The pre-jump ritual has become a tradition for Riverhead High School triple jumpers.
The athlete raises his hands above his head and starts to clap. His teammates and eventually spectators join in and then he starts his run.
“It builds up adrenaline and it makes you run faster,” senior Treval Hatcher said.
The adrenaline certainly was pumping for Hatcher at the Suffolk County boys divisional track and field championships on Monday. Hatcher won the triple jump in Division II with a leap of 46 feet 4 inches at Connetquot High School in Bohemia.
Sophomore Jeffrey Pittman (41-3 1/4) took third in the event as the Blue Waves accrued 21 1/2 points, second only to Smithtown West (40) entering Wednesday’s final day.
“We were expecting that from Hatcher,” Riverhead coach Steve Gevinski said. “It was one of his better jumps of the year. … The other guys, they haven’t been as consistent this year.”
Earlier this season, Hatcher helped revive the pre-jump clap.
“I just brought it back because no one was doing it this year,” he said. “A lot of the people who also triple jump know about the clap. They give respect to every jumper.”
Hatcher certainly gets a lot of respect as one of the top triple jumpers in the county. Among all three divisions, he had the best jump in less than suitable weather conditions — on a windy, chilly, cloudy afternoon with occasional rain only a week prior to Memorial Day.
Hatcher had set his sights on the school record of 47-6 on Monday.
“I think I did pretty good for this weather,” he said. “It’s not as hot as I expected it to be.”
But he has been happy with his performances after sitting out the first three weeks of the season with an ankle injury.
“So far it’s been a decent year,” he said. “Now I’m getting back to the groove.”
Two Riverhead runners also were in the groove as they qualified for Wednesday’s finals. Kevin Williams, a junior, won his heat and was fourth overall in the 400-meter run in 52.54 seconds and sophomore Jeffrey Pittman took second in his heat and was fifth overall in the 200 run (23.43).
The Blue Waves also had their 4×100-meter relay team of Eure Sevaun, Clifton Russell, Funn Quinn and Kinard Andrew take third overall (45.92) and reach Wednesday’s final.
Sophomores Dan Normoyle (12-0) and Jonah Spaeth (11-6) ensured Riverhead fourth and fifth place in the pole vault, respectively.
“That’s pretty good,” Gevinski said. “With the weather conditions — it was raining, it was slippery — two did their personal bests. That was very exciting.”
In Division III competition, senior John DeSuno earned a point for Bishop McGann-Mercy by finishing sixth in the discus (118-01). He also took 11th in the 100-meter dash (12.01).
Other McGann-Mercy finishers included freshman Luis Cintron-Leonardo, who took 10th in the 400 intermediate hurdles (1:05.48) and Damian Duda, who was 11th in the 800 (2:08.14). The Monarchs’ 4×100 relay team of Christopher Morrill, Justin DaSilva, Rudfil Paul and DeSuno was ninth in 47.71. Their 4×400 relay team of Bernie Schrage, Sean Cappiello, John Marano and Matthew DeLandro was eighth in 3:49.21.
Of course, everything is relative. Coach Pete Hansen’s Mattituck team did not register a point, but he was excited because senior Bill Goggins accrued 868 points in the first three pentathlon events in Division II (110 high hurdles, high jump and shot put), well ahead of his projected 500 points. Goggins ran 23.50 seconds in the high hurdles (11th place), recorded a 4-8 1/4 high jump (11th) and turned in a 33-9 1/2 throw in the shot put (fifth).
Hansen also was pleased with the showing of his 4×400 relay team. It finished out of the money, but the quartet of senior Chaz Schneider, junior Richie Koch, senior John Hamilton and junior Corey Zalnenski was clocked in 3:51.13.
“We’re a couple of meters, or seconds, however you look at it, from the school record,” he said. “I just wanted to set a small goal for the kids. We wanted to break 3:50 first. We almost did that.”
Port Jefferson led Division III teams with 36 points.