Winning can be so sweet.
Winning a second year in a row is so much sweeter.
Just ask Riverhead High School senior Curtis Flippen, who won the Suffolk County Division II triple jump championship for the second consecutive year at Centereach High School Monday afternoon.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Flippen said.
Flippen won with a leap of 43 feet 2 inches on his second attempt of the competition, beating Copiague senior Marcus Weeks (42-11 3/4).
“I’m so excited right now because this year is better than last year,” Flippen said. “Last year was no competition. This year I was seeded second, which gave me more motivation. I took this week to prepare to get ready for the biggest battle of my life. This is what mattered the most. I wanted it so badly.”
By finishing first, Flippen earned 10 team points for Riverhead.
Freshman Kian Martelli, who had a jump of 40-2 1/2 for a seventh-place finish, missed out on earning another point for the Blue Waves by an inch.
Flippen wasn’t the only Blue Wave to win a county title.
Senior Luke Coulter also secured 10 points for Riverhead by winning the 800-meter run in 1 minute 55.27 seconds, which was 19/100ths of a second ahead of West Islip’s Kyle Kelly. Teammate Eric Cunha added a point by finishing sixth in 1:58.33.
Several other local athletes and teams qualified for Wednesday’s finals in their respective specialties:
• Bishop-McGann Mercy senior Alex Frabizio captured his heat in the 400-hurdles run in 58.12.
• Riverhead took fourth in the 4×400-meter relay in 3:26.58. The quartet included Chjuvaughn Cameron, Coulter, Eric Cunha and Marcus Reid.
• Shoreham-Wading River still has a chance to win the Division II title in the 4×100 relay as it qualified with a time of 46.52 behind Luke Rey, Daniel Montenegro, Kenneth DeGolyer and Jalen Wright.
• Mattituck reached the Division III final in the 4×100 relay in 46.49. The Tuckers’ foursome included Joseph Kelly, Zachary Bokina, Pandeli Pando and Darius Brew.
Photo caption: In the 4×100 relay, Mattituck’s Joseph Kelly held a slight lead over Shoreham-Wading River’s Anthony Guzzone. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
CORRECTION: Alex Frabizio’s time was in the 400-hurdles, not the 400-dash.