Huntington boys' track won three indoor league titles. (Darin Reed photo.)
Huntington boys' track won three indoor league titles. (Darin Reed photo.)

Blue Devil Boys Slick at League Championships

January 24, 2024

The Huntington boys’ indoor track and field team turned in a slick performance at the Section XI League III Championships at Suffolk-West in Brentwood on Sunday. The Blue Devils won three league titles and placed third in a field of 10 schools in the team standings.

“What a spectacular day of performances,” head coach Ron Wilson said. Senior David Dax was impressive in the 55m dash. He entered the event ranked No. 4 and came out with a personal best time of 6.70 seconds, winning the league crown. Dax was quick out of the blocks and held on for the gold.

Senior Nick Rosan also notched a personal best in the 55m dash, running 6.94 and just missing a berth in the finals. Also competing in the event was junior Dom Mattio, who ran 6.99.

Mattio would later team up with senior Niko Lulewich, senior Johan Fajardo and sophomore Titan Elysee in the 4x400m relay. The foursome earned bronze medals placing third in 3:37.99. East Islip went wire to wire to win the event in 3:33.75 with Bellport in second in 3:34.28. Huntington’s top runner, senior Jahmar Francis was unable to compete in the event because he had just turned in his best time ever in the 600m dash, earning the gold and coveted League III title in 1:22.66.

“Francis has been ranked No. 3 in the 600m dash behind Michael Heubner of Shoreham-Wading River (1:22.34) and Joseph Norrby of East Islip (1:23.48) throughout the season,” Wilson explained. “He went head-to-head with Norrby and went wire-to-wire for the gold.”

Francis separated himself from the rest of the field in the first 400m of the race. Norrby was closing ground, but ran out of track. Francis’s personal best of 1:22.66 now ranks him No. 2 in Suffolk and No. 8 in New York State. Senior Yovanni Rivera also earned a medal in the 600m, winning his heat and placing fifth overall in a time personal best time of 1:28.66.

Sophomore Max Carino and freshman Eric Heinz were in the most competitive event of the evening; the 1000m run. Heinz won his heat in a personal best time of 2:47.41, placing seventh overall.

Carino finished in 16th with a time of 2:54. The teenager got off to a bad start, but he was able to close ground on his last two laps and pass five runners. His best time coming into the meet was 2:51.

Heinz’s time of 2:47.41 is the ninth fastest for a New York freshman this winter and is No. 1 Suffolk.

Huntington’s hurdlers were also much improved. Lulewich ran 8.23 in the semifinals and Delgado ran 8.20, both advancing to the finals. Elysee turned in a personal best of 8.70, but didn’t make it to the finals.

In the finals, Lulewich finished in third in 8.20 with Delgado in sixth place. Lulewich later earned a silver medal in the high jump with a leap of 5-10 feet.

In shot put, senior John Genova earned a bronze medal, placing sixth with a toss of 41 feet and senior Fredy Alvarez was just shy of a medal placing seventh overall with a throw of 39 feet.

Junior George Garcia missed the finals due to a discrepancy. “He tossed the shot an amazing 42 feet, however the official said it was a foul because his toe slightly touched the top of the toe-board,” Wilson said.

The devils finished in third with 56 points out of the 10-team league. East Islip first with 83 points and Eastport South Manor in second with 60 points.