WARRIORS 95, TUCKERS 55
One of the longest road trips in Suffolk County high school boys track and field came to an end on Thursday. For the first time since 2008, according to coach Mike Miller, Mattituck hosted a home dual meet.
Because Mattituck’s old cinder track had been deemed unusable for meets, the Tuckers had to hit the road for all their meets in the years since 2008. That was until Thursday.
With its new all-weather track in place, the Tuckers finally have a place to call home. Just how much of a home-track advantage it brought them on Thursday remains debatable, though. Wyandanch (2-0, 2-0 League VIII) took the top three places in three individual events, swept the three relay races and handed the Tuckers a sound 95-55 defeat.
The word “unbelievable” was uttered more than a couple of times in reference to the inspired performance of Mattituck’s Jack Dufton on a cold, raw day. Dufton ran back-to-back events, the 800 meters and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, which he had never run before, not even in practice. No matter, the junior picked up the difficult double, gaining first-place points in both events in the respective times of 2 minutes 10.3 seconds and 1:03.6.
That wasn’t all. Dufton cleared 5 feet 8 inches to take third in the high jump. With darkness descending (the start of the meet was delayed about 50 minutes because of Wyandanch’s late arrival), he ran the anchor leg for Mattituck’s 4×800-meter relay team. By the time the baton was placed in his hands, Dufton found himself with too much ground to make up. Dufton was unable to catch the lead Wyandanch runner, but he turned in quite an effort, running the first lap in 56 seconds and finishing his 800 meters in 2:12, which was five seconds off his stated goal.
Darius Brew was also a double winner for Mattituck in the 100 (12.0) and the high jump (6-0). The junior landed second in the triple jump at 40-6.
Mattituck’s only other first-place finishers were Dan Harkin and Ryan Foster. Harkin clocked a winning time of 4:58 in the 1,600 and Foster’s 11:59.3 edged out the second-place Harkin by 6/10ths of a second for victory in the 3,200.
Second-place finishes were turned in by Mattituck’s Frank Imbriano (20.7 in the 110-meter high hurdles), Pandeli Pando (95-5 1/2 in the discus) and Carter Montgomery (35-8 1/2 in the shot put).
The Tuckers (1-1, 1-1) lost the services of senior Mike O’Rourke, who tweaked a hamstring while competing in the first event of the meet, the long jump.