Jack Dufton is quite a good high jumper in his own right, and yet the Mattituck High School senior said he doesn’t believe he has won a high jump competition since he entered seventh grade. Of course, there is a good reason for that.
His name is Darius Brew.
“When you got a guy on your team who’s jumping 6-6, wins in the high jump don’t come easy,” said Dufton.
For a while there, Dufton was in first place during Mattituck’s season-opening dual meet at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School on Monday, having cleared 5 feet 6 inches.
And then a late entrant arrived on the scene: Brew. The Mattituck senior had just rushed across the field after having taken first in the triple jump at 42-3.
Brew entered the high jump competition at 5-6, missing his first two attempts. Teammates in the stands chanted, “Darius! Darius! Darius!” as Brew stood, with the wind pushing against his back, contemplating his last attempt at the height.
“At first it was a little distracting, then I was like, ‘I have to clear it,’ ” he said.
And he did. Easily.
Together the two Tuckers moved on, making 5-8 before Dufton failed at 6-1. Brew went on to clear his first jumps at 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4 before tiring and faltering at 6-6, which is his personal record.
The performance capped off a 73 1/2-39 1/2 win for Mattituck in the League VIII meet.
That the two Mattituck high jumpers did as well as they did in the first dual meet on a blustery day was an encouraging sign.
“Every year in the first meet I always do something good,” said Brew, who did 6-0 Saturday in an invitational meet at Mount Sinai High School on a day that wasn’t good for jumping.
Brew is an undeniable talent. He also raced to first place in the 100 meters in 11.9 seconds, ahead of McGann-Mercy’s Alex Fabrizio, who was second in 12.3.
“He had a great day, even in the wind,” Dufton said. “It’s incredible. He’s something else. You go to these big invitationals and he’s always going to be a contender.”
Mattituck’s new coach, Karl Himmelmann, said Brew has raw talent. “He’s one of a kind,” Himmelmann said. “He’s one of those kids who maybe once in your coaching career comes along.”
Dufton didn’t do too badly, either, Monday, with victories in the long jump (18-6 1/4) and the 800 (2:06.1).
Mattituck also received first-place finishes from Frank Imbriano (18.7 in the 110-meter high hurdles), Dan Harkin (4:55.6 in the 1,600), Justin Lake (11:05.2 in the 3,200) and Carter Montgomery (40-2 in the shot put).
Dale Kelly won two events for McGann-Mercy. The senior turned on the jets to build an insurmountable lead in the 400 and won handily in 51.9. The second-place finisher, teammate Ryan Razzano, was timed in 57.5. Kelly also clocked 23.6 to take the 200.
The 400-meter intermediate hurdles is Fabrizio’s strongest event, and it showed. The senior sped across the finish line first in 1:00.9.
McGann-Mercy’s Alex Sikorski threw the shot put a winning distance of 93-5.
Himmelmann enjoyed the sight of Brew and Dufton competing as the last two standing in the high jump.
“The two of them are great competitors and they’re great teammates,” he said. “They support each other. They encourage each other throughout the year. They help each other. They make each other better.”
So, how much higher can Brew jump?
“I think that’s up to him,” Himmelmann said, “but I think he can definitely go higher.”
Photo caption: Mattituck’s Darius Brew, left, and Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Alex Fabrizio racing down the stretch in the 100-meter dash. (Credit: Garret Meade)