Huntington's Infinite Tucker leaps over the hurdles. File photo by Darin Reed
Huntington’s Infinite Tucker leaps over the hurdles. File photo by Darin Reed

It was the Infinite Tucker show last weekend at the Taco Bell Classic at Spring Valley High School’s Harry Parone Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The Huntington senior walked away with four medals, following a classic finish in the premier relay race.

Tucker won the 400-meter high hurdles, came in a close second in the 110 high hurdles, anchored the Blue Devils’ winning 4×400 relay and finished fourth in long jump. His performance helped Huntington finish in a tie for second place in the team standings with 41 points. The competition drew more than 2,500 competitors from nearly 300 high schools across more than a dozen states.

Perhaps the highlight of the entire two-day competition was the 4×400 relay finals that pitted Huntington against longtime rival Archbishop Carroll of Washington, DC and Newton, in New Jersey, which won the team championship.

Kyree Johnson, Lawrence Leake and Shane McGuire handled the first three legs of the race before Tucker took over.

“Infinite gave it everything he had,” Huntington head coach Ron Wilson said.

The senior sprinted the final 400 meters and dove across the finish line while the Blue Devils held their collective breath. It was a photo finish with Archbishop Carroll, and officials took their time trying to determine the winner. About five minutes passed before it was announced that Huntington had won by 1/100th of a second in a time of three minutes, 22.13 seconds. The event drew 59 relay teams. Newton took third place in the race.

“It was an incredible finish to a weekend filled with great competition,” Wilson said. “We had some nice performances.”

Huntington’s 4×800 relay shined in a race that drew 52 entries. McGuire, Mitch Rudish, Tom Kopstein and Kyle O’Brien finished second in a time of 8:07.81.

“They were magnificent,” Wilson said.

The Blue Devil star finished in a time of 53.72 seconds. He was second in the 110 high hurdles after running 14:56 in the finals, nearly a half second off his qualifying heat time. Tucker clipped the last hurdle in the finals, which slowed him down.

Although Tucker was slightly off his game in long jump, a week earlier, he tied a 34-year-old Huntington record in the event with a leap of 24’6. He placed fourth last weekend at 22’3.

Leake was 13th in a field of 99 in the 400 run in a time of 50.52 seconds, Johnson was 18th in a field of 160 in the 200 dash in a time of 22.28 seconds, Kopstein was 30th in a field of 175 in the 800 run in a time of 2:03.15, McGuire was 54th in a field of 180 in the mile run in a time of 4:43.40, and Vernon Alexander was 15th in a field of 94 in shot put with a throw of 46’1 feet.

Huntington’s second-place team finish is an improvement over last year’s performance, when the Blue Devils placed eighth with 18 points.

— Huntington athletics