An event like the high jump can drag on for well over an hour at a track & field meet, creating plenty of down time for the competitors. Shoreham-Wading River senior Erik Anderson prefers to avoid watching the other jumpers as he waits for his turn, choosing instead to sit with his headphones on, focusing on his next jump.
“If I start looking at other people I start thinking in my head and I psyche myself out,” Anderson said.
At the small school county championship Monday night at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, Anderson had little trouble securing his first indoor county title. He made four jumps on the night, cleared them all and took home the title with a top jump of 6 feet, 1 inch. Only one other competitor cleared 6 feet, and when he missed on 6-01, Anderson called it a night.
Having cleared 6-04 1/4 earlier this season at the Stanner Games, Anderson already had his qualifying standard, which will come in handy Saturday at the state qualifier.
Nursing a sore quad, an injury that occurred two weeks ago, Anderson had no reason to try to jump a higher height once he won the competition at 6-01.
“I wouldn’t get anything out of it,” he said.
Anderson won the title after taking second at the small school championship last year with a jump of 6 feet. This year he eased over the bar at 6 feet with no problem.
Anderson was one of two county champs for Shoreham along with Kevin Sanders in the 600. As a team the Wildcats finished in fifth place with 34 points. Hills West won the championship.
As the league champ and now county champ, Anderson will now focus on reaching the state meet. Last year he just missed qualifying as he finished in fifth place by clearing 5-10.
Anderson said he hopes to clear either 6-04 or 6-05.
“I really want to go upstate,” he said.
Sachem East senior Greg Markfelder won the large school championship by clearing 6-04. Longwood junior Mark Jackson has also cleared 6-04 this year and was second at the county meet at 6-03.
“They’re definitely the same height as me,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be very close.”
In the 600 Sanders ran 1:24.59 for his best time of the year. Last year Sanders was ninth in the 600 after running 1:32.71.
Sanders will be in the running to win the 600 at the state qualifier. Longwood senior Joe Fuller has the top time this year in the event in 1:23.38. Fuller is the defending champion in the event.
The Wildcats thought they had a good shot at adding a champion in the 1,600 with John Lee, who had the top seed. But after missing several days of practice last week due to illness, Lee wasn’t at full strength and finished in fourth place in 4:40.09. Lee had a seed time of 4:28.24.
In the 1,000 Tyler Keys finished fourth for Shoreham in 2:43.64. Shoreham’s 4 x 200 relay team finished in third place to round out the scoring.