Who may crack the top-20 list in the future?
The 20 Greatest Athletes list is complete, but as with any ranking, it can be continually evolving as more athletes come up through each local school. For all but two athletes on the list — No. 3 Julia Smit and No. 6 Amanda Clark — their competitive athletic careers have reached the final chapter.
For several athletes in the area, their early success in high school has just been the beginning. What the future holds, that’s still to be determined.
So here’s a look at several athletes in the area who have the potential when their careers are wrapped up, to crack their way into the 20 Greatest.
Miguel Maysonet, Riverhead: A 2009 graduate, Maysonet was one of the most celebrated football players the school ever produced. His senior season on the gridiron in the fall of 2008 was legendary. He was the clear choice for the Hansen Award as the top player in Suffolk County. He amassed 2,328 yards in leading the Blue Waves to an undefeated Class II Long Island Championship. He finished his career with 5,971 yards, second most in county history. He scored 75 touchdowns.
He twice was named the Most Valuable Player of Division II.
His success was hardly limited to football. He finished his lacrosse career at Riverhead second all-time in career goals with 62, that despite missing a chunk of his junior year with an injury.
Maysonet began his college career playing football at Hofstra for one season before the program was cut. He had a strong season with the Pride, rushing for 385 yards and three touchdowns. He transferred to Stony Brook. As a sophomore last fall Maysonet had a superb season, rushing for a team-high 1,128 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught two touchdowns.
Thomas Luchsinger, Mount Sinai. For a school that doesn’t have an official swim team, Mount Sinai has turned out its fare share of elite swimmers. Second behind Julia Smit is Luchsinger, who currently swims for the University of North Carolina. A multiple state champion in high school, he broke a pair of state records as a senior. At the state championship in March 2009, he won both the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly in state record time to earn All-America honors. Luchsinger had already set the state record in the 200 free at the county championship before breaking his own record.
In the summer of 2008 Luchsinger competed in the Olympic Trials for the Beijing Games. Swimming the 200 butterfly — Michael Phelps’ most dominant event — he finished 24th overall. Afterward he got an invitation to compete at the World Youth Games in Mexico as a member of the Junior National Team.
He’s competed multiple times at the ConocoPhillips National Championships against the top swimmers in America. Most recently in early August, he had his best performance yet.
In the 200 fly he reached the ‘A’ final and finished in fourth place in 1 minute, 57.01 seconds, shattering the UNC record. He will now get the chance to compete at the Pan America Games in October.
As a freshman at UNC Luchsinger swam to second place in the 200 fly at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. This past season he qualified for the NCAA Championship in three events, the 200 individual medley, 400 IM and 200 fly. He placed eighth in the 400 IM and ninth in the 200 fly.
Luchsinger will be going into his junior season at UNC this fall.
Jenna Burkert, Longwood. Technically, Burkert didn’t graduate from Longwood High School. That’s because she lives in Marquette, Mich., home of Northern Michigan University and the U.S. Olympic Education Center. A wrestler, Burkert, 18, trains with some of the top women in the country for a shot at reaching the Olympics. Burkert first journeyed to Michigan right before the start of her sophomore year of high school.
In May of 2010 Burkert won first place in Monterrey, Mexico at the Pan American Youth Olympic Games. She was the only American woman to win in freestyle wrestling and earned a spot at the Youth Olympics in Singapore three months later. She finished in fifth place, defeating Christiana Victor of Nigeria, 3-1, in her final match for fifth place.
Burkert’s family lives in Rocky Point and she originally attended high school there before transferring to Longwood so she could compete with the Lions’ wrestling team.
As a sophomore in high school Burkert won a national title at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D.
Stephen Dutton, Rocky Point. He only spent his last two seasons at Rocky Point High School after transferring from Hauppauge. But his two years wrestling with the Eagles from 2009-10 were as good as it gets. He never lost a match as a junior and senior, winning consecutive state titles in dominating fashion. He finished his career with the most victories of any wrestler in Suffolk County history, breaking the record held by Jesse Jantzen, who came in at No. 4 on our list.
Dutton wrestles for Lehigh University where he immediately stepped in as a starter as a freshman for the 2010-11 season. He posted a record of 23-14 wrestling at 141 pounds. He was honored as the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association’s Freshman of the Year. He had the highest finish of any EIWA freshman at the NCAA Championship. He finished one win short of earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championship.
Debi-Michelle Jantzen, SWR. Could the youngest of the family join her oldest brother one day? She’ll be entering her senior year at SWR this year where she’s one of the top field hockey players in the nation. A varsity player since seventh grade, Jantzen was an honorable mention All-County player in eighth grade. Last fall she was an All-American and first-team All-Long Island player whose 42 points were most of any player on Long Island.
In March 2010 she competed at the Youth Pan American Championship. The U.S. team earned a bronze medal. She also competed in Holland in April where the U.S. team went 6-2 in a tournament against some of the top competition around the world.
Most recently in July Jantzen earned a spot on the Under-19 Junior National team. With that comes an invitation to practice at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. in early 2012, according to Newsday. The 2016 Olympics would align with the end of Jantzen’s fourth year in college, which could be the peak of her playing career.
Jantzen has helped lead Shoreham to four straight county championships.