on “tired legs.”
“A gold medal is the great achievement and honor that a high school athlete can receive,” Tucker said. “But I would swap any title to be given another chance to run with my team.”
It was a special weekend for Kyree Johnson, who captured four gold medals in the 400 dash and 4×400 relay, winning NYSPHSAA Division I and federation crowns.
“There are a lot of great athletes in New York State, especially in the 400 dash,” Johnson said. “Fortunately, I came away with the state title this weekend, not only in the 400, but my relay won as well. I’m very proud of my teammates and very appreciative of my coaches.”
In only his second season of flinging the discus, senior Kenny Charles finished third in the state federation on Saturday with a throw of 177 feet, 11 inches, which set a new Huntington school record in the event. The athlete had earlier taken fourth in the NYSPHSAA Division I competition with a throw of 166 feet.
Wilson was happy with Charles’ performance in the Division I finals on Friday.
“No one could have ever predicted that he would throw an additional 12 feet on Saturday,” the coach said. The distance shattered Trayvon Toney’s Huntington record of 170 feet, 7 inches.
“Finally being able to break the school record is a testament to the exceptional coaching of coaches Wilson and Bonhurst,” Charles said. “I only began throwing last season and because of their instruction, I have been able to place in big meets, make it to states and nationals, and break the school record.”
In the 800 run, Shane McGuire finished sixth in NYSPHSAA Division I and eighth in the state federation to grab a bronze medal. The junior also ran on the gold medal winning 4×400 relay.
“Overall, it was a great weekend for the team,” McGuire said. “It was my first time competing individually at the states and although I wish I did a little better, going up against the best in New York was awesome. Most of those competing in the championship were seniors, so that gets me excited for next year.”
Junior Lawrence Leake ran the leadoff leg of the gold medal-winning relay and was sensational before handing the baton off to Johnson.
“We are always looking to impress and standout,” Leake said.
The relay’s time of 3 minutes, 15 seconds set new Suffolk and Huntington records in the event.
“Our 4×400 relay stayed focused,” McGuire said. “Even with three of us running in other events, we were able to still run strong and win with our best time yet.”
The Blue Devils racked up 46 points in the state federation team standings, easily outdistancing runners-up Maine-Endwell and Wilson Magnet School, which scored 26 points. Among competing schools, 71 teams scored at least one point in the competition.
“This has been an incredible season,” Wilson said. “It’s a special group of young men. They have been wonderful ambassadors for Huntington wherever they have gone.”
The Huntington track and field standouts will compete one more time this spring when they travel to the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro this weekend.