Track & Field: Lee races to victory in 3,200 at Division Championship

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior John Lee won the 3,200 in Division III Monday.

The fast start didn’t plan out exactly as Shoreham-Wading River senior John Lee hoped. But the ending was right where he expected to be.

Lee raced ahead of the pack at the start of the 3,200 Monday afternoon hoping to bury the field early at Comsewogue High School. But as James Burke of Port Jefferson and Adam LaFemina made up ground, it came down to one final lap for Lee.

After slipping to third on the final lap, Lee made a move on the outside to take second before the last turn. As he came around toward the final 100 meters, he surged into first and never looked back to win the Division III title in 9 minutes 37.02 seconds.

It was well off his personal best this year of 9:24.12, but after an ankle injury slowed him down the past week, he was more concerned with getting the victory over a time.

“I was a little psyched out because I hurt my ankle and I couldn’t run the days up to this meet,” Lee said. “So I was just looking maybe to win it and I wasn’t really focusing on time. Hopefully now that my ankle is better I can train for state quals and break 9:20.”

Shoreham sophomore Ryan Udvadia grabbed sixth place in the 3,200 in 9:47.27.

Jordan Wright had a big day in the sprints for the Wildcats. He advanced to the finals Wednesday in both the 100 and 200 dashes. He ran 11.47 in the 100 for third overall and 23.4 in the 200, which was also third.

Riverhead had a strong performance in the triple jump. Junior Jeff Pittman jumped 42 feet 10 3/4 inches for third place in Division II. Senior Kevin Williams was fourth with a top mark of 42-08.

Pittman also earned a spot in the finals of the 100 and 200. In the 100 he ran 11.56 for third overall and in the 200 he ran 23.37 for fourth.

The pole vault, one of the top events for Riverhead, was originally to be contested Monday. But due to the high number of athletes competing, only Division I went Monday. The Division II and III pole vaulters will go Wednesday.

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