Williams, Blue Waves exceed expectations in league meet

If one athlete typified Riverhead’s performance in the Suffolk County League III boys winter track championships on Saturday, it was junior Kevin Williams. Only a minute after finishing third in the 600-meter run and cooling off, a tired Williams not only competed in the triple jump, but he took second place with a leap of 40 feet 1/2 inch.

And that was after fouling on his first two attempts.

“That was literally done with no legs,” Coach Sal Loverde said. “He was panting from the 600. He had a minute of cool time. He gutted out a performance. That’s what champions do.

“He amped up. He has a great attitude and that’s reflective of the team.”

In the 600, Williams was clocked in 1 minute 27.7 seconds.

“He was two meters from winning it,” Loverde said. “Everybody was shocked. I don’t think anyone expected him to be in the mix.”

Then again, Loverde did not expect his team to score so many points — 60.5 — at Suffolk County Community College West in Brentwood. Half Hollow Hills West (104) finished first and Smithtown West (84) second.

“I anticipated us to score in the lower 50s,” Loverde said. “A half an inch here and there and we might have exceeded it. … Everybody who stepped up to the plate had a terrific meet.

“We had a really, really phenomenal performance.”

Williams, however, was far from a one-man show.

o Junior Kashaun Boynton captured first-place honors in the 55-meter high hurdles in an even 8.0 seconds and was fourth in the 55-meter run in 6.89, which Loverde called “a terrific time.”

o Senior Treval Hatcher won the gold medal in the triple jump in 46-9 1/2 and added a fourth-place finish in the long jump at 19-4. “We’re very proud of him,” Loverde said.

o Freshman Clifton Russell took second in the long jump at 19-10 1/2.

o Sophomore Jeffrey Pittman finished sixth in the 300 in 39.01. “He’s only a 10th-grader, so we’re looking for big things out of him,” said Loverde. Pittman also leaped 18-10 in the long jump. “He fouled by half a toe,” Loverde said. “He could have won it with that leap.”

o Senior Rob Mullen earned sixth place in the 1,600 in 4:53.5. Sophomore Anthony Galvan was not among the leaders in the event, but he broke the five-minute barrier for the first time in 4:59.6.

o Senior Jeremy Warner placed among the top finishers in the two-mile run with a time of 10:42 that was 23 seconds off his previous personal best.

In the 4 x 200-meter relay, the quartet of Williams, Pittman, Hatcher and Boynton finished second in 1:38.54.

“They surprised everybody and took second, which was a great achievement for them,” said Loverde,

So, it should not be surprising that Loverde is optimistic entering the county large school championships at Suffolk West on Friday night. “When kids are moving the bar up each week, it means they’re doing the right things at practice,” he said. “They know it and feel good about it.”

In the League V Championships, Bishop McGann-Mercy (nine) finished eighth, but Coach Matt Perry said he was “very happy because it’s our first year in winter track. I couldn’t ask for more from the team.”

McGann-Mercy had a pair of fourth-place finishers — Tom Kretz in the long jump (19-9 1/2) and John DeSuno (40-1/2) in the shot put. Perry said he was happy to see DeSuno competing at all after he suffered a swollen ankle a month ago.

Damian Duda, Sean Cappiello and Matt Stetler did not place in the money, but Perry was impressed that each runner improved by five seconds apiece.