Lawson Dominant at Division Championships

Lawson practices his starts at the New York Relays

The nobility of Suffolk County track and field descended on Connetquot High School yesterday for the Division Championships, perennially one of the most highly anticipated events of the season. Though the weather maintained its uncooperative demeanor, the boys’ track team turned in some fine performances despite the unseasonable chill.

The top 18 in each event qualify for the Division Championships and then race, throw, and jump against those within their division for highly coveted medals. The fact that eight Bears competed yesterday, with several more gearing up for their events on Wednesday, is impressive enough, but merely being invited did not satiate the boys’ hunger for competition.

In the 100 meter trials, Khoren Lawson shone above the competition from leagues VI, VII, and VIII by claiming the top spot in Wednesday’s final. Lawson won his heat easily, relaxing his stride in the last 40 meters and gliding to an 11.33. Additionally, Andrew White followed with a victory in his heat in 11.48, a new FAT personal record, to earn the #3 seed in the final. The pattern continued in the 200 meter trials as the tandem won their heats in two of the top three fastest times in Division III. Lawson  coasted in 22.98 while White overcame a poor start out of the blocks to come back and win in 23.27.

Forrest Hull followed in the 400 meter hurdles with a 62.21, an impressive time, not just because it was less than a second off of his personal record, but because he ran it with a sore lead leg in less than ideal conditions to finish 7th. Matt Hollis also participated in the pentathlon, winning his heat of the 110 hurdles, eclipsing a personal best in the high jump, and throwing 30′ 10.25″ in the shot put.

The relay teams also performed well as both the 4×100 and 4×400 squads earned berths in the finals. The 4×1 team took to the track first, winning their heat in 45.40 as Lawson (11.3), Jon Wentling (10.6), White (11.8), and Mark Brathwaite (11.8) overcame the absence of anchor Taylor Colucci who is nursing an injury. The 4×4 team did not win their heat, but still qualified for the finals as their 3:43.05 earned them a 4th place finish heading into the championship. Marco Masakayan (55.5), Thomas Peckham (57.4), Hull (56.6), and Wentling (53.5) helped procure the berth.

The highlight of the day, however, was the triple jump as Lawson earned the title Division Champion by thoroughly outclassing his competition. It was only the second time all season that Lawson triple jumped in an invitational and he showed no signs of rust, beating his fellow jumpers by nearly a foot with a leap of 42′ 6.25″ (the next closest was 41′ 7.25″). It was the first of a possible four gold medals for the senior who will compete in two more individual finals and a relay final on Wednesday.

The Bears are currently in 6th place overall with 10 points, thanks to Lawson’s victory, but look poised for a flurry of points on day two of the competition.


Bear Paw Thumbnail

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