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Bears Turn in Heroic Performances in Gotham City

April 17, 2011

After a strong day of competition on Friday that saw a number of personal records eclipsed, 5 boys returned for day 2 of the 8th Annual New York Relays yesterday morning.  The weather was not ideal for running as temperatures hovered in the 40s and rain lurked on the horizon, but the boys raced to some impressive times nonetheless, beginning with the 4×100 meter relay.

As the 4 fastest boys on campus stepped onto the track a number of obstacles loomed.  First of all, when the team arrived the meet was ahead of schedule by 45 minutes, leaving the boys barely any time to warmup as they frantically put on their spikes and pinned numbers onto their jerseys.  This also meant that the team had to clerk in late and was placed in the last heat, a very difficult spot from which to move onto the finals because of the likely disparity in competition.  A 3rd deterrent was the overcast sky that blanketed Icahn Stadium like a pall and the chilly winds that blew across the East River, conditions not conducive to fast times.  These distractions an experienced team might be able to shake off with mutual trust and previous successes, but this was only the 2nd time that these 4 boys would be running together including last Wednesday’s dual meet against Mercy.  Coach Jake Morley did not know what to expect as Khoren Lawson knelt into his starting position, but the result had to make him smile.

Lawson led off with a blazing 10.8 opening leg, then gave way to Jon Wentling whose 11.2 kept us in the thick of the pack.  Andrew White’s 3rd leg 11.7 was enough to keep us close before Taylor Colucci got the baton and turned on the afterburners for a 10.2 that helped us to the 6th fastest preliminary time and a spot in the finals.  The team’s 43.97 made them the 2nd fastest 4×100 team in school history, but even more impressive is the fact that the school record-holding 2007 squad of Terrance Anderson, Jon Bute, Pete Carmel and Mike Cox did not break 44 seconds until the State Qualifying Meet in late May.  The ’07 team went on to finish 2nd in the State Meet with a time of 43.34 giving this year’s squad something to set their sights on.  43.97 also hits the emerging elite standard for Nationals.  Though the team would later be disqualified in the finals when they could not get their handoff in the fly zone, it was an extremely positive showing for team with rapidly burgeoning potential.

Next up for the Bears was Lawson’s 100 meter dash final.  Despite starting out of lane 8 and not getting as clean a start as he would have liked, the jamaican thundered down the straightaway and ran his last 20 meters as good as anyone else in the race to finish in a medal-clinching 6th place with a time of 11.25.

The final event of the day for the Brook was also the most exciting as the 4×400 meter relay team defied the rain to run their best time of the year, without the aid of Colucci who had already run his limit of events.  Lawson once again set the tone with a 52.4 second 1st leg that gave our team the lead entering the 2nd leg.  Wentling briefly lost the lead but regained it on the backstretch and held on to place the baton in White’s hands with a slight edge.  The lead changed once again as White and the rest of the pack fell behind the leader by about 10 meters, but the sophomore closed with gusto on the final 80 meter stretch before entrusting the baton to Marco Masakayan on the heels of the leaders.  Masakayan ran an intelligent anchor leg, not going out to fast and burning out, but tucking right behind the frontrunner and biding his time until he kicked with about 70 meters to go to overcome Boys and Girls High School, giving the blue and white the win in 3:33.33 to place 13th overall out of 46 squads.  The fine performance in foul weather capped a fantastic weekend for a Stony Brook track squad that may have some more impressive wins in their immediate future.



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