TUCKERS 74, CLIPPERS 58
The gauntlet was thrown down before the Mattituck High School boys track and field team. It was a considerable challenge, too: Win a dual meet without the services of one of its best athletes, Darius Brew.
With Brew ineligible to compete, the Tuckers had to compensate for the 20 potential points he is capable of putting up. That’s a lot of points and quite a hurdle to overcome, but they did it.
Jack Dufton won two individual events and ran for one of Mattituck’s two winning relay teams in a 74-58 victory over Greenport/Southold on Monday.
The Suffolk County League VIII meet at Mattituck High School is the closest thing Greenport/Southold has to a home meet since the Clippers practice on a dirt track at Greenport High School and run all of their meets on the road. The two programs, based only 13 miles apart, have ties. A couple of years ago they competed as one combined team. The Clippers’ coach, Maria Troise, had coached Mattituck’s junior high school boys and girls teams with Steve Van Dood for two years.
And it goes beyond that. One of the Clippers’ top athletes, junior Maleik Yoskovich, may have felt something special about Monday’s meet. His father, Derrick Strickland, holds the Mattituck school record in the 100 meters at 10.8 seconds.
On a sunny, warm day when the temperature approached 80 degrees, the Tuckers (3-2, 3-2) led by a mere 6 points before pulling away with the aid of a pair of relay wins and Dufton’s triumph in the high jump.
The 4×400-meter relay team of Dan Harkin, Mike O’Rourke, Matt Krauza and Dufton gave the Tuckers some breathing room with their victory in 3:54.4.
O’Rourke, competing for the first time since being sidelined by a hamstring injury, also anchored the 4×800-meter relay team, which won in 10:18.7. Justin Lake, Ryan Foster and Harkin also ran in that relay.
Dufton cleared 5 feet 10 inches to take the top spot in the high jump. The junior barely missed making 6-0.
Earlier, Dufton prevailed in an exciting 1,600-meter race that saw the first three finishers cross the line within 9/10ths of a second of each other. Following Dufton (4:53.0) were Harkin (4:53.5) and Greenport/Southold’s Owen Klipstein (4:53.9).
The Tuckers also received winning performances from Frank Imbriano in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (a personal record of 1:08.7), O’Rourke in the 400 (55.2), Harkin in the 800 (2:13.2), Lake in the 3,200 (12:02.5) and Carter Montgomery in the shot put (39-10 1/2).
The Clippers (1-4, 1-4), running in their first meet in 18 days, had quite a day from Yoskovich. The junior, a first-time track athlete who played baseball last year, saw nothing but firsts on Monday.
Starting off with the long jump, Yoskovich landed a personal record of 18-7 3/4. First place.
In the 100 meters, he dashed to the finish line in 11.8 seconds. First place.
Yoskovich ran the 200 for the first time and clocked 24.9. First place.
After Ben Bracken, Ben Marczewski and Justin Bracken handled the first three legs of the 4×100-meter relay, Yoskovich brought the baton home for a time of 48.93. First place.
Klipstein and Oscar Coc-Tomas turned in personal records. Klipstein finished first in the triple jump at 37-10 and Coc-Tomas roared through the 110-meter high hurdles in a winning time of 20.1.
The Clippers also saw one of their discus throwers, Nick Wallace, take first with a throw of 105-4.