Two hundredths of a second – an almost minute slice of time.
But for Clarke’s boys’ track team, it represented a sliver of daylight.
By edging North Shore by a slim margin to finish second in the four-meter 100-meter relay at the Nassau County Track and Field Championships on May 23 in Cold Spring Harbor, the Rams had closed in on meet leader West Hempstead . before the last event of the day.
Eight points off the lead in the team standings at the sound of the starter’s final gunshot, Clarke would set the best time of the season by winning the 4×800 relay in 8:44.72 to tie atop the standings at 84. -everything and sneak up to West Hempstead – who finished fifth in the race – as co-Class A county champions, bringing Clarke his first outdoor county title since 1987.
“I said to the guys before the last race, ‘We have to win this,’ said Clarke coach Brian Doxey, whose team won its first indoor county championship in 35 seasons this winter. “I guess I contacted them. None of them were fresh, so to pull it off and run your best time is phenomenal.
Senior Kenny He, juniors Jayson Emile and Andres Ventura and rookie Ryan Melkum led the title-winning 4×800 crew for Clarke, while seniors Aidan Dauz, Kaynoa Martin, Justin Uralil and Alex Pereira – in that order – ran the crucial 4×100 relay for the Rams in 46.26 seconds, finishing less than half a second behind race winner West Hempstead.
“We were able to stay close to a very talented team,” Doxy said. “It all came down to our 4×100 team giving us a chance.”
Winter All-American Liam Farrell took first place for Clarke in the county drive with a season-best throw of 130 feet, one inch — moving to No. 6 in Nassau’s standings. The eldest also climbed to ninth in the county standings with a season-best mark of 40-04 in the shot put to place second in the competition. “Liam being dominant all year is a huge reason for our team’s success,” Doxey said. “His performance at county is a great confidence booster for the future.”
Clarke finished first in the county pole vault over Nikhil Panickserry senior’s jump of 9-00, while Pereira 20-06 in the long jump was second behind West Hempstead junior Jurell Hall’s winning mark of 22-00. The top three finishers from each of the meet’s events received countywide honours.
“It was the most exciting competition I’ve ever been in, as a participant or as a coach,” eighth-grade coach Doxey said. “The seniors have been great leaders. I will miss them when they are gone. But we still have a little way to go. »
Next on Clarke’s schedule is Section 8 State Qualifier at Glen Head on June 3-4, where the Rams will send Farrell (shot put and discus), Panickserry (pole vault), Pereira (long jump), Emile (open 800 meters), second Christian Hunter (pentathlon), seniors Said Reyes and Miles Stump (3000 meters steeplechase), the aforementioned relay teams, and Uralil, Pereira, He and Emile in the 4×400 relay.