Jackson leads Longwood to 3rd straight track title
The third time was the charm for Mark Jackson and Longwood -- just like the first and the second times.
Jackson won three of his four events as Longwood rolled to their third straight Division I championship Wednesday at Comsewogue. The Lions scored 122.25 points, 48.25 points ahead of second-place Bay Shore (74).
Smithtown West took the Division II title with 100 points, and Copiague (69) took second. Bayport-Blue Point (104) edged Port Jefferson (101) and Amityville (99.5) to claim the Division III crown.
After winning the 100 in 11.17 seconds, Jackson tied teammate Dashawn Taylor for the win in the long jump at 22-5. Taylor was awarded the victory because his second-best jump of 22-3 bested Jackson's 21-10.
"He came up big," said Jackson of Taylor. "I thought I'd be able to take the long jump with only a little competition, but Dashawn came up real big."
Jackson later won the 200 with a time of 22.38 seconds and took the high jump with a leap of 6-6, one inch above teammate Johan Jimenez.
"The fact that I could give Longwood another county title before I graduated makes me feel ecstatic," Jackson said. "I was able to leave my legacy behind, and we were able to three-peat."
Dennis Russell took second in the shot put (52 1/4) for the Lions, Mike Engesser won the 800 (1:56.56) and Jamal Sally the triple jump (46-0) on Monday.
"This group really came around," Longwood coach Joe Reilly said. "Even if you took Mark out of the picture, these guys would have still won. Like I told them before the meet, everybody on this team has value."
Smithtown West won the Division II crown using their tried-and-true strength -- the field events. Matt Morganelli won the shot put in a school-record 56 1/2 and Michael McCann (6-5) and Devin Mirenda (6-4) went 1-2 in the high jump for the Bulls.
"All of the guys in our field events are young," said Mirenda, who also took second in the long jump (21-7 1/4) and third in the 110 hurdles (16.01 seconds). "Aside from Matt, we're all coming back, so it's great."
In Division III, Bayport-Blue Point won the 4 x 800, took second in the 4 x 100 and third in the 4 x 400 to seal its second county title in three years.
"It was down to the wire, and it was just awesome," said Harry Martin, who was on all three relays. "That competition is what we live for."